This industry has a lack of transparency so I'm more than happy to say I will provide lots of that throughout this post with screenshots. There are LOTS of imgur links to back what I say so it's not just words on a post expecting you to just believe what I'm typing.
This post I suppose is "Part 2" my post back in April, "After 2 years of Daytrading. 7 months full time. Here's my advice"
. I'm doing this to update everyone who came/comes across this in the future. Yes, it is possible. No, it won't be easy. You will pay homage to the rite of passage into this career. I'll also provide some examples of styles of trading so for the newer aspiring traders, there will be some things I rarely see discussed on forums. So here's to 1 year of Full Time Day Trading
- You'll become desensitized to trading. Stubborn to other strategies (There are biggebaddemore lucrative strategies. Don't chase them. Why fix what's not broken? I know what works for me and I'm content with it. No strategy is better than another. It's a personal choice. ). Losing individual trades won't faze you, they're inevitable. Profiting certainly feels better. After a while, you won't be as enthralled to trade every morning, it'll become just another part of your day). Trading is just managing your money through a statistic and the medium to execute it is trading on your platform. Think: "If. Then. Because".
Your trading plan should be that black and white. Ask "Why" for everything you do and use. If you can't answer it with documented results, drop it.
I get a bunch of messages all the time from people asking -
. Out of those who follow
me and chat me seeking further tips
through my previous posts. I'll be answering the FAQ's and addressing things I see frequently in this sub as far as trading axioms Disclaimer
: I won't sugarcoat anything. I'll share my experiences and add pieces of advice I'd give to those who are currently experiencing the same thing becoming a full time day trader and what day to day life is like, the occasional distress, (DRAWDOWNS
). Some of you follow my Twitter for the past few months where I post my daily watchlists with a snippet that reveals my DayTradingBuyingPower. I do this not to brag but to demonstrate that the account does yield growth, I pay myself, and there are days where the balance does not move because there was no edge. I also do this since nobody else shows their account performance. (Yes. You, Mr. YouTube gurus and wannabe gurus).
We do this for income, the numbers on our accounts are real. Treat it as such. Get your initial capital out of your account THEN try to "Scale your account
" with your profits AKA The Market's Money.
I'll go over:
•FAQ's that I get in my inbox (I'm still welcome to further questions if I don't answer here)
•Decision Fatigue (You will experience this)
•The previous year (2019-2020) of ups and downs
•How to use my watchlists that I post on Twitter in the morning to your advantage
•The pivotal moment that changed my trading career (NFLX 10-17-19)
•The road to becoming a full time trader. (It won't be fun unless you're handed the money)
•You'll have a better grasp of my strategy (Between ProTip 4 and 5. ProTip 8.)
There are 10 "ProTips" throughout the post that I wish I could tell myself years back
and I'll periodically throw them in here as the post goes on. I make posts long in order to segregate those serious about this business and those who will just become another statistic in the failure rate of this business.
At the end of this post, I'll go over the frequent questions I receive such as
: (Answers to FAQ at bottom of post.)
- "How do you prepare for a trading day?"
- "What would you go back to tell yourself?"
- "Books?" (The most abused question, but I get it. I could start a public library with just trading books I bought over the years)
- "What is your background?"
- "What is a normal day for you?"
- "How did you discover your strategy?"
- "What did you do/How did you get started?"
- "What is your % return?" (Not a fun question since a trading account is not an index or investment account. Intraday traders do not measure performance in %. Most are measured in "R".)
- "Is enough to start trading?"
- "Why do you need so many monitors"? (This one is rarely asked but I do see it discussed on platforms and people trading on mobile phones love giving flack to anybody who trades on multiple monitors. Hint: Everyone's different. Whatever works for the individual. There are no rules in trading. The only rule is that it works.)
My story: Background:
I heard about daytrading during the 2008
crash while in high school. We all want to make more while working less. I entertained day trading from time to time but always realized I never had enough money. Horrible mindset because I could have still researched WHILE saving money to put into my trading business. 2015 - I opened my first trading account with Scottrade
while in the Marines. Apparently if you have a net worth of over $1,000,000 you can get out early (Biggest rumor ever).
I frivolously bought crap penny stocks. In short - I was a hair away from gambling. What made it NOT gambling was the fact that at least I owned something tangible (Securities of a company) and anything can happen. Buy low sell high was my strategy. Didn't work obviously. No idea what I was doing. I'd buy and hold hoping to wake up to the stock price being way higher and it never happened.
