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USL Championship Reveals 2023 Conference Alignment and Season Format

Photo courtesy Mark Goodman

From USL Championship report

The USL Championship announced their 2023 Conference alignment and the season format on Tuesday.

The 24 USL Championship teams are split into two conferences, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.

Eastern Conference 

Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Detroit City FC
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Loudoun United FC
Louisville City FC
Memphis 901 FC
The Miami FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
FC Tulsa

Western Conference 

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Monterey Bay F.C.
New Mexico United
Oakland Roots SC
Orange County SC
Phoenix Rising FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
Sacramento Republic FC
San Antonio FC
San Diego Loyal SC

The league lost three teams in Atlanta United 2, LA Galaxy II and New York Red Bulls II. This occurred due to the creation of the MLS Next Pro league, where teams affiliated with MLS teams now have a league of their own to play in.

Only one team affiliated with an MLS team will play in the next USL Championship season and that is Loudoun United FC, affiliated with DC United. The reason they are still playing in the USL Championship is that they have a legal agreement to lease Segra Field that requires them to stay in the second division.

The USL Championship teams will play a 34-game 2023 season, just like 2022, starting on March 11 and ending on Oct. 14. The league will announce the full schedule in January 2023.

Each team will play their conference opponents twice, home-and-away, and 12 more matches against the other conference, with six games at home and six on the road. This makes it the first time since 2015 that every team will play each other in the USL Championship.

The top eight teams in both conferences will play in the USL Championship playoffs. The playoffs will continue to feature a single-elimination format, while also going back to a fixed bracket format. The USL Championship Final will take place on a date between Nov. 9-Nov. 13, 2023.

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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