January 22, 2008

Seattle's USL-1 Replacement Found

With Seattle's impending move from the USL-1 to MLS in 2009, a hole was left as the USL First Division would have been knocked down to 10 teams. (The California Victory, who won't field a team this season, are uncertain to return in 2009.)

However, a new team has been announced, bring the league to a least 11 teams for 2009. The new suitor will play in Texas as the Austin Aztex.

According to the team's website, the team will be owned by Phil Rawlins, one of the owners of Stoke City F.C. in the Coca-Cola Championship. As we've continually heard the rumors of English teams buying into the USL, this is just another one that's gone through (i.e., Crystal Palace Baltimore).

Don't expect this to be the last English team to establish themselves in the USL, as there are also whispers of West Ham establishing a club in Florida.

Aside from the ownership and logo of the team, nothing has been established as far as a coach or even a stadium. However, the team will be taking over the direction of the Austin Stampede of the PDL, who will become the Austin Aztex U23s.

What do you think Nation? A good move or a bad move for the USL?


Longshoe said...

Austin should be a good market for USL-D1. Not sure how much scratch the Stoke City owner has, but he sounds like he has some cash to throw around.

Hate the name though...

ERic said...

You and me both. But it's my team now, so I love it. I think. Maybe. It'll grow on me, yeah, that's it. Just like the Burn did.

Did some googling on Rawlins and haven't come up with much. Board member of at least one software company.

I hope this succeeds. Rumor is that San Antonio will be announcing soon as well, so Austin's not really a replacement for Seattle.

(Have they definitely decided there will be no Kitsap team next year?)

The stadium's going to be a big challenge, almost as big a challenge as the travel costs.

El Güero said...

That's what bugs me about this. The closest team is...........Atlanta?

Hopefully there will be a San Antonio team to create a nice derby and to cut down on travel costs for the rest of the league.

Longshoe said...

A San Antonio team would make sense, I would think that the USL would want to create a travel partner for the new Austin team. A rivalry is nice too...

The name is bad, but nothing will ever top the Columbus Xoggz in my book.

Longshoe said...

I think Kitsap (or some other continuation of the Sounders) is still a possibility, but nothing's confirmed either way.

ja said...

Look for at least four new franchises in USL1 next year.