After yesterday's announcement that FC Dallas has affiliated themselves with Arizona United SC, the USL has decided to go through a bit of a rebrand to kick off a new year. The United Soccer League has dropped the USL PRO name, simplifying it down to just the USL. In addition, the league announced new branding as well as customized versions of its new logo in each of the team's colors.
The USL has expanded in a big way for the 2015 season by added 13 new clubs, including seven MLS owned teams.
The league also announced today that they will challenge the NASL for official sanctioning as the Division 2 league in the United States, underneath MLS. No word on what this all means for the current second division, the NASL. US Soccer forced the NASL and the USL to compete in one league in 2010 (the infamous USSF D2 League), and then chose NASL as the official second division the next season. USL PRO could not meet the Division 2 requirements at the time, but they now believe that they can.
The big thing going for the USL right now is their geographical footprint. Currently the NASL does not have a team in the Pacific Time Zone, a requirement that they have to meet sooner rather than later according to the professional league standards that were set in place.
The USL also plans to have all of their clubs in soccer-specific venues by the year 2020, a goal that hadn't been reported until today's news.