Orlando City B has announced that it is forgoing the 2018 USL season, leaving the circuit with a total of 33 teams for the coming year.
The USL has already announced its conference alignment for the 2018 season, featuring a total of 33 teams split between two conferences. That arrangement–which includes a 16-team Eastern Conference, and a 17-club Western Conference–does not account for Orlando City B, which has competed in the USL since 2016.
While the club had previously indicated that it was interested in returning for 2018, it has announced that it will not participate in the coming season. According to its official announcement, the club plans to “continue its discussions with USL to evaluate its options for future participation in the league.”
Orlando City B is not the only USL club from 2017 that is not returning for the 2018 campaign. The Rochester Rhinos previously announced that they will take a one-year hiatus from USL play amidst financial issues, while Whitecaps FC 2 is not returning.
This comes as the USL prepares for several expansion clubs to begin play. That includes a pair of former NASL teams in North Carolina FC and Indy Eleven, along with Las Vegas Lights FC, Fresno FC, ATL UTD 2, and Nashville SC.