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USL’s Edwards Bullish on Championship’s Future

By Staff, 03/06/20, 8:30AM EST


As the league kicks off its 10th season this weekend, the President spoke with ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar

BRISTOL, Conn. – Ahead of this weekend’s kickoff of the 2020 USL Championship season, USL President Jake Edwards visited ESPN’s studios to discuss the state of the league, and its remarkable rise over the past decade as it reaches its 10th anniversary season.

“We’ve come a long way in 10 years,” Edwards told Salazar. “We started with six clubs in a relatively unknown league back in 2010. Now, we’ve become one of the largest, fastest-growing soccer organizations in the world. We’ve got almost 50 professional teams in two divisions, and the Championship is now becoming one of the most recognizable and respected Second Divisions in the world.

“We’ve achieved tremendous growth, but we’re not a finished article – not by a long shot – and so as we think over the next five or six years, we’re going to build some world-class stadiums, we’ve got some more fantastic teams to join, we’re going to be building out League One, we’re going to be expanding on this great media partnership with ESPN, so we’re very bullish about where we are going into this season with two new expansion teams and some great storylines in our 10th anniversary year.”

In addition to the state of the league, Edwards also addressed other notable topics as the league enters Year 10, including:

  • How the USL has helped stabilize lower-division professional soccer in the United States

  • April’s opening of Louisville City FC’s Lynn Family Stadium, the newest soccer-specific stadium in the United States

  • The prospect of more clubs following Louisville City FC with soccer-specific venues of their own

  • The rising scale of what is now possible for USL Championship clubs to aspire to as a member of the league

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