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USL season set to expand to 30 games for 2016

The growing league will grow its season, too.

Courtesy of USL Communications

USL announced on on Thursday a plan to expand the regular season next year to 30 games. The current campaign features 28 games in the regular season, and the league has expanded the season from 24 games back in the debut year of 2011.

The presumed reason for the expanded season is a larger league next year. One team, Rio Grande Valley FC, has already been officially announced to begin play in 2016, and several more have been tentatively announced by ownership groups and/or rumored, including MLS2 teams for Orlando City SC and the Philadelphia Union, and teams in Cincinnati and Reno. It's quite possible other teams could also be added to the league, currently at 24 teams this season. There's also the possibility some existing teams could move or switch owners, though nothing but a few whispers behind the scenes indicate the chances of that at this point.

USL currently are the third division in the U.S. men's professional soccer pyramid, though the league has publicly said they intend to apply for second division status from U.S. Soccer in the future. At present, MLS has 20 teams playing in the league, and teams play an unbalanced 34-game regular season. The 11-team NASL plays a balanced 20-game regular season, divided into two short seasons of 10 games each 30-game regular season, divided into two short seasons of 10 and 20 games apiece (thanks to Kevin SA for the correction).

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