The D.C. United could launch a team in the USL by 2018, according to a report in The Washington Post.
The United are planning for the future, which is expected to include a long-awaited new stadium in Buzzard Point. A move that could expand the team’s organizational base is to add a franchise-owned USL squad, following the path taken by some other MLS teams.
Currently the United has a a partnership the Richmond Kickers, a deal that runs through the 2017 season. In joining the USL, however, the United would own the franchise and operate it in the D.C. area. The club has apparently been scouting locations in the area, including facilities in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. More from The Washington Post:
A United spokeswoman said the club did not have any comment at this time.
The USL issued a statement, saying, “We have seen increased interest in the USL given the league’s steady growth, stable business model and level of high-quality play. While we do not comment on specific applications, continued expansion is part of our long-term [vision].”
United has begun a preliminary search for a playing venue, with Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds and the University of Maryland’s Ludwig Field under consideration.
The team has also spoken with officials at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., about building a 5,000-seat stadium as the centerpiece of a permanent training facility for United’s senior team, USL squad and youth academy. Mason’s soccer teams would use the stadium and practice fields, as well.
The Post also reports that the United may also be looking to launch a training complex that could host the organization’s teams.