The USL Championship Thursday announced its conference alignment for the league’s 2019 regular season.
The league will feature 36 teams across two conferences in the upcoming season, with the clubs set to embark on a 34-game regular-season schedule that will be conducted over 33 weeks and open on the weekend of March 8-10, 2019.
Four of the league’s expansion arrivals will join the Eastern Conference, with Birmingham Legion FC, Hartford Athletic, Loudoun United FC and Memphis 901 FC joining the conference led by defending USL Cup champion Louisville City FC.
The Eastern Conference also features two new arrivals in Saint Louis FC and the Swope Park Rangers, who make the move after both reaching the USL Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference a season ago.
Red Bull II is in the Eastern Conference.
The remaining three expansion clubs – Austin Bold FC, El Paso Locomotive FC and New Mexico United – join the Western Conference for their inaugural seasons. The addition of Austin and El Paso to the conference gives the USL Championship four clubs in Texas for the first time, while New Mexico and El Paso are set to engage in a strong regional rivalry with the clubs separated by just over 250 miles.
2019 USL Championship Conference Alignment
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|ATL UTD 2||Austin Bold FC|
|Bethlehem Steel FC||Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC|
|Birmingham Legion FC||El Paso Locomotive FC|
|Charleston Battery||Fresno FC|
|Charlotte Independence||LA Galaxy II|
|Hartford Athletic||Las Vegas Lights FC|
|Indy Eleven||New Mexico United|
|Loudoun United FC||OKC Energy FC|
|Louisville City FC||Orange County SC|
|Memphis 901 FC||Phoenix Rising FC|
|Nashville SC||Portland Timbers 2|
|New York Red Bull II||Real Monarchs SLC|
|North Carolina FC||Reno 1868 FC|
|Ottawa Fury FC||Rio Grande Valley FC|
|Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC||Sacramento Republic FC|
|Saint Louis FC||San Antonio FC|
|Swope Park Rangers||Seattle Sounders FC 2|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||Tulsa Roughnecks FC|
Home openers for the 2019 USL Championship season and the full 2019 regular season schedule will be announced at a future date.