With the MLS expansion becoming THE talk in Sacramento, it looks like USL is doing a little expanding itself. Sacramento Republic has a USL rival team in close vicinity, now that Fresno, CA was awarded a team. The deal to make Fresno Football Club a part of the USL has been officially finalized, and the team will participate in the upcoming 2018 season.
Fresno Fuego of the Premier Development League (PDL) has been receiving a lot of hype over the past several years. Despite being in what is basically a "Single A" league, the fan support and management of the team was impressive enough for USL to place a team in Central California.
Props to the city of Fresno for embracing their soccer team and ultimately creating something bigger out of it. Their city has been home of several English Premier League (EPL) supporters and their clubs clubs such as Stephen Mayu (Manchester United), Nick Duong (Central Valley Blues - Chelsea), Brandon Duenas (LFC Fresno - Liverpool), Steve Etcheverry (Fresno Irons - West Ham United), and Ed Stewart (American Outlaws, Fresno Gooners).
The passion in there seems to be for real and with the USL continuing to expand, you have to wonder if MLS will eventually look into promotion and relegation; although it would have to occur way down the road. MLS just recently rejected a $4 Billion media deal that would require them to implement pro/rel.
In the meantime, the close proximity of Sacramento Republic and Fresno Football Club should make for a fun rivalry. It’ll probably be a little less friendly than this:
USL is also adding Las Vegas, Nevada and Birmingham, Alabama to the league while discussing the idea of placing a team in Baltimore.