: If you hold a trade overnight... It is not daytrading. Stop turning into an investor because you can't admit a minor defeat.
I started taking this business seriously while working in the oilfield as a Logistics Planner (If you're wondering what company since I am asked this from time to time, Google: "World's largest oilfield services company").
No kids, girlfriend/wife or financial obligations. I worked 10AM - 7PM CST and would trade the open from home for roughly 1 hour. Later I was offered to be a Data Analyst... Only downside was... I couldn't trade since I had to be at work now at 8AM CST during the market open. In the moment of signing the offer letter, I was bummed thinking, "No more trading,"
That wasn't the case though. You can still build your trading business with a 9-5 and while never making one trade. The data is there.
•ProTip #2 : We all see the same data. It's there forever. Many strategies show their edge both live and in hindsight the same. (Especially if you trade patterns). You CAN build your business as a trader without even taking a trade. You CAN build your strategy while working a 9-5. Just because you're not trading, does not mean you can't build your business through research. You won't know how you'll react to the losses but at least you can diagnose the raw data with a large enough sample size for assurance and confidence.
If you have a 9-5 and want to go fulltime into this business. Stay for a bit, save, live so far beneath your means that it is almost
miserable, (depending on your expenses, area you live, family etc) and get a few hundred sample sizes of your strategy! And for your PTO/days off... trade the open. I sacrificed my vacation days to trade.
years in corporate America, eating cheap food, never going out, saving relentlessly, I made the decision to just do it and resigned. I went straight into the ring of fire known as trading. That was on: September 23rd, 2019 "" (Sound familiar?
When you hear these types of comments.. your response should be
: "Nobody put the time I put into this. The 90%+ who fail, don't have it all written out, computerized backtests, manual backtests, statistics, SOP manuals, JUST like the job I have which is a business, I'm just another cog in their wheel. I'll just be wearing all the hats in my trading business. Instead of Oil&Gas, it's just for trading"
. One thing I see here a lot is people saying to trade X amount of months/years or make X.
•ProTip #3 - Think in man hours, not calendar. Example: Trader A
puts in 1 hour of study/work/research everyday for 1 year. (365
Hours) Trader B
puts in 12 hours of work every day
for 4 months. (~1,450
Hours) Trader A
lives in a major city while Trader B
lives in the middle of nowhere. (Think cost of living)
2 totally different living expenses and 2 different calibers of dedication. I'd put my money on Trader B
because he put in more man hours. (~1,000 more hours
on the clock to be more exact).
- Have a cushion in your account AND your personal bank account. Having a strategy is great but you won't know entirely if you can fulfill and execute your plan until you experience the ups and downs both short and long term. A strategy is constant over long periods of time... there will be days, weeks, and perhaps a month here and there where you aren't making much money. We hear all the time, "Trade like a casino". Casinos don't make money day after day but the odds are in there favor over the long haul.
Month 1 of full time trading was great:
Immediately after going full time, the first month (September 2019 to October 2019
), I did super well. Business as usual. No stress. Everything going as planned. No turbulence. At least not like I had ever experienced...
The 2 prerequisites I had before resigning was:
- Show consistency in returns. Consistent Sharpe Ratio.
- Make a 4 figure trade (I achieved this while short 100 shares on ROKU September 20th, 2019 and even made a victory post if you scroll down my profile's posts.)
First life-changing trading lesson learned as a full time trader:
That money printing spree ended on NFLX October 17th, 2019
. Less than 1 month of being a full time trader. Deviating and going against my plan I actually made $500 in a matter of 4 minutes
. If you follow my watchlists on Twitter, I always trade with the direction of the gap
. If I notate, "Long Watches" that means I will only trade it IF (and only IF) I see a long biased pattern. Likewise I will only be looking to short my "Short Watches". Plenty of times I'll call out a ticker and it immediately goes the other way. No harm no foul because there was no long biased pattern to confirm my thesis.
On 10-17-2019, I went against my plan and it worked..
NFLX gapped up to resistance and I went short when it tanked off of a short pattern.(This is known as fading)
. The market gave me a free lunch and then some. So now I'm walking on air in my mind: "I'm an absolute unit" "I'll do it again and clear another $500 to make it a 4 figure day before 9:30AM Central" "Should have quit my job way earlier being this good."
Within 30 minutes of the open. I gave all $500 back. Yes I wanted to trade it back. Never have I had the desire to smash anything but I do understand those who do! Yes I stood there and felt like each passing second was wasted opportunity. The next 24 hours were long!
