Eugene, me. – Lane United Football Club (LUFC) and United Soccer League (USL) today announced that the club has acquired exclusive rights to become Lane County’s first professional football club to pursue expanded franchises in USL League 1 and USL Super League. Announced.
The club was eventually able to operate teams in multiple USL leagues, including a men’s professional team in USL League 1 and a women’s professional team in USL Super League. The club already has a squad in the men’s USL League 2, his 2023 expansion squad in the women’s USL W League, and the USL Academy pre-pro league.
“Lane United FC and Eugene, Oregon have great potential to become professional USL expansion clubs and markets,” said USL COO and Chief Real Estate Officer Justin Papadakis. “Dave and John Glass understand the state of football in the United States better than anyone and the USL’s unique youth-to-professional pathway for boys, girls, women and men. We know you will support us and create a great matchday experience.”
LUFC was originally founded in 2013 with a vision to join the ranks of the pros at the renovated Civic Stadium. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the venue in 2015, altering the timeline of Lane United’s long-term plans.
Over the past 18 months, LUFC and USL have worked together on the essential elements of a professional club. We welcome community participation in that process, along with ongoing conversations with potential partners, investors and local officials.
The USL is experiencing unprecedented growth, with 36 professional men’s teams expected to compete in two leagues in 2023, more than 125 teams in the men’s amateur ranks, and a fast-growing W League debuting in 2022. More than 60 teams are expected to participate.
LUFC Managing Director Dave Galas said: “We believe our club identity and culture should reflect the unique qualities of our region and be a great source of pride and opportunity.”
In 2023, USL League 1 will have 12 clubs, each with a 32-game regular season followed by the playoffs. All League 1 teams qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup as officially sanctioned Pro League members. The USL aims to grow League One to more than 30 clubs over the next four years. This includes expanded franchises awarded in Spokane, Washington and Santa Barbara, California.
“Competing at a professional level will provide our club and community with a year-round, national platform,” said LUFC head coach and sporting director John Galath. We have a track record of developing players and giving them the opportunity to play professionally for our local clubs, you can see that here and being part of a team that represents Lane County and Eugene nationally is an honor. It will be a dream come true for many people.”
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