USL Championship 2023 lineup unveiled

It looks like the break between United Soccer League (USL) and Major League Soccer (MLS) is complete, as USL Championship 2023 will feature 24 teams in two 12-team divisions.

Gone from the USL Championship 2022 lineup: MLS-owned Atlanta United 2, New York Red Bulls II and LA Galaxy II, though none have yet appeared in the MLS NeXT Pro lineup for 2023. One last MLS-owned team remains: Loudoun United, owned by D.C. United and playing out of Segra Field. That team is reportedly being sold to tech entrepreneur Greg Baroni, head of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. He’s also become a sports entrepreneur via his Attain Sports and Entertainment after buying the MiLB Bowie BaySox and summer-collegiate Frederick Keys while adding a new Atlantic League team also playing in Frederick. Baroni is reportedly adding to his sports holdings with the impending purchase of a Double-A Eastern League team, per chatter at December’s Baseball Winter Meetings, and reportedly on the lookout for other MiLB investments on the East Coast.

A 34-game regular season will be played from March 11 to Oct. 14, 2023. The home openers and full schedule for the 2023 USL Championship season will be announced in January 2023.

In a balanced schedule format, every team will play each of its conference foes twice–once at home, once away. The remaining 12 games of the season will be played against teams from the opposing conference, with six games at home and six away. This will result in every team in the league squaring off for the first time since the USL Championship instituted a two-conference format in 2015.

“The successful expansion of interconference play during the 2022 campaign showed the appetite both our clubs and their supporters have for a full, national schedule,” said USL President Jake Edwards via press release. “We are extremely happy to expand on that success, while also keeping the home-and-home series that make the great rivalries across the league.”

Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Detroit City FC
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Loudoun United FC
Louisville City FC
Memphis 901 FC
The Miami FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
FC Tulsa

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Monterey Bay F.C.
New Mexico United
Oakland Roots SC
Orange County SC
Phoenix Rising FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
Sacramento Republic FC
San Antonio FC
San Diego Loyal SC

Meanwhile, USL League 2023 is set for 12 teams, with FC Tucson moving down to USL League Two for now and two more teams–One Knoxville SC and Lexington SC–added for the coming season.

Photo of Segra Field courtesy Visit Loudoun.

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