USL Championship Unveils 2019 Conference Alignment
26 Feb, 2019
The USL Championship today announced its conference alignment for the league’s 2019 regular season. The league will feature 36 teams across two conferences in the upcoming season, with the clubs set to embark on a 34-game regular-season schedule that will be conducted over 33 weeks and open on the weekend of March 8-10, 2019.
Four of the league’s expansion arrivals will join the Eastern Conference, with Birmingham Legion FC, Hartford Athletic, Loudoun United FC and Memphis 901 FC joining the conference led by defending USL Cup champion Louisville City FC.
The Eastern Conference also features two new arrivals in Saint Louis FC and the Swope Park Rangers, who make the move after both reaching the USL Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference a season ago.
The remaining three expansion clubs – Austin Bold FC, El Paso Locomotive FC and New Mexico United – join the Western Conference for their inaugural seasons. The addition of Austin and El Paso to the conference gives the USL Championship four clubs in Texas for the first time, while New Mexico and El Paso are set to engage in a strong regional rivalry with the clubs separated by just over 250 miles.
2019 USL Championship Conference Alignment
Eastern Conference Western Conference
ATL UTD 2 Austin Bold FC
Bethlehem Steel FC Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Birmingham Legion FC El Paso Locomotive FC
Charleston Battery Fresno FC
Charlotte Independence LA Galaxy II
Hartford Athletic Las Vegas Lights FC
Indy Eleven New Mexico United
Loudoun United FC OKC Energy FC
Louisville City FC Orange County SC
Memphis 901 FC Phoenix Rising FC
Nashville SC Portland Timbers 2
New York Red Bulls II Real Monarchs SLC
North Carolina FC Reno 1868 FC
Ottawa Fury FC Rio Grande Valley FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Sacramento Republic FC
Saint Louis FC San Antonio FC
Swope Park Rangers Seattle Sounders FC 2
Tampa Bay Rowdies Tulsa Roughnecks FC
Home openers for the 2019 USL Championship season and the full 2019 regular season schedule will be announced at a future date.
About the USL Championship: The USL Championship is one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world, reaching a population of more than 84 million and fueling the growth of the game across North America. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, the USL provides unparalleled club support with a growing team of more than 50 professionals across 17 departments, ranging from operations to marketing, communications and sponsorship.
The USL Championship has a national media partnership with ESPN, wherein all league matches are broadcast on ESPN+, ESPN3 and across linear channels. The league also operates USL Productions, which includes a state-of-the-art facility that produced and distributed more than 500 league matches and more than 1,000 hours of original content to national partners, local affiliates and international markets throughout the 2018 season.