Tuesday afternoon the USL announced its new conferences for the 2017 schedule. With many new additions, and a few subtractions, the USL was in need of a little bit of realignment.
Having recently been granted co-DII status with the NASL, the USL will embark upon its 2017 season with three new teams, the Ottawa Fury, Tampa Bay Rowdies, and Reno 1868 FC. Additionally, the Wilmington Hammerheads and FC Montreal will not return to the USL for 2017.
In light of these events, the USL announced that Tampa Bay and Ottawa will be joining the Eastern Conference while Reno will join the Western Conference. Additionally, Saint Louis FC will return to the Eastern Conference for the 2017 season, having been in the Western Conference last year.
The undisputed 2016 USL champions, New York Red Bulls II, will have three new opponents in the Eastern Conference this year, as a result of these moves. Saint Louis FC finished fourteenth in the Western Conference last year, though their 34 points would have been good for ninth in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay and Ottawa join from the NASL, with the Ottawa Fury having won the Fall Season of the 2015 NASL.