The growth of leagues underneath Major League Soccer has been fun to watch, especially since the trend has been upward following the dour demise of the North American Soccer League (for now).
Orlando City B is the latest club to (re)launch itself into the sub-MLS stratosphere, announcing its status as a founding member of the USL D-3 project. OCB sat out the 2018 USL season.
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OCB joins Toronto FC 2, FC Tucson, South Georgia Tormenta FC, Greenville Triumph FC, and yet-to-be nicknamed Madison Pro Soccer and Chattanooga Pro Soccer.
That brings the number of USL Division III teams to seven.
A good note and a lesser note, below.
Positive: I love the interlocking script of OC on the logo, and am glad they kept the crest (albeit this leads to the negative).
Negative: If we want to grow the game below the MLS level, it’s not going to come by asking interested fans to get fired up to go see a match against another club’s B or 2 side.
This works in the baseball model, with affiliates getting star players on rehab stints or up-and-coming prospects, where AAA clubs like the Iowa Cubs clearly keep Chicago’s branding, so a dissenting viewpoint says perhaps it can work via familiarity.
But it seems so easy that OCB could be Central Florida SC instead of Orlando City B. The 2 model, at least, is practiced in Germany, though clubs facing Borussia Dortmund II or FC St. Pauli II know they can win promotion to the next level by defeating said foes.