FRISCO - As FC Dallas gets set to launch its USL League One team in 2019, let's look at the other nine franchises that join Dallas as Founding Members.
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Chattanooga Pro Soccer launched a United Soccer League League One team based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, which will make its debut in 2019. The club has been named the 6th founding member of the USL League One. The team is led by Robert Martino, business executive, and head coach Tim Hankinson. In 2020, the front office plans to build a soccer specific stadium for their 2020 season, until then the team will play at David Stanton Field. So far two players have signed with the club, Greg Hartley, a goalkeeper from England, and Eamon Zayed, a forward from Libya.
FC Tucson, owned and operated by USL Championship-side Phoenix Rising FC, originally was founded in 2010 and become the second founding member of the league. The club plays home games out of Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona and are coached by David Cosgrove. FC Tucson has seen quite a bit of success since commencement, qualifying for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup five times, making it to the playoffs six times, and winning the USL Player Development League Division Championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The team was also named PDL Rookie Franchise of the Year.
Greenville Triumph SC
Greenville Triumph SC is owned by the Erwin team, an ownership group led by Joe Erwin. The club is based out of South Carolina. John Harkes has been named the clubs head coach on a three-year contract.
Lansing Ignite is led by majority owner Tom Dickson. The team shares the state's capital, Lansing, with Michigan State University. The front office features Nick Grueser, President, and Jeremy Sampson, Vice President and General Manager. The team has yet to announce a head coach or a roster. Their stadium for competing has yet to be determined.
Madison Pro Soccer is owned and operated by Big Top Soccer out of Madison, Wisconsin becoming the first professional men’s soccer team in the area. The team, founded in May 2018, plays their home games at Breese Stevens Field pending a long-term agreement with the facility. The teams name, colors, and crest have yet to be decided on but the fans had an opportunity participate in the process. The team named Daryl Shore as their head couch, as well as signing their first player Don Smart, a midfielder from Jamaica, who previously played for Fresno FC.
Orlando City B is operated by MLS club Orlando City SC and previously played in the USL Championship division before withdrawing from the league last year. The launching of the new club makes it the seventh founding member of the USL League One and brings Orlando, Florida back into the USL. The team will also make its debut in the 2019 season, led by head coach Fernando Jose De Argila Irurita. The location for the team to compete in have yet to be determined, but the color and crest are derived directly from their parent club, Orlando City SC.
Richmond Kickers were the first team to join the USL and have since been named the eighth founding member of the USL League One. The team originally was established in 1993 and have since made it to eight league championships. The Richmond Kickers are based out of Richmond, Virginia and play home games at City Stadium. The club is owned by Richmond Youth Soccer Club and are lead by head coach David Bulow.
South Georgia Tormenta FC
South Georgia Tormenta FC were founded in 2015 and were named the first founding member of USL League One. The club, based out of Statesboro, Georgia, is owned by several owners but a majority stake is held by Darin and Netra Van Tassel. The ownership group has plans to build a new stadium for the club, which may also pose as a venue for other events. The club is led by head coach John Miglarese, and have became the first of the lot to sign a player to their Division III team for the new season. The players they have signed include: Joshua Phelps, Jad Arslan, Nil Vinyals, Nick Wells, Charlie Dennis, Lucas Coutinho, and Jerry Saint-Vil.
Toronto FC II
Toronto FC II were approved to join the USL in 2015 and were named a founding member of the USL League One this year. The club is head by president Bill Manning. The club plays their home games at Allan A. Lamport Stadium and BMO Field in Toronto Canada. Michael Rabasca was announced as the clubs new head coach after three years of the club not qualifying for playoffs in the Championship division. The announcement came after the team's decision to move to USL League One for the league's first season in March 2019.
Coming in 2020
- Penn FC
- Penn FC, previously known as the Harrisburg City Islanders, have joined USL League One to begin play in the 2020 season. The club is owned by George Altirs, majority owner, Eric Pettis, and Rush Soccer.
- Rochester Rhinos
- Rochester Rhinos were founded in 1996, by David and Wendy Dworkin, and are operated by Rochester Stadium Operations LLC out of Rochester, New York. The Rochester Rhinos, the only non-MLS team to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, originally took a one year hiatus in 2017 from the league. They have since been approved for their return to USL League One in 2020. Since the news broke on the clubs return, they have also begun working towards a new stadium to house the Rhinos.