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Level of interest in USL Pro 'unprecedented' says president Holt

USL Pro president Tim Holt says the interest in US Soccer's third division is at an all-time high at present.

A recent deal with MLS has seen the USL Pro improve their standard and the upcoming addition of two more franchises has the competition in a very healthy position.

2013 saw VSI Tampa Bay and Phoenix FC enter the league while Sacramento Republic and Oklahoma City are set to kick off in 2014 and by 2015, all MLS teams are expected to either partner with a USL Pro affiliate or have a reserve team competing.

An excited Holt feels that is a very positive situation and is eager for the USL Pro league to build on what they have achieved in the past year or so.

"That's unique for a lot of people in the US model," Holt told Star News.

"I'm sure a lot of MLS teams will be affiliating, but some would see it better to field a team themselves. That's a greater investment but also a greater benefit. That's good for the health of the league.

"The level of interest in the USL Pro is unprecedented for any point since I've been with the league (since the late 1990s). It's incredibly important that we get it right."

Harrisburg City Islanders head coach Bill Becher, who enjoys an affiliation with Philadelphia Union, agreed with Holt.

"It's only gotten better and better since (the merger)," Becher said. "The MLS affiliation is in its infancy. And I look forward to more bigger and better things."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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