USL President Tim Holt wasn’t kidding when he said USL PRO could expand to 30 teams by 2016.
The league has been making the rounds in several markets, trying to finalize deals to grant new USL PRO franchises. Colorado Springs is the newest city the league is expected to expand to with a team playing its first season in 2015. The news is expected to be announced this Thursday at a press conference in Colorado Springs in which Holt is likely to attend.
Colorado Springs, which could affiliate with MLS club Colorado Rapids, will be the fourth USL PRO expansion team in the “West” in three years, joining Phoenix FC (2013), Sacramento Republic FC (2014) and Oklahoma City Energy FC (2014). And more is yet to come.
But the biggest news to come out of The Gazette at Colorado Springs article was that reporter Joe Paisley was told there will be 13 teams in USL PRO in 2014, seemingly confirming that VSI Tampa Bay FC and Antigua Barracuda FC will, in fact, fold.
From Paisley’s article:
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RICHMOND KICKERS TO JOIN D.C. UNITED’S ASIA TOUR
The Richmond Kickers’ affiliation with MLS club D.C. United will pay dividends for a few Kickers players this off-season.
D.C. United selected six Kickers players to join the team on its preseason tour to Indonesia, which began today and will run through Dec. 9.
Midfielder Shay Spitz, defender Michael Callahan, midfielder Luke Vercollone and defenders Alex Lee, Henry Kalungi and Shane Johnson are the Richmond players who have been included in the tour roster.
D.C. United and Richmond announced their affiliation on January 24. During the 2013 USL PRO season, six members of United saw action with the Kickers including Andrew Dykstra, who was named USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year. Homegrown players Michael Seaton and Conor Shanosky were key contributors for the Kickers, who claimed the 2013 USL PRO Regular Season Championship while Collin Martin, Taylor Kemp and Casey Townsend saw action as well. All six of those players are also on the preseason tour.
MLS WON’T BEND BID FOR BECKHAM
MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced in his state-of-the-league address on Tuesday that MLS has narrowed down the cities to fill its 22nd, 23rd and 24th expansion spots to five markets — St. Louis, San Antonio, Atlanta, Miami and Minneapolis.
And while the league has been in serious talks with Miami officials to bring a MLS club back to the city, Garber said potential Miami owners, David Beckham and Co., still need to get over one, big hurdle.
“We can’t go to Miami without the right stadium solution,” Garber said. “David understands that, the city understands that, that is an indisputable fact.”
MORE TROUBLE FOR BRAZIL WORLD CUP STADIUMS
Stadium construction and reconstruction in Brazil to get ready for next summer’s World Cup hits another snag.
FIFA announced this week that three stadiums being built for the World Cup will miss its December 31 deadline. Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, Arena da Baixada in Curitiba and Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo will still need work once the New Year comes.
Two workers were killed in a stadium construction accident in Sao Paulo last month. A retractable roof for the 43,000-seat Arena Pantanal has been abandoned and the 41,000-seat Arena da Baixad is behind schedule.