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Commentary Sep 05, 2012

Could Conference USA turn into a men’s soccer powerhouse?

By Jimmy LaRoue

Though yesterday’s announcement that New Mexico is joining Conference USA for the 2013 season might not cause many ripples in the NCAA landscape, it could shake things up a bit in men’s soccer.

With the addition of Old Dominion and 2011 NCAA runners-up Charlotte joining C-USA for 2013, it gives the conference five schools that were in last season’s NCAA tournament and four–New Mexico, ODU, Charlotte, UAB (Alabama-Birmingham)–that are currently ranked in the top 25. Two others, Tulsa and South Carolina, received votes, while Florida International (2-0-1) and Marshall (2-0-0) have yet to lose this season.

While it remains unseen how C-USA will rival other conferences in other sports, it seems to stack up well in the men’s soccer landscape.

To compare at the moment, the ACC has five schools in this week’s NSCAA Division I top 25. If nothing else, it will make for some interesting, and costly road trips within C-USA.

What do you think? Can Conference USA rival other top men’s soccer conferences in quality?