HARRISON, N.J. (January 20, 2016) - The New York Red Bulls II will remain in the United Soccer League Eastern Conference and face three new in-conference clubs - Bethlehem Steel FC, FC Cincinnati and Orlando City B - with a total of 29 teams set to compete in the USL's sixth season, the league announced today.
The two-conference format will continue with 14 teams making up the Eastern Conference and 15 teams making up the Western Conference. The 30-game regular season will be conducted over 27 weeks, which will kick off on March 25 and conclude on September 25.
Six new teams will join the USL in 2016, as Bethlehem Steel FC, FC Cincinnati, Orlando City B, Rio Grande Valley FC, the Swope Park Rangers and San Antonio will all compete in the new season. Saint Louis FC will make the switch from the Eastern Conference to the West heading into 2016.
The team with the best record across both conferences will earn the 2016 USL Regular Season Title. The top eight teams in each conference will then advance to the 2016 USL Playoffs, which will see a single-elimination bracket crown two conference champions. The two conference champions will advance to the 2016 USL Championship, to be hosted by the conference champion with the better regular-season record.
New York completed its inaugural USL season in 2015 in fourth place of the Eastern Conference with a 12-10-6 record. Led by head coach John Wolyniec, the club was the fourth-highest scoring team in the league and earned its first postseason berth. The club won its first playoff game in an overtime win against Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, before falling to the eventual USL champions, the Rochester Rhinos, in the Semifinals.