USL News Release
Monday, January 24, 2011
TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues unveiled the postseason format for the 2011 USL PRO season today. The format, approved by a vote of the USL PRO Board of Governors, will see eight clubs advancing to the postseason in 2011. USL released the divisional alignment and schedule for USL PRO last week, with the 180-game regular season opening on Saturday, April 2.
The first round of the 2011 USL Pro Playoffs will feature four single-game quarterfinals taking place Friday-Sunday, August 19-21. The semifinals will be played a week later, with the 2011 USL PRO Championship, hosted by the highest remaining seed, to be played between September 2-4. Remaining teams will be re-seeded following the Quarterfinals.
Matchups will be set as follows:
International Division #2 at International Division #1
National Division #3 at National Division #1
American Division #3 at American Division #1
National Division #2 vs. American Division #2 (team with most points to host)
#4 Seed at #1 Seed
#3 Seed at #2 Seed
#2 Seed at #1 Seed
“We are pleased with the competitive makeup of the 2011 USL PRO postseason as well as the time frame in which the playoffs will take place,” USL PRO Senior Director Chris Economides said. “With eight of the 15 teams set to qualify for the playoffs, this format not only makes regular season games that much more meaningful, it increases the excitement level for the fans as the season progresses.”
Teams will play 24 games in the 2011 season, facing each team in their division at least once at home and once on the road. The schedule for teams in the American and National Divisions sees each of the 10 teams play a home-and-home series with the other. In addition, each team also makes one trip to either the Caribbean or Los Angeles for a pair of games, and each team will host two games against competition from the International Division. The final two games that complete the schedule will match traditional rivals.
For the five teams in the International Division, each team will play each other four times, twice home and twice away, with four games apiece at home and away against competition from the American and National Divisions. The final weekend of the regular season is set for Friday-Saturday August 12-13, with 12 of the 15 teams in action as the race for playoff spots winds down.
USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most sophisticated North American men’s professional soccer league below MLS, both on and off the field. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO will feature an unprecedented six teams with more than a decade of operational experience in 2011, and more than 100 years of combined operational experience. It will also benefit from national television and online broadcast packages.