“We are excited to join the United Soccer League in 2017,” said Rowdies Chairman and CEO Bill Edwards. “I have said from the day I acquired controlling interest in this club that I wanted to make it one of the most successful teams in North America. The USL is a vibrant league, and this move is a necessary and positive step toward reaching the long-term goals and objectives of the club.”
The USL is headquartered in Tampa, which should allow for a smooth transition. “This allows us to expand our footprint into the Southeast with a storied soccer brand while meeting our key tenets of market size, committed local ownership and stadium development. In Bill Edwards, we have a dedicated local owner who has invested heavily in the team’s stadium, front office and media efforts and is considered one of the marketplace’s top business and forward-thinking leaders.” said Alec Papadakis, the CEO of the USL.
Total attendance for the USL’s 2016 season reached almost 1.5 million for its 29 teams. The league welcomed six new teams to the league this season and are bringing in Reno 1868 FC in 2017 and Nashville SC for 2018. The USL’s teams are divided into two conferences – Eastern and Western – with each team playing 32 regular season games for the 2017 season that kicks-off on the weekend of March 24-26. The Rowdies are expected to be placed in the USL’s Eastern Conference.
Article by Andrew Harlan, writer/editor of iLovetheBurg.com