TAMPA, Fla. - A divisional realignment and new pilot divisions are coming to USL Academy League this year for the 2022 season.
For the coming season, the Northeast Division, as it stood last year, has been split into two. The Metro and Northeast Divisions will contain the teams in the former northeast region.
The Metro Division will include: Cedar Stars Academy, FA Euro New York, FC Copa Academy, Hudson Valley Hammers, Ironbound SC, Long Island Roughriders, Manhattan SC, Morris Elite SC, Queensboro FC II and Westchester Flames.
The Northeast Division will include: AC Connecticut, Black Rock FC, Blackwatch Rush, Pathfinder FC and Western Mass Pioneers.
“This strategic realignment gives us the chance to lower travel cost and time for all of our clubs in the northeast, while maintaining an extremely competitive environment to play their matches in,” USL Technical Director Liam O’Connell said. “Our hope is to continue this trend each year as our footprint expands, striking a balance between providing unique & meaningful competition while limiting the travel demand to bring those top talents together in League play.”
Three new divisions in the western United States will also be implemented for the first time in Academy League for 2022.
The Mountain Division, spanning the central and southern Rocky Mountain region, will contain CISA, Flatirons Rush, Park City Red Wolves, Pride SC and Real Colorado.
The Pacific Coast division, which occupies California, will be occupied by Ventura County Fusion, Nova Soccer Academy, 1974 Newark FC, San Francisco Glens, and Davis Legacy.
A number of Southwest Division members will also play matches within the pilot divisions above. El Paso Locomotive and New Mexico United will play matches in the Mountain Division. Orange County SC, San Diego Loyal and Phoenix Rising will play matches in the Pacific Division. The maps below depict how some of these clubs fit within the Mountain and Pacific Division.
Finally, the Northwest Division will house the Academy teams in Washington and Oregon: Capital FC Timbers, Lane United, OVF Alliance and Bellevue Rush.
“We’re especially excited to see significant expansion of our footprint across the western part of the country,” O’Connell added. “These new pilot divisions allow us to include countless new clubs in the platform and help them start the process of building new player development pathways feeding directly into their Senior Teams.”
The divisional realignment will go into effect immediately.