With the official word yesterday that Antigua Barracuda FC has gone to the great beyond, it appears as though USL Pro will again field 13 teams in 2014. They won’t be the same 13 that played in 2013, though. New clubs in Oklahoma City and Sacramento replace the departed Barracuda and (apparently) VSI Tampa Bay (whose demise has not been officially announced yet). With Phoenix saved from oblivion (for now), the league will apparently line up like this:
Dayton Dutch Lions
Harrisburg City Islanders
Los Angeles Blues
Oklahoma City Energy
Phoenix FC Wolves
Sacramento Republic FC
There was talk of an FC Dallas reserve team in the league in 2014, but FCD opted not to pull the trigger on it. The Galaxy’s rumored reserve team is the last remaining piece (as is whether they would replace or merely eventually drive the LA Blues into the ground).
Orlando is on the way out in 2015, but Colorado Springs and Tulsa will join then, along with (potentially) several MLS reserve sides.
Last year the USL Pro schedule came out on January 24, so we shouldn’t be too long from knowing exactly which teams will make up the third division in 2014. The last time we had more than 13 third-division clubs was 2002, when 18 teams played in what was then known as the D3 Pro League.