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The USL launches rebrand, will vie for division 2 status in 2016

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The artist formerly known as USL PRO is now known as the USL.

The United Soccer League announced today that it has dropped the USL PRO moniker and will compete instead as 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. USL has experienced tremendous growth over the past two seasons and has recreated itself as a national league, with the help of the affiliations and investments from Major League Soccer. Finally, the league announced today that they will challenge the NASL for official sanctioning as the Division 2 league in the United States, underneath MLS. All of this comes after an offseason that featured changes to the playoff structure, the addition of conferences, and the integration of 13 new clubs.

What this will mean for NASL is as of yet unknown. 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 meet the new ones. And, as compared to the NASL, they have a decent argument: they are now a national league with teams across the United States, whereas the NASL has no teams in the Pacific Time Zone and has had trouble getting some teams off the ground. Losing the status might not mean much officially to the NASL, but I would think it would hurt their efforts to recruit players from abroad.