ProTip #5: It's circumstances like that that help you in the long run. FunFact: I never once deviated from my plan since. Not ever again.
"I could have paid for my groceries and electric for the month after 4 minutes of trading if I just took the free pass the market gave me" I felt dumb but in hindsight, I'm glad at what happened. It was this exact instance that married me to my strategy/business plan. The next day and the 7
trading days following. I didn't make 1 profiting trade. My longest ever drawdown - 11 straight trades.
While researching I found out this was Decision Fatigue
(I'll go over this shortly below)
Put yourself in that situation...
You have bills and your income is strictly trading. I don't care how much a robot you think you are or how strongly you believe in probabilities, when you were in an office less than a month ago making almost 6 figures sitting in an air conditioned office knowing direct deposit is on its way every other Friday no matter how well or poorly you performed at work.. Now you're in the hot seat. Its a bottomless feeling. Now all of your friends and families words are ringing in your head.
But just like a boxing match.. you gotta take a hit to get a hit. Win some, lose some, shake hands and get back to normal life. Water under the bridge.
•No guaranteed direct deposit every 2 weeks.
•No more medical/dental insurance.
•401K retirement is no longer being matched.
11 trades is nothing. You only require ~5.5 trades at 2:1RRR to make it back OR 3.5 trades at 3:1RRR. It's nothing especially in your research because you can easily just scroll a little more and see, "Oh that's just a drawdown. No big deal".
How will you react in real time? Will you buckle or choke? But the thing is, I was skipping trades out of fear and JUST so happened to be picking all of the unsuccessful ones. (Decision Fatigue)
Think about those 2 weeks of being in a drawdown. Half of the month. You're not just stagnant, your account is bleeding slowly but surely. Next time you're looking at your spreadsheet/backtest/predictive model/research.. try to put yourself in those days of drawdown. It's not just 11 boxes of red with "-1R" or "Loss" in them
. The screenshot above on Imgur is just a recent example.
Think about your daily routine, going to the gym, hanging with friends, grocery shopping, cooking, going to bed, waking up, doing a routine, then losing again.. and again.. and again. Try to think of life during those 300+ hours (Weekends too) of, "I haven't made money. I've lost money. And I still have bills. After paying them, I'll be closer to my set Risk of Ruin".
Here's a lesson you won't learn before going fulltime but I'll do my best to emphasize it here:
Pick a strategy. And stick with it. It can literally be anything. Don't spread yourself thin watching 20+ tickers and be a jack of all patterns/tickers. Be a master of 1 pattern and master of 1 circumstance.
There's this real thing called "Decision Fatigue"
which explains exactly why what happened.. happened. The article explains that the 2 outcomes of this mental strain known as "Decision Fatigue"
- Risky Decision-Making
- Decision Avoidance
Sound familiar? Does it kind of make sense now? As a new trader you have YouTube, Facebook, StockTwits, Twitter, "gurus", books recommended on Amazon, all throwing their ideas/strategies around, the market has opportunities littered all over.. Decision Fatigue is inevitable for the unprepared. Decision Fatigue happens in every profession. If you mess up at your 9-5, its just a blunder, your paycheck will remain the same. Just a slap on the wrist and move on. With trading, you make a mistake.. it's less food on your table, lights don't stay on, and/or water isn't running. That pressure adds up. No wonder so many fail...
The signs of Decision Fatigue:
When you find what clicks with you AND its either statistically or performance proven, have the courage to risk a healthy sum of your capital into it. There are strategies/patterns/styles of trading littered all over the internet:
Very broad example:
"IF circumstance happens THEN "Execution"
. Stoploss is XYZ
. Target is XYZ. BECAUSE over a series of Y trades, I will make $X,XXX.xx".
ProTip #6 : Strategies are all over the internet. It's your account/money, backtest it. People share their strategies here all the time and although I don't agree with them because I know what works for me, it's something to chew off of for you newer traders. YouTube is a harbor with people who give just enough info to figure their style out. You will lose trades. Sit for some screen-time and pay homage to the edge that you discover. All in due time.
Insert key metrics and find correlations. This is how you create checks and balances to create/formulate a black and white trading plan. When I first started doing this, my spreadsheet(s) had so many columns it was annoying and would kill my desire to continue working. You'll find things that are imperative and some that are unimportant. For a lack of more colorful terms: "Throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks" Trim the fat. Rinse and repeat.
