By Jimmy LaRoue
The USL Pro’s 2013 schedule was released today amid the fanfare of the new agreement between the league and MLS, and there’s some interesting quirks to note that will need some follow up.
The first I noticed came just looking at the Richmond Kickers’ schedule, which has them playing 11 of their first 12 games at home, and then there’s a summer swing that has them playing eight in a row, and 10 out of 11, on the road between late June and early August.
Rochester’s schedule is similarly warped, with the Rhinos playing their first five games, and six of their first seven, on the road, and has an 11 out of 13 stretch at home. Harrisburg has a seven of eight stretch at home, but no more than three in a row on the road. Pittsburgh plays six of its first seven games on the road, and in one stretch, plays 11 of 12 games at home, including stretches of six straight at home, and five straight at home. Later in the season, the Riverhounds have a five of six stretch away from home.
One of the new teams, VSI Tampa Bay FC, has a stretch of eight of nine at home, but play no more than four straight on the road. Phoenix FC Wolves has a six of eight stretch at home to close the regular season and a six of seven stretch on the road. The Los Angeles Blues has a five out of six stretch on the road, but otherwise, nothing odd there.
Charlotte plays its first four at its new home at Queens University Stadium, and five out of its first six there. The Eagles have a five game road stretch in the summer, and then another six out of seven at home. Orlando has a five of six stretch at home, and another four games in a row at home, and has a three game road stretch and another stretch where it plays four of five on the road.
None of that gets to the most bizarre part of the 2013 USL Pro schedule.
The most bizarre comes from Antigua Barracuda FC, the island team in USL Pro.
Antigua Barracuda will play its entire schedule on the road, with no games scheduled on the island. As the USL Pro hadn’t been released prior to the MLS/USL Pro conference call this morning, USL president Tim Holt didn’t address it, but it would seem to be a good indicator of trouble with the island franchise.
If all of Antigua’s games are on the road, where will it truly be based? I mean, it’s not like it would make a lot of sense to fly back and forth to the island just to train. And if Antigua is setting up a base of operations in the U.S., where will that be.