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The USL Team Draft

In which a group of writers embark on a project that hopefully won’t result in us being embarrassed.

orange ball podium Steve Aibel/ LittleOrcaSports.com

March 12th, 2017 – Five USL writers sit down to record a draft of all thirty USL teams to try and come up with the best combination of six teams. One of the greatest hours in entertainment and podcast history occurs. There are many great jokes. My cat makes some vocal objections to picks. There is much rejoicing.

March 13th, 2017 – I realize my recording is corrupted. This is just a tribute.

I sat down with four other better known well known writers: Brendan Doherty of The Bent Musket, Roger Graham of Tornado Alley SPC, Evan Villella of The Brotherly Game and Ryan Allen of Indomitable City Soccer for a USL Team Draft. We drafted all 30 teams, six teams to each writer in a snake draft format. The order of a snake draft goes from first to fifth, then back from fifth to first. This pattern continues for all six rounds.

Scoring will be broken down as follows:

USL Championship Winner – 20 Points

USL Championship Runner Up – 10 Points

Conference Runner Up – 5 Points

Team Eliminated in Conference Quarter Finals – 2 Points

Team Eliminated in First Round – 1 Points

Bonuses:

Highest Scoring/Best Defensive Team – 3 points

Second Highest Scoring/Best Defensive Team – 2 Points

Third Highest Scoring/Best Defensive Team – 1 Point

Examples of this scoring from the 2016 season:

New York Red Bulls II would have been worth 26 Points (USL Champ + Best Defense + Best Offense).

Rio Grande Valley Toros would have been worth 3 Points (Eliminated in First Round + 2nd Best Defense).

The following is the result of the draft, with each team’s 2016 record, playoff and scoring/defensive ranking included.

First Round:

Brendan picks Tampa Bay Rowdies

  • 2016 Record: 9-11-12 (9th in NASL)
  • Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
  • Scoring Ranking: 4th of 12 in goals scored
  • Defensife Ranking: 9th of 12 in goals allowed

Evan V picks FC Cincinnati

  • 2016 Record: 16-6-8 (3rd in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated in first round by Charleston (1-2)
  • Scoring Ranking: 10th of 29 in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-5th of 29 in goals allowed

Roger picks Sacramento Republic

  • 2016 Record: 14-6-10 (1st in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated in first round by Orange County (0-0, 4-5 PKs)
  • Scoring Ranking: 8th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-5th in goals allowed

Ryan picks Louisville City

  • 2016 Record: 17-4-9 (2nd in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated in Eastern Conference Finals to New York (1-1, 3-4 PKs)
  • Scoring Ranking: T-2nd in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-5th in goals allowed

Evan E picks Rochester Rhinos

  • 2016 Record: 13-5-12 (4th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated in Eastern Conference Semi-Finals by New York (3-3, 4-5 PKs)
  • Scoring Ranking: T-13th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 3rd in goals allowed

Second Round

Evan E picks Charleston Battery

  • 2016 Record: 13-8-9 (6th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated in Eastern Conference Semi-Finals by Louisville City (0-1)
  • Scoring Ranking: T-13th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 11th in goals allowed

Ryan picks LA Galaxy II

  • 2016 Record: 12-7-11 (5th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by Swope Park Rangers in First Round (0-3)
  • Scoring Ranking: T-2nd in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-16th in goals allowed

Roger picks New York Red Bulls II

  • 2016 Record: 21-2-6 (1st in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Won USL Championship
  • Scoring Ranking: 1st in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 1st in goals allowed

Evan V picks Ottawa Fury

  • 2016 Record: 7-15-10 (10th in NASL)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: 8th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-7th in goals allowed

Brendan picks Phoenix Rising

  • 2016 Record: 9-14-7 (13th in USL West – As Arizona United)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: 11th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 21st in goals allowed

Third Round

Brendan picks Saint Louis FC

  • 2016 Record: 8-12-10 (14th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: 9th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-19th in goals allowed

Evan V picks Swope Park Rangers

  • 2016 Record: 14-10-6 (4th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by New York in USL Championship (1-5)
  • Scoring Ranking: 6th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-12th in goals allowed

Roger picks Colorado Springs Switchbacks

  • 2016 Record: 14-9-7 (3rd in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by Vancouver Whitecaps 2 in first round (1-2)
  • Scoring Ranking: T-16th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-5th in goals allowed

Ryan picks Reno 1868

  • Did not exist in 2016

Evan E picks Oklahoma City Energy

  • 2016 Record: 10-7-13 (7th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by Vancouver Whitecaps 2 in Western Semifinals (2-3)
  • Scoring Ranking: T-25th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 10th in goals allowed

Fourth Round

Evan E picks Rio Grande Valley Toros

  • 2016 Record: 14-7-9 (2nd in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by Oklahoma City Energy in first round (2-3)
  • Scoring Ranking: 5th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 2nd in goals allowed

Ryan picks Charlotte Independence

  • 2016 Record: 14-8-8 (5th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by Rochester Rhinos in first round (1-3)
  • Scoring Ranking: 4th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 9th in goals allowed

Roger picks Richmond Kickers

  • 2016 Record: 12-9-9 (7th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by Louisville City in first round (0-2 a.e.t.)
  • Scoring Ranking: 24th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 4th in goals allowed

Evan V picks San Antonio FC

  • 2016 Record: 10-12-8 (10th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: T-19th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 12th in goals allowed

Brendan picks Real Monarchs

  • 2016 Record: 10-14-6 (11th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: 27th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-14th in goals allowed

Fifth Round

Brendan picks Toronto FC II

  • 2016 Record: 7-18-5 (12th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: T-19th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 28th in goals allowed

Evan V picks Orange County SC

  • 2016 Record: 12-14-4 (8th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by Swope Park Rangers in Western Semifinals (1-2 aet)
  • Scoring Ranking: 12th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-14th in goals allowed

Roger picks Vancouver Whitecaps 2

  • 2016 Record: 12-9-9 (6th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by Swope Park Rangers in Western Finals (0-3)
  • Scoring Ranking: 7th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-19th in goals allowed

Ryan picks Orlando City B

  • 2016 Record: 9-13-8 (8th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Eliminated by New York in first round (0-4)
  • Scoring Ranking: T-21st in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 23rd in goals allowed

Evan E picks Portland Timbers 2

  • 2016 Record: 12-14-4 (9th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: T-13th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-16th in goals allowed

Final Round

Evan E picks Pittsburgh Riverhounds

  • 2016 Record: 6-17-7 (13th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: 28th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-24th in goals allowed

Ryan picks Seattle Sounders 2

  • 2016 Record: 9-13-8 (12th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: T-21st in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: T-24th in goals allowed

Roger picks Bethlehem Steel

  • 2016 Record: 6-14-10 (11th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: T-25th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 18th in goals allowed

Evan V picks Tulsa Roughnecks

  • 2016 Record: 5-21-4 (15th in USL West)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: 29th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 29th in goals allowed

Brendan “picks” Harrisburg City Islanders

  • 2016 Record: 8-15-7 (10th in USL East)
  • Playoffs: Did not qualify for playoffs
  • Scoring Ranking: T-16th in goals scored
  • Defensive Ranking: 26th in goals allowed

Final Teams:

Who will take home the bragging rights? Let us know in the comments or through Twitter with a #TeamBrendan, #TeamEvan, #TeamRoger, #TeamRyan or #TeamPony tag!