USL PRO: 5 Must-See Home Openers


The 2015 USL PRO home openers has finally dropped, and there are some must see-matches.

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First of all, let me tell you why you should care about the league. No longer is USL PRO the sad, neglected third division of American Soccer; it’s now the burgeoning reservoir of talent that have historically lacked development on skimpy MLS rosters. We’re finally seeing more MLS teams than just the LA Galaxy select the option to establish what essentially ends up being a reserve side within USL PRO. In fact, there are seven newly established USL PRO sides operated by a MLS team: Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal Salt Lake & New York Red Bulls. There also six new clubs to the league, in intriguing new locales for nationally recognized soccer, like Louisville.

This all boils down to what we may simply call a new league, with the potential to see more talent than ever before. Now on to the five must see home opener matches in no particular order.

March 21 – Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Portland Timbers 2.

The Sounders 2 will host the Timbers 2 for the first edition of the USL PRO era of the Cascadia Cup. It will be interesting to see if the electricity of this rivalry translates to these reserve squads. Logic tells us it will. Don’t worry Cascadia haters, this will be the only mention.

March 22 – LA Galaxy II vs. Real Monarchs SLC

Within the MLS, these two sides have played numerous exciting matches, offering entertaining contrasts in playing styles, which, if these reserve sides are being used like they should, will be seen in their respective USL PRO squads. Both clubs have shown a strong dedication to this level of soccer; LA Galaxy, by being the first, RSL, by planning the construction of a stadium specifically for its USL PRO team.

March 28 – FC Montreal vs. Toronto FC II

This Canadian rivalry making its way into USL PRO will make for some exciting action. With TFC stealing many of the headlines during the offseason, regarding their stellar signings. This will be a real test for the club to show a commitment to becoming the success their transfer activity has said they want to become. Montreal on the other hand, finds itself needing to reestablish the region within the development of Canadian talent, the likes of Bernier and Heinault well past their prime.

March 28 – Louisville City vs. Saint Louis FC

Two brand new clubs face off for what each side plans on becoming a rivalry. Will it be a beautiful battle or terrifying disaster (Think dumpster fire)? Only match time will tell, but either possibility should be entertaining.

March 28 – Sacramento Republic FC vs. LA Galaxy II

This is the match up that has all USL PRO geeks at excitement level, “WEEEEE.” The semifinal played between these two being an epic game that should go down in Sacramento FC’s history books long after they join MLS. With the push from SacTown to get into MLS, I can’t imagine they play the entire season at a level below “Unleash Hell!” Especially with fiery MLS legend Preki still leading the show.

This list only has 5 games for the sake of brevity, but there will certainly be more exciting match ups found on the list below. The full USL PRO schedule will be released on Monday, and  I’ll have something to say about it. What home opener are you going to make sure to watch?

2015 USL Pro home openers

March 21 – Charleston Battery vs. Toronto FC II

March 21 – Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Portland Timbers 2 *

March 22 – LA Galaxy II vs. Real Monarchs SLC *

March 27 – Charlotte Independence vs. Charleston Battery

March 28 – FC Montreal vs. Toronto FC II *

March 28 – Louisville City vs. Saint Louis FC *

March 28 – New York Red Bulls vs. Rochester Rhinos

March 28 – Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Harrisburg City Islanders

March 28 – Wilmington Hammerheads vs. Richmond Kickers

March 28 – Austin Aztex vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks

March 28 – Orange County Blues vs. Arizona United SC

March 28 – Sacramento Republic FC vs. LA Galaxy II *

March 28 – Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Oklahoma City Energy FC

March 29 – Portland Timbers 2 vs. Real Monarchs SLC

April 4 – Richmond Kickers vs. Louisville City

April 4 – Colorado Springs Switchbacks vs. Oklahoma City Energy FC

April 8 – Real Monarchs SLC vs. Portland Timbers 2

April 11 – St. Louis FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds

April 18 – Oklahoma City Energy FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2

April 19 – Harrisburg City Islanders vs. FC Montreal

April 19 – Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Toronto FC II

April 25 – Arizona United SC vs. Portland Timbers 2

April 26 – Rochester Rhinos vs. New York Red Bulls

May 23 – Toronto FC II vs. Rochester Rhinos

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