Columbus Crew Capture 2017 Carolina Challenge Cup

The Carolina Challenge Cup returned to MUSC Health Stadium in 2017 after a hiatus in 2016. The USL’s Charleston Battery hosted MLS sides Columbus Crew SC, Atlanta United FC, and Seattle Sounders FC in the preseason round-robin tournament. Columbus won the tournament on the strength of two wins and a draw. Intrepid Scratching the Pitch…

Hot Take on Affiliation Between San Antonio FC and NYCFC

United Soccer League’s San Antonio FC issued a press release last Thursday to announce an affiliation between the USL franchise and New York City FC of the MLS. The official partnership is to begin in 2017, but the length of the agreement was not disclosed. Scratching the Pitch believes it is effectively finished before it…

Impact of Travel Ban on USL Players

Sometimes there are stories that are bigger than sports, but manage to encompass sports. On January 27, the President of the United States signed an executive order that prohibits citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, and Syria from entering the country. It did not take long for the internet to begin reporting how…

USL President Mum on Process, but Thrilled with D2 Outcome

In early January, the United States Soccer Federation announced the USL and NASL had been granted provisional Division II status for 2017. The decision was rendered after weeks of speculation about the process and its eventual outcome, which ultimately proved to be a step up for the USL. Scratching the Pitch was able to track…

Bahner Comes Home to FC Cincinnati

As a young athlete, you always look up to the professional players and the teams, and when you are able to go and watch in person, you always dream and wish that could be you someday. When Matt Bahner laces up his boots for FC Cincinnati in 2017, thousands of young fans from his hometown…

USL Gets Facelift in Orange County

Since being eliminated from the USL playoffs in October, the franchise in Orange County embarked on a new season, a season of change. First came the announcement that the club had been purchased by Southern California businessman James Keston, who also serves as President. Then came the affiliation with MLS’s LAFC. Next was the appointment of…

2017 MLS SuperDraft Should Provide Talent for USL

MLS conducted the first two rounds of its 2017 SuperDraft in Los Angeles on Friday, and the final two rounds will take place via teleconference on Tuesday. This means soccer fans across North America are getting their first introductions to players that will be filling out USL rosters next season. Yes, USL rosters. If 2017 resembles 2016,…

USL Announces 2017 Conference Alignment

A sign that the dust is beginning to settle after USSF elected to provisionally sanction the USL as a D2 professional league in 2017 is the official announcement of the USL conference alignment for the upcoming season. The league will comprise 30 teams, split equally between Eastern and Western Conferences. The Mississippi River will essentially serve as…

Total Attendance Only Part of Top USL Story

During the final days of 2016, the USL published a series of posts on its site to revisit the top stories of the year from around the league. With many narratives worthy of the spotlight, the USL selected the substantial increase in overall attendance as its top story of the year. Nearly 1.5 million fans paid…

DC United Should Consider All Options for Potential USL Team

The MLS’s DC United have had a formal affiliation with the Richmond Kickers since 2013, allowing some of its players to gain professional playing experience in the USL. The current agreement is slated to run through next season, and it seems the official partnership might not extend beyond that. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff reported…