USL

Major League Soccer

Footy on the telly: October 20-27

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It's a Week O'Cups: FIFA U-17 World Cup; England's League Cup; France's Coupe de la Ligue; Germany's DFB Pokal; South America's Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana; the KNVB Beker; Spain's Copa del Rey. Also, a USWNT Friendly, and the Union's Grand Finale.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through October 15

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Portland wins the NWSL. Bethlehem makes the playoffs but with the hardest first round match-up. Philadelphia slides a bit in power rankings for what that means.

Footy On The Telly October 13-20

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Now that we don't have to worry about booking a trip to Russia anymore... We can watch UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues; the FIFA U-17 World Cup; a USWNT Friendly; all sorts of domestic and international league and college fixtures; and the Union as they play out the string, and player contracts, too.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through October 1

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Philadelphia is officially out. Bethlehem has nearly in the playoffs though. NWSL on to the finals.

Footy On The Telly October 6 – 13

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This week, it's World Cup Qualifying time again! Also, the U17 Club World Cup; second and third-tier league and college action; and the Union rest for the final Playoff (PLAYOFFS!???) stretch.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through October 1

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Philadelphia playoff odds climb past a whole percentage point thanks to NYRB stumbles. Bethlehem stumbles put them in jeopardy of making USL playoffs. NWSL playoffs about to begin.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through September 24

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Philadelphia holds steady in playoff odds. Bethlehem moves closer to their playoffs. NWSL playoff teams are set with one week to go.

Footy On The Telly September 22-29

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This week, we can watch the WAFU Nations Cup action; UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues; a plethora of league and college action; and a double dose of the Union's ever-so crowd-pleasing Process.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through September 17

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Philadelphia survives mathematically with a statistically lucky draw. Bethlehem inches closer to the USL playoffs. Final USOC forecast for tonights match.

Antitrust lawsuit: NASL dug its own grave despite USSF-MLS collusion

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What do investors in soccer do when they’ve made one bad business decision after another? And to make matters worse, when they’ve shifted from one rhetorical strategy to another? Sue their governing body, of course!

This is the path the North American Soccer League (NASL) has chosen to justify the league’s complete failure to create a stable and successful second division that works within the confines of US Soccer.

Antitrust lawsuit: NASL dug its own grave despite USSF-MLS collusion

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What do investors in soccer do when they’ve made one bad business decision after another? And to make matters worse, when they’ve shifted from one rhetorical strategy to another? Sue their governing body, of course!

This is the path the North American Soccer League (NASL) has chosen to justify the league’s complete failure to create a stable and successful second division that works within the confines of US Soccer.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through September 10

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Philadelphia's odds at playoffs remains above zero but barely

This Week's Soccer on TV

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The big boys of Europe get started in earnest this week after a Monday night domestic appetizer.

The UEFA Champions League group stage kicks off on Tuesday night with a set of eight matches highlighted by Barcelona taking on Juventus in a clash of long standing European giants.

The Europa League takes center stage on Thursday as the lesser of Europe's continental competitions pits large clubs against smaller foes.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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The international break is over, which means its time for a return to club soccer all over your television, computer, and phone screens this weekend.

The headliner takes place in England, where Manchester City will play host to Liverpool on Saturday in a clash of Premier League giants. Both teams are on seven points after unbeaten starts to the new campaign, and each know a loss could drop them even further behind red-hot Manchester United.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through September 3

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Bethlehem Steel odds increase a bit. New York City FC effectively clinch playoff spot to join Toronto in SEBA 100 percent club.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through August 27

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Philadelphia playoffs chances edge closer to zero, Bethlehem playoff chances closer to 50/50 now, but hey, we added some historical Union plus/minus player analysis.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through August 20

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Philadelphia's last-minute loss of two points continues to decline the Union's weak playoff odds. Tonight's @ Toronto match doesn't provide great odds.

Footy On The Telly – August 18-25

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This week, The Union are ...(sigh)... well.... "Trusting The Process." Also, College Soccer, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Copa Sudamerica, and lots of league fixtures

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through August 13

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Philadelphia playoffs chances plummet. New Union player +/- analysis is available though!

Footy On The Telly August 11 – 18

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This week, The Union are up against it - again. Also, the Supercopa de Espana, Supercoppa Italiana, DFB Pokal, Copa MX, UEFA Champions League and lots of fixtures.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through August 6

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The Union improve slightly in this week's SEBA updates.

Updated MLS, USL, and NWSL SEBA projections through July 30

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Philadelphia's playoff chances actually increase a bit, but nowhere near as far as they need to. Bethlehem shows its belly and joins the fray of teams fighting for playoff slots.

Updated MLS, USL, NWSL, and Gold Cup SEBA projections through July 23

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Philadelphia's chances at the playoffs take a steep dive. The USMNT has a very winnable Gold Cup final, even against Andre Blake.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel won’t leave the Lehigh Valley, but they should still move

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As Columbus Crew SC is ripped away from it's fanbase, a Lehigh Valley native ponders how moving a team could be a good thing.

