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USL Championship announces conference alignments for 2019

Jun 6, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville SC defender Bradley Bourgeois (22) beats a drum to celebrate with fans after a win against the Colorado Rapids at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The United Soccer League Championship has divided its 36 teams into two conferences.

Four of the league’s expansion clubs will join the Eastern Conference and the other three will join the Western Conference. Additionally, Saint Louis FC and Swope Park Rangers will move to the Eastern Conference.

The expansion sides joining the East are Birmingham Legion FC, Hartford Athletic, Loudoun United FC and Memphis 901 FC. Joining the West via expansion are Austin Bold FC, El Paso Locomotive FC and New Mexico United.

This year’s USL Championship season will be played across 34 regular season games over 33 weeks. Th regular season will begin March 8.

Full season schedules and dates of home-openers will be released at a later date, the league said in a statement.

WESTERN CONFERENCE EASTERN CONFERENCE
Austin Bold FC ATL UTD 2
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Bethlehem Steel FC
El Paso Locomotive FC Birmingham Legion FC
Fresno FC Charleston Battery
LA Galaxy II Charlotte Independence
Las Vegas Lights FC Hartford Athletic
New Mexico United Indy Eleven
OKC Energy FC Loudoun United FC
Orange County SC Louisville City FC
Phoenix Rising FC Memphis 901 FC
Portland Timbers 2 Nashville SC
Real Monarchs SLC New York Red Bulls II
Reno 1868 FC North Carolina FC
Rio Grande Valley FC Ottawa Fury FC
Sacramento Republic FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
San Antonio FC Saint Louis FC
Seattle Sounders FC 2 Swope Park Rangers
Tulsa Roughnecks FC Tampa Bay Rowdies

Notes

  • Nashville SC signed goalkeeper Connor Sparrow. The 24-year-old was a fourth round MLS SuperDraft pick by Real Salt Lake, but spent most of his time on-loan with Real Monarchs of USL. He made one appearance for RSL, in the fourth round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup. Sparrow joins Matt Pickens as goalkeepers on the 2019 Nashville SC roster.
  • Memphis 901 FC, a USL Championship expansion side, made several moves this week, including adding to its coaching staff by hiring Ben Pirmann as an assistant. Pirmann was previously the head coach of NPSL side Detroit City FC and an assistant coach at Michigan State University. The club also signed defenders Todd Pratzner and Triston Hodge, and midfielders Leston Paul and Ewan Grandison.
  • The Chattanooga Red Wolves of USL League One announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Ualefi Rodrigues dos Reis on Thursday. Most recently, Ualefi played in 18 games this past season for Brazilian club Barretos, where he tallied nine assists. He also played for Swope Park Rangers in 2016, starting every regular season match, and appeared in one game with Sporting Kansas City.
  • North Carolina FC, a USL Championship club, announced Thursday that it had agreed with Czech club MFK Vyškov to host Cameroonian striker Donovan Ewolo for a season-long loan. Ewolo played with NCFC last year too, scoring eight goals. Four of those goals came in a single performance against ATL UTD 2 on Sept. 21

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