Here's some things I used to remind myself of and perhaps it'll ring some bells for you:
•Surrender your capital to your edge
. If you truly accept the risk and trust your proven
edge, losses don't feel like anything nor do profits. Although we're not here to put on losing trades and yes it does feel nice to profit. I still from time to time will excited when I hit target after a series of multiple profiting trades depending on my mood.
•If you're nervous
or your heart starts beating quicker when you hear the sound effect of a trade getting entered/filled. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you're truly accepting the risk.
•Things you can't take to the bank:
- Number of trades.
- "This one great trade that I hit target in less than 30 seconds and I got filled better than expected"
All of these are integral metrics. But you're trading to make money. It's up or down, green or red, profit or loss, TRUE or FALSE
. So with that said, find what works flawlessly and is easy to follow. Checks and Balances. Then allocate a good sum of risk into it. I read it here all the time, "Don't risk too much" and that's great and true for new traders. But don't sell yourself short. Push yourself over the edge and admit that you know your stuff. Think of Trader A
and Trader B
. If you've put the time in.. don't sell yourself short. You've built enough courage to learn a business so many fail at. This business has such a negative connotation. But remember that not everybody can handle meritocracies and that's exactly what the market is. Don't try to be the best, just work harder than everyone else and the output of your input will be relative.
ProTip #7: YouTube trading ads from gurus... they're subconsciously making you think you're a novice trader. It's in their marketing. They study marketing psychology. The EASIEST things to sell:
People that are desperate for those things are the most vulnerable and these
marketers are fantastic at portraying all 3 of those things at once.
(Broken record alert
) : Write a business plan. Your strategy shouldn't take longer than 4 sentences to explain to another trader. When you have a plan that's proven through a statistic and WAIT for it to happen, you feel 100X better taking the trade. You don't even care too much when it results in a loss. Because that was your plan, you accept it much better, and you know it was just an expense for a winning trade.
Want my strategy? "I scan for stocks with a market cap of over 250M, 10k shares premarket, gapping to support or resistance, priced over $10, and I look for a pattern biased to the direction of the overnight gap.
It isn't rocket science. Check my Twitter, look at the dates I posted, and you'll notice the gist. Yes this is an edge but not the entire edge. How fast can you sift through 15 time frames? How long does it take you to fill out your order ticket? Your Fibonacci time extensions with 5 EMA's and Bollinger Bands aren't helping you. They're lagging. If they work for you, great. In my experience, they hindered my visibility.
Pro Tip #9
: Yes statistics are highly applicable to trading. Patterns do work. All patterns do is tell you WHEN to enteexit, and how many shares. Humans will never think differently of money. Be the frontrunner of the market's emotions. Nobody remembers the indecisive leader. Risk taking is a commonality amongst leaders. Trading requires courage and it's O.K. to show a bit of confidence as long as you also have the humility to admit when you're in a bad trade. (Notice how I didn't put, "wrong". You're only "wrong" when you deviate from a proven strategy.)
ProTip #10: Risk management is 24/7. I've never heard anyone mention this but think about it a little bit. Having financial obligations can become stressful regardless of how you earn your income but its far more stressful while running a business. Not just any business, but a business where you can go to work on your A-game, do every single last thing right, trade without emotion etc... and still walk away with less money than what you came to work with. Meanwhile somebody who JUST started trading made a 4 figure profit not knowing what the heck the difference between ETB, HTB, or NTB. Think of it like this, a JV high school baseball player can hit a homerun off of an MLB pitcher once.. but how will he fare at the end of the season? Traders don't predict stock prices, traders predict the outcome over hundreds of trades. People chat me asking what TO do rather than what NOT to do. You don't learn labor intensive jobs or how to fly a plane by what to do.. you learn what NOT to do to stay alive.
That's all I have. Once you have a trading plan underway and you're executing it, you don't have much time when your hobbies are cheap but I still do respond to chats/messages. I do get asked from a previous post when I'll build a website and to answer that: I'm learning how to build a site on rainy days. Can't put a definitive date on it. I will say that its coming, if you don't give up on this business in the next year or so, you'll see it. What I plan on putting on there:
- RiskReward Calculators
- Position size Calculators
- EV Calculator
- Dictionary with examples
I just don't want some generic WordPress site. I want my website to be stellar and a great resource for aspiring traders. Something I didn't have learning this business. I want it to be something I'd consider a staple in a trader's resources. Perhaps one day it will be referenced on this sub frequently.
