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Data is coming to USL

USL has joined the Opta stats party.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

press release from USL announces the league has officially hopped aboard the Opta bandwagon. The release describes a three-year "partnership", which should see USL now kitted out with all the data-driven detail available to those covering bigger leagues.

Timed to coincide with the launch of USL Productions - the league's new content-creation department - we should expect to see the first evidence of Opta's influence during the USL Cup final on October 23.

USL already does a relatively good job of providing fans with basic appearance and performance stats on its official website, but Opta's involvement promises a level of detail closer to that provided by mlssoccer.com for MLS matches.

Beyond showering fans in a few more stats, the Opta relationship will also feed USL's teams with data they might previously have found difficult to generate.

The October 23 broadcast of the USL Cup final (on ESPN U, currently scheduled for 8:00 pm) won't just be the culmination of the 2016 season, it will be the first peek at the way in which the league wants to present itself in 2017.