The United Soccer League, or USL, will continue to ponder adding promotion and relegation to establish a true pyramid of soccer in the United States. Currently, the United States is one of the few countries to not use promotion and relegation in its top soccer divisions. Instead, Major League Soccer is a closed league. The 29 teams in the 2023 campaign, and 30 in 2025, are at no risk of losing their status.
In July, The Athletic reported USL was contemplating adding promotion and relegation. There was a date set for a vote among the owners of the clubs in the USL system. However, that hit a delay. Consequently, there is no timetable for a vote to bring an open league to the United States. Still, that does not rule out the eventual possibility of it coming.
Instead, USL President Paul McDonough is using the new time to look into the logistical chaos that would come with adding promotion and relegation. No other sports league in the United States uses the concept, so there is no prior example of how it would work in the country.
“I love the fact that it happens everywhere else in the world,” McDonough recently told The Athletic. “But I understand that it’s a massive move in this country. So we’re at a stage now where we’re really just having a lot of conversations with owners. Some people love it. Some people hate it.”
Keeping momentum in USL strong
Across the world, promotion and relegation provided incredible scenes. Moreover, it affords smaller markets the chance to compete on the biggest stage. For example, Luton Town played out a draw against seven-time UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool at Kenilworth Road. Ten seasons ago, Luton was losing at home to Braintree Town while in the fifth tier. That rapid ascension remains one of the best stories in all of sports.
McDonough says bringing promotion and relegation to the United States honors the game. Furthermore, the USL President said he does not want to Americanize the…
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Author : Kyle Fansler
Publish date : 2023-11-13 23:01:59
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