USL Announces Termination of Puerto Rican USL PRO Teams
IMS broke the story earlier this morning and now the United Soccer Leagues have confirmed the termination of their three Puerto Rican soccer teams from their International Division of USL PRO.
As previously reported on IMS, Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico, and Sevilla FC Puerto Rico have all run into financial difficulties in recent weeks which can most likely be traced back to political issue in Puerto Rico.
Here is the official press release from the United Soccer Leagues:
USL Reforms Agreement With Puerto Rico Soccer League
Three PRSL teams removed from 2011 USL PRO schedule
TAMPA, Fla. – USL announced today that it has formally removed the three Puerto Rico Soccer League (PRSL) teams from the 2011 USL PRO schedule.
PRSL teams Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico, and Sevilla FC Puerto Rico were participating in USL PRO as part of an agreement between the two leagues to grow professional soccer in Puerto Rico. Due to severe economic difficulties and serious unforeseen medical situations involving owners from two of the three PRSL teams, the teams are unable to continue to meet league standards and obligations.
“In the best interests of USL PRO and its teams, it was necessary to remove the three PRSL teams,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “USL PRO has established high standards which are an integral component of the league model, and we are determined to preserve the integrity of these standards on and off the field. Dealing proactively with this situation allows us to reset our daily focus on supporting the efforts of our USL PRO teams in maintaining the league’s position as the strongest, best operated domestic league below MLS.”
Each USL PRO team will continue to play 24 regular season games. All USL PRO games involving PRSL teams will continue to count towards the league standings with future games to be rescheduled amongst the 12 teams. Specific reschedule and realignment details will be publicly released later this week.
“Although disappointed we are unable to move forward as originally planned with the PRSL teams, we will continue to explore future initiatives that can benefit both the PRSL and USL,” USL President Tim Holt said. “In the immediate term, the priority is ensuring that the early-season success experienced by the majority of our USL PRO teams in terms of fan support, corporate sponsorship, and the emergence of a new class of exciting young players is sustained through the rest of the 2011 season.”