- "How do you prepare for a trading day?" I get behind the computer about 20 minutes before the bell. Reason being: "If you study long. You'll study wrong". If the chart isn't grabbing my attention and gets me excited, then I flick to the next ticker. I don't even know the companies I trade half the time nor do I care about a news report some journalist wrote. Also there is no magic news outlet that lets you know about "Major events that affect stock prices". If there was, I wouldn't be here because we're all subscribed to the same edge nor would I be trading my style.
- "What would you go back to tell yourself?" Get more data. Save a little more, your hairline and sleep schedule will thank you. Take only perfect trades and don't feel forced to trade. There will be days you don't touch an order ticket. And days where you are busy and have tunnel vision. Next thing you know its time to shut it down for the day.
- "Books?" - I try to humble myself when answering this but off the cuff, they're all mediocre. Andrew Aziz's was ok, definitely get it, it's only a few bucks on Kindle. Just don't expect it to give you strategies BUT it will give you ideas. If you're brand new, it is good as it will teach you the common vernacular of a day trader. Mark Douglas was interesting but his YouTube seminar recordings are much better. No book, Facebook group, YouTube channel is going to be the end all be all perfect strategy. Expect losses. Don't be a one hitter quitter after suffering a few tiny losses/paper cuts. Stick to it. Most books will help you familiarize yourself with the common vocabulary amongst traders and will hint ideas. It's your job to formulate the strategy and template for research.
- "What is your background?" I was a logistics planner for a major oilfield services company. Later I then became a data/buyer analyst so yes, data analytics/research was a 2nd language for me entering trading. I did have that upper hand and did shave off months if not years for me.
- "What is a normal day for you?" I'm always done trading after 10:30AM Central. I will hold onto a trade until right before the bell if it hasn't hit either target or StopLoss by the time I leave the house but it is absolutely closed in entirety by 2:55PM Central. After I trade, I enjoy the day. No I'm not riding around in my Lambos posting IG/Snapchat (I have neither) stories of my profits with my private jet waiting on a runway trying to sell an $7 eBook or a $100 membership (HINT HINT). I grill/cook, read, workout, ride my motorcycle, attack my other sources of income (small businesses I'm building), hit the driving range, shoot guns, etc. I live in Texas. Life is cheap and fun here.
- "How did you discover your strategy?" I bought TradeIdeas premium, went through all of their computerized backtesting patterns, tested them. Then did what I mentioned earlier... Tried to find correlations in metrics. It distilled the trades to a strict criteria and here I am. I post on average 4-5 tickers on my watchlist. 7 max. I do not like spreading my attention thin across multiple tickers. I do not recommend buying TradeIdeas, it does have lots of bugs.
- "What did you do/How did you get started?" Was a data analyst, was good at research and applied it to trading. My incentive was, "I could have made more money trading rather than sitting in 2+ hours of roundtrip traffic and 9 hours in an office. The data is there. Everybody sees the same charts all over the world. There are ways to make this possible"
- "What is your % return?" (Not a fun question since a trading account is not an index or investment account. Intraday traders do not measure performance in %) I trade to make money AND pay myself, so my equity curve will look like a small loss or small gain after I pay myself. % return? I measure my account's performance in Sharpe Ratio and Risk Units. My Sharpe Ratio is ~1.85. While I yield roughly .8 - 1 R per trading day. Some weeks I make 10R. Some weeks I lose 2R. Yeah one week I might make $2,500. But the next week I might lose $300. The following week my strategy will yield $0 and the last week I might make $1,000. Some weeks suck. Some weeks are great. But overall. Just shy of 1R per trading day. Some days I'm super busy taking trade after trade. Some days I'll shut it down after 5 minutes without even filling out an order ticket. Some days I won't even see the open because there is no edge for me.. Keywords... "For me".
- "Is enough to start trading?" Depends on where you live. Are you restricted to PDT? If not then how much are you obligated to expenses? I live in Texas. Things are cheap here. If you live in NYC or The Bay Area your expenses will be astronomical compared to mine. A $30,000 account is totally doable for a single Texan with low monthly expenses. Now if you're in California or New York? I'm sure you'll fall below 25k if you have 1 bad month. Also depends on if you have other sources of income or a full/part time job. I encourage every trader and aspiring trader to have multiple sources of income, don't rely solely on trading. Not just for the sake of mitigating pressure but also for sanity. If you have a family to provide for, I don't know what that's like, you never know when Little Johnny is going to randomly pick up Trombone lessons for a school program/play while little Suzie needs transmission work in her car because a simple solenoid went out. $1,700 later.
