Come 2018, USL will keep growing without reviving Aztex


The United Soccer League announced plans Thursday for an expanded 2018 season that will feature two new teams, but for the third year in a row, an Austin franchise won’t take the pitch.

The Austin Aztex made their USL debut in 2015, playing at high school football stadiums and suffering substantial financial losses. Team owners told the American-Statesman the Aztex would not return to competition until they had a soccer-specific stadium that would allow them to control the franchise’s revenue streams.

USL officials said that in 2018 Nashville and Fresno will become the 31st and 32nd teams in the rapidly growing league. Since the Aztex suspended operations, the U.S. Soccer Federation has elevated the USL from Division III to Division II status, making it the top feeder league for Major League Soccer.

The USL’s 2018 season will stretch from 29 to 31 weeks, running from mid-March to mid-October. The schedule has expanded from 32 to 34 games, and the 2018 USL Cup playoffs will kick off Oct. 19, with the USL Cup final taking place the weekend of Nov. 9-11.

The league said it will keep its two-conference structure, with a revised alignment to be announced at a future date.

There are two active USL teams in Texas: San Antonio FC and Rio Grande Valley.

Kris Tyrpak, a former Aztex winger and a two-time All-Central Texas player of the year while at Dripping Springs, has four goals this season for San Antonio, tying him for second on the team. A little more than halfway through the 2017 season, San Antonio FC (11-1-7) sits in second in the USL’s Western Conference.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Golden’s Nuggets: Longhorns have newfound prosperity … don’t they?
Golden’s Nuggets: Longhorns have newfound prosperity … don’t they?

Texas and prosperity. The two have been mutually exclusive in recent years. Until now. Prosperity is a good thing, even if it’s in a small sample like we’ve witnessed over the past couple of weeks. The Longhorns will take it given what’s gone down on the Forty Acres over the past four seasons. The sudden success led to an interesting...
UIL to consider how Ann Richards School would appeal classification
UIL to consider how Ann Richards School would appeal classification

The volleyball team at Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders has had to temper its expectations this season. A program that has made the playoffs every season dating back to 2012 is 3-6 through the first round of district play, in eighth place out of 10 schools. The reason has less to do with a change in skill level than it does with the competition...
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond thinks fondly of Arkansas
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond thinks fondly of Arkansas

Kellen Mond’s first real, bona fide, competitive game came this time a year ago, when Texas A&M faced Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The contest was the Aggies SEC opener, and it no longer mattered that Mond was a freshman struggling to learn an offense and lead a team as the anointed starter recovered from ankle surgery. Mond rushed...
Bohls: So how hot is Shaka Smart’s seat? Not very, according to his boss
Bohls: So how hot is Shaka Smart’s seat? Not very, according to his boss

So we’ll just cut to the chase. Now that Tom Herman is safely out of the woods, we turn our attention to Shaka Smart, who just so happened to show up for his preseason press conference at Bellmont Hall on Monday. So, Shaka, just how hot is your seat? “I don’t sit down,” the fourth-year Texas basketball coach said...
Having won three straight, Texas coach Tom Herman breezing through Mondays now
Having won three straight, Texas coach Tom Herman breezing through Mondays now

You can always gauge the mood of the Texas football program by the Monday press conference. Coach Tom Herman was trapped in a fox hole after the season-opening loss to Maryland. The next week, following a close win over Tulsa, reporters were asking Herman if he’s arrogant. Funny how the mood changes after back-to-back wins over...
More Stories