Match report: Bethlehem Steel FC 1-1 St. Louis FC

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Bethlehem ended the regular season with frustrating home draw, with Matt Real scoring his first goal as a professional.

Match Report: Bethlehem Steel FC 0-1 Rochester Rhinos

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Bethlehem Steel FC fall 1-0 to Rochester Rhinos

Match Report: Bethlehem Steel 2-2 Louisville City

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Match Report: Bethlehem Steel FC 2-2 Louisville City

Match Report: Bethlehem Steel 0-1 Charlotte Independence

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Bethlehem Steel FC fall 1-0 to Charlotte Independence

Bethlehem Steel

In Pictures: Bethlehem Steel 1-1 St. Louis FC

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Rob Simmons was on the scene as Bethlehem Steel FC drew against St. Louis.

USL Week 19 Rewind: Reno rolls past Swope Park Rangers, Battery stumble, and more

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The Charleston Battery once again stumbled and all of the Eastern Conference challengers capitalized on the opportunity.

The Charlotte Independence, Louisville City FC, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and the Rochester Rhinos all made up ground on the waning Eastern leaders with big wins. The Eastern Conference's top six teams are now separated by just seven points heading into the final third of the season.

soccer attendance

Taking Attendance 10/15/2017: USL Draws 2 Million, Average Up 25%

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The United Soccer League became the first lower-level soccer league on these shores to draw two million fans in a season1 and the league's average announced attendance was up 25 percent year-over-year.

There were success stories (FC Cincinnati becoming the first lower-division team ever to average over 20,000 a game, something only 23 Division I clubs in history have done2, Sacramento selling out every game and Phoenix tripling their crowds) and some concerning spots (Rochester falling completely off the table and MLS developmental teams in Vancouver, Kansas City, Seattle and Toronto dropping from already-low averages to even lower averages).

Taking Attendance 9/4/2017: II in 1

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The United States Soccer Federation's decision last winter to sanction both the North American Soccer League and the United Soccer League as Division II circuits has brought us the odd (and potentially temporary) situation where we have competing leagues at one level1.

For this look at attendance, I'm combining all the Division II teams into one table.

FC Cincinnati

U.S. Open Cup Semifinal Preview: FC Cincinnati looks to continue Cinderella run against Red Bulls

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Photo by Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports

FC Cincinnati has had a Cinderella run for the ages, bringing the USL club to the precipice of a U.S. Open Cup final. To get there, though, they'll have to go through a perennial MLS heavy-hitter that's still looking for the club's first ever tournament crown.

Mitch Hildebrandt, FC Cincinnati not ready for 'special' Open Cup run to end

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Before Mitch Hildebrandt joined FC Cincinnati, he wasn't aware of how much of a soccer hotbed the Ohio city was.

Each and ever time Hildebrandt puts on the blue and orange of the USL club, he's captivated by the support the team has generaged. And now, the nation has been captivated as well by the large crowds the club has produced for its U.

Didier Drogba

USL Week 20 Rewind - Drogba dazzles, several teams snatch late goals, and more

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Didier Drogba stole the show with a thunderous free kick for Phoenix Rising this past weekend. The Ivorian veteran continues to make headlines in the USL scoring some audacious goals, even if the results haven't been there for Pheonix.

In the rest of this weekend's matchups, six results were the product of goals scored after the 80th minute.

Must-See Goal: Didier Drogba

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OH MY GOODNESS ⚽@DidierDrogba

An absolute laser from the man from @PHXRisingFC #SCTop10 #LAvPHX pic.twitter.com/4J8GyD5P7l

- USL (@USL) August 6, 2017


The Rest

USL Week 25 Rewind: Road teams run rampant

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Road teams were the big winners this week in USL action.

Only Orange County SC claimed maximum points at home this weekend, with hosts going 1-5-5. With the playoffs looming, home points are invaluable for teams in the hunt for a post season birth, and this week, they failed to capture the necessary results.

USL announces expansion franchise in Birmingham

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USL officially announced Tuesday afternoon that it would add an expansion franchise in Birmingham, Alabama. The franchise would join the league in 2019 but will play in the PDL starting in 2018.

The owners of the Birmingham team include Jeff Logan, co-owner of the minor league baseball team Birmingham Barons, James Outland, founding and managing partner of New Capital Partners and Lee Styslinger, III, chairman and chief executive officer of Altec, Inc.

USL set to expand regular season in 2018

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Starting in 2018, the United Soccer League is set to expand its regular season play.

On Wednesday, the USL Board of Governors approved the decision to upsize the league's regular season games from 30 to 34 and to extend the season to 31 weeks. With the season expansion and the addition of three new clubs set to join next season, the USL is projected to exceed 500 games played within the regular season alone, a league record.

Fresno Football Club set to join USL in 2018

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A new club is coming to the ever-expanding USL.

On Wednesday, the USL announced that Fresno Football Club will join the league in 2018. The club will join Nashville SC and one more club to be announced as expansion clubs in 2018. The team's ownership group is headed bylocal businessman Ray Beshoff.