Photo courtesy of United Soccer League
Following expansion trips to the Southeast and Midwest, United Soccer League's Division III Vice President Steven Short spoke to The Telegraph's Bob Williams about the importance of a regional model, which will help reduce travel costs for clubs and fans while also providing an opportunity for local rivalries to flourish.
"We are trying to limit expenses as much as possible for teams, and travel costs are a massive line item for any pro sports team," Short told The Telegraph.
"We will try to keep teams to a bus-type transport, where you can travel the night before and then travel home instead of flying 20 players and staff hundreds or thousands of miles that will cost thousands and thousands of dollars."
Short also revealed intentions to visit Northeast markets this summer, including Portland, Maine, Providence, Rhode Island, Albany, New York and Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts. Des Moines, Iowa, is also on the docket for the USL's DIII VP, who will attend the Premier Development League rivalry match between Des Moines Menace and Thunder Bay Chill on Saturday.
Formally announced in April of 2017, the USL's new third-division league is set to kick off in 2019. The league, which is currently targeting cities ranging in population from 150,000 to one million and has been in development for more than 20 months, is set to make team announcements in the coming months.