- "Why do you need so many monitors?" I use 3 for trading. The 4th is for music. The other 2 are useless while trading. That's for trading though. When I made the decision to go full time, I knew I was about to go off the chain with research. And sifting between spreadsheets, a platform to see multiple timeframes for a pattern to backtest. My attention span is short, I'll lose my train of thought before I open the other tab to input data. But the main reason was for research. It's such a time saver and is a headache repellant when doing research while everything is laid out in front of you. Now that I have a system. I'll most likely be treating myself to 2 ultrawides for Christmas.
As always, thank you to everybody who takes time out to message me and letting me know some people read these and show appreciation. I would say, "Good luck" but there is no luck in trading. Just statistics. Remember that! In conclusion:
Yes. Full time trading is possible, depending where you live/monthly expenses and obligations. You're more likely to become a profitable trader than a professional athlete. There is a level of uncertainty each day, perhaps each week, doubtful each month, and definitely not each year. If I ever want a raise, I just consult my business plan and financials, then decide if I can handle it mentally. If you have medical issues, get a part time job for the benefits. If you're healthy, just be careful.
All the best!
TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there. submitted by
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns
made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league
in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
- MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
- The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
- All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
- The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
- Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined. Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem. Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal. Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021. Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something. Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern
. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there. Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital. Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option. Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club. Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close. Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.” Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea:
If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history. Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be. Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price. Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage. Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note:
Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s? Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed. Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem. Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach. Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining? Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock. Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it. Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface. Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf… Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support. Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League: Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven Louisville City FC Miami FC North Carolina FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Tampa Bay Rowdies Saint Louis FC San Antonio FC New Mexico United Phoenix Rising FC Las Vegas Lights FC Orange County SC San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories. Firm “yes” Hartford Athletic:
It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here. Indy Eleven
: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million. Louisville City FC:
Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in. Miami FC, “The”:
Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami? Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC:
Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league. Saint Louis FC:
Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs. Tampa Bay Rowdies:
With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem. Las Vegas Lights FC:
Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on. Phoenix Rising FC:
Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer. San Diego Loyal SC:
New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle. Cautious “yes” New Mexico United:
You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted. North Carolina FC
: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black. Orange County SC:
It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that
, but believe me when I say “it could happen.”
Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight. San Antonio FC:
Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through. Cautious “no” Birmingham Legion FC:
The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in. Memphis 901 FC:
Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue. Austin Bold FC:
See the other two above. FC Tulsa:
Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top. Firm “no” Charleston Battery:
Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk. Charlotte Independence:
A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC:
When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances. El Paso Locomotive FC:
An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one. Oklahoma City Energy FC:
Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse. Reno 1868 FC:
Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid. Rio Grande Valley FC:
All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship: Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Charlotte Independence Memphis 901 FC Austin Bold FC Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC El Paso Locomotive FC Oklahoma City Energy FC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Forward Madison FC Greenville Triumph SC Union Omaha Richmond Kickers South Georgia Tormenta FC Tucson Format of Assorted Leagues –
This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion. USL Premier –
We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs. USL Championship --
11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small. USL League One –
While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
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When one man discovers a way to beat the system, Vegas becomes his playground. From slot machine alone he steals millions with the authorities none the wiser... NBC Bay Area Living Well Episode 4 Lil B is Here To Stay,Let Him SpeakSHOUTS OUT TO SEBASTIAN D. FOR CREATING MASS AMOUNTS OF ART....BASED /SODMG 2010http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/6-kiss/id... Follows US-101 North from SFO to I-80 East across the Bay Bridge to I-580 South to CA-24 East ending in Walnut Creek. Most Expensive House in the US 924 Bel Air Rd. CaliforniaWelcome to an invitation to adventure “Billionaire” – a mind-blowing voyage of all your senses, si... California, The state represents 14% of the U.S. economy. If it were a country, California’s 2.9 trillion economy would be the fifth biggest in the world.Wit... Abandoned Hotel Casino Resort in Near Perfect Condition (No Vandalism)During this weeks Urban Exploration, we will be exploring an Abandoned Hotel. This Hote... Watch coronavirus livestream coverage of the outbreak as COVID-19 spreads, impacting markets and daily life across the U.S. and abroad. » Subscribe to NBC Ne... What to do in CALIFORNIA REDWOOD FOREST. In this California travel guide these are my top things to do in California while on a road trip starting in North...