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RELEASE THE (USL) MEDIA GUIDE!

by Taylor Sorrels (@taylorsorrels)

Without much fanfare or Freddy Adu, the USL released its Media Guide earlier this week. Inside, you’ll find snippets about all 24 teams, though information about each team varies. Notably not included are team rosters, which makes some sense as those are probably still being finalized as we speak. Some other interesting tidbits I pulled out of the media guide:

  • Rosters can have up to 30 players, but only seven of those guys can be “foreign players.” No definition of “foreign” leaves a lot of room for interpretation, said a no-good lawyer. Louisville City’s official roster with USL has 15 players on it at the moment, three of whom I would consider to be foreign players.
  • Teams have have up to five academy players on their roster, none of whom would count against the roster cap. This is interesting for two reasons. One, the “Academy Players” section of the rules says that the Master Roster cap is 26, while the “Master Roster” section says it’s 30. DISCREPANCY! Two, this is as good a time as any for me to advocate for Louisville City FC to set up an academy like, yesterday. You can develop your own players, if they’re good they don’t count as roster spots, if you sell them you make money, oh, and it’s really good for the development of local talent. Get on it, LCFC.
  • Make a note: there’s a roster freeze after September 1.
  • The transfer windows are from February 18 through May 12 (primary window) and July 8 through August 6 (secondary window).
  • Teams get five subs per game instead of three. I have a feeling this rule is going to go away in the future, as the reason behind it often had a lot to do with teams having to play games on back to back days or just one or two days’ rest. USL, to its credit, has taken pains to fix this kind of issue, but the five sub rule presently remains.
  • This is the most interesting thing I found: tiebreakers. “The breaking of ties in the final standings, playoffs and finals is accomplished by applying the following criteria, in order of importance: 1. Head-to-head record based on total points in League games. (A, B) 2. Total wins in League games. 3. Goal difference in League games. If number of games is unequal, the Game Average(C) will be used. 4. Goals scored in League games.[…]” (The list goes on for quite a while.) My question: why wouldn’t goal difference be the first tiebreaker? I suppose in an unbalanced schedule like the one we have, head to head makes some sense, but after that, it should be goal difference. I can’t think of any reason to break away from the norm on this. [End milquetoast rant].

Those are the most interesting things I noted. Read through it yourself and tell me what I missed.