USL Forging Bright Future
Rochester, Orlando Additions Show USL PRO's Strength
One is a name that has become synonymous with success over the course of its 15-year history.
The other is a newer face on the American soccer scene, but one that has quickly become a successful franchise.
Together, they will become two cornerstones for USL PRO, set to launch in 2011.
Monday’s announcement that the Rochester Rhinos and Orlando City Soccer Club, formerly the Austin Aztex, will join the USL’s new professional division is a clear indicator of the standard of play and quality of ownership expected of USL PRO franchises.
Under the ownership of Rob Clark, who acquired the club in 2008, the Rhinos continued their run of reaching the playoffs in each of their 15 seasons, head coach Bob Lilley earning USSF Division 2-Pro League Coach of the Year honors as he led the side to the best regular season record in the league.
"The new USL PRO is a tremendous opportunity to really market to and captivate our respective fan bases in all of our respective markets," Clark said. "I look forward to doing our part in Rochester to help further strengthen the marketing initiatives USL PRO will have in 2011 and beyond."
Austin was one of the great success stories of the 2010 season, finishing as runner-up to the Rhinos in the USSF D-2 regular season. With new investment to aid its growth, the club headed by majority owner Phil Rawlins appears set to go from strength-to-strength in its new home.