What is the United Soccer League?
Entering its sixth season, the USL is one of three professional men’s leagues in American soccer recognized by the U.S. Soccer Federation along with Major League Soccer and the North American Soccer League. The USL and MLS entered a mutually beneficial partnership in 2013 to grow the sport domestically.
How many teams are in the USL?
The Swope Park Rangers are one of 31 clubs, making the USL one of the largest professional soccer leagues in the world. Twenty-nine teams will play in the USL's 2016 season with two additional teams joining for the 2017 campaign. USL teams are located in markets across the United States and Canada.
What other MLS teams operate USL clubs?
There are currently 11 teams in the USL that are owned and operated by MLS clubs:
- Swope Park Rangers (Sporting KC)
- LA Galaxy II
- Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia Union)
- New York Red Bulls II
- Portland Timbers 2
- Real Monarchs SLC (Real Salt Lake)
- Seattle Sounders FC 2
- Toronto FC II
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
- FC Montreal
- Orlando City B
When is the USL season?
The 30-game regular season will be conducted over 27 weeks, which will kick off on March 25 and conclude on September 25. The team with the best record across both conferences will earn the 2016 USL Regular Season Title. The top eight teams in each conference will then advance to the 2016 USL Playoffs, which will see a single-elimination bracket crown two conference champions. The two conference champions will advance to the 2016 USL Championship.
Why did Sporting Club start a USL team?
The Rangers will be closely integrated within Sporting Club’s short-term and long-term strategic goals, providing a pathway to the professional level for players in the Sporting KC Academy and a proving ground for players on loan from Sporting KC. Five players currently on Sporting Kansas City’s roster have featured in the USL while on loan in recent years, highlighted by Dom Dwyer’s record-setting season with Orlando City SC in 2013 prior to becoming an MLS All-Star a year later.
Why is the team named the Swope Park Rangers?
The name originated with Sporting Kansas City’s reserve team in 2008 and became popular amongst fans in the years that followed. Now as an official name, it becomes the first in American professional team sports to feature a municipal park.
Who will be the head coach?
Marc Dos Santos, the reigning North American Soccer League Coach of the Year, was introduced as the team's head coach on Nov. 20, 2015. He has since hired Nikola Popovic and Alec Dufty as assistant coaches.
Where will the Swope Park Rangers play?
The Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village will serve as the home field for the Swope Park Rangers in 2016. The nine-field, $20+ million complex also hosts reigning National Women’s Soccer League champions FC Kansas City and serves as the site of Sporting Kansas City’s training ground in addition to attracting numerous championship events for the NCAA, Big 12 Conference and Missouri State High School Activities Association.
How can I secure season tickets?
Season, group and single-game tickets are on sale now. Visit SportingKC.com/Rangers/Tickets for more information on ticket options, while single-game tickets can also be purchased via the club's Ticketmaster page.
How can I follow the team online?
Visit SportingKC.com/Rangers for all the latest news and information about the Swope Park Rangers as player signings, jersey designs and schedule details are announced. In addition, fans can follow SPR on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Where can I watch USL games?
Through a partnership with YouTube, all USL matches in 2016 will be broadcast live and in HD on the league’s YouTube Sports channel.
Can I buy Swope Park Rangers merchandise?
Yes, SportingStyle carries Swope Park Rangers merchandise for men, women and youth. The full SPR collection is available online at SportingStyle.com or at the SportingStyle pop-in store inside the Boulevard Members Club at Children's Mercy Park.
Are there internship opportunities with the Swope Park Rangers?
Yes. Sporting Club will be offering internship opportunities for select front office positions (e.g. Public Relations, Ticketing, Marketing) and will post openings on TeamworkOnline.com.
Will there be sponsorship opportunities for local companies?
Yes. Ivy Funds was announced as the club’s presenting jersey partner and additional sponsorship opportunities are available for the inaugural season. Please contact Justin Compton via phone (913-387-3425) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.