Thursday, March 29, 2007

Virginia Beach Mariners dropped from USL

United Soccer Leagues announced that USL-First Division team Virginia Beach Mariners has been dropped from the league and will not be replaced in time for the 2007 season.

The reason behind this move is a recent ownership dispute that has left the club with no money. They have been trying to find investors over the last ten days, but have not received a firm commitment.

Over the off season, the team hired former FC Dallas coach Colin Clarke.

All players have been released and are free to sign with other clubs.

This is a shame, as it seemed the club was finally coming together after some bad years. It would have been fun to see if Clarke could continue his winning ways in the USL.

Anyway, this means the first division will be made up of twelve teams including new sides the California Victory and Carolina RailHawks. With the reduction in teams, I wonder if they will also reduce the number of playoff spots (they expanded the number from 6 to 8, but they made this decision before the Mariners and Toronto Lynx left the division).

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