_ (Via Ottawa Fury FC) _
** OTTAWA ** - The United Soccer League announced
its structure for the 2017 season, which will feature 30 teams playing an expanded 32-game schedule as the league continues in a two-conference alignment that began in 2015. Ottawa Fury FC will begin its inaugural USL season in the Eastern Conference.
"Building momentum off our U.S. Soccer Division 2 designation last week, USL aims to become one of the most globally recognized second division professional soccer leagues in the world and our expansive national footprint for this season will showcase teams in 21 of the top 50 U.S. media markets," said USL President Jake Edwards. "The 2017 USL Season will feature a total of 495 games in 19 states with a focus on enhanced competition, and strong regional rivalries in both Eastern and Western Conferences." Fury FC will be joined in the Eastern Conference by league newcomers the Tampa Bay Rowdies while expansion Reno 1868 FC will play in the Western Conference. Saint Louis FC will rejoin the Eastern Conference, and both the Eastern and Western Conferences will each have 15 teams. "The USL Eastern Conference is filled with fantastic competition and we're excited to prove our worth against these clubs," said Paul Dalglish, Fury FC GM and Head Coach. "It won't take long for rivalries to flourish that are sure to produce thrilling games all season." "Training Camp is a few short weeks away and we're excited to get going," added Dalglish whose team will begin camp at the beginning of February. The 2017 USL regular season schedule will see teams play 32 matches contested over 30 weeks, with the regular season starting on March 24-26 and concluding the weekend of October 13-15 . Teams will play two games (one home, one away) against each of their conference rivals. The remaining four games will be played against regional foes. Teams will not face each other more than three times during the 2017 regular season. The top eight teams in each conference will qualify for postseason play that will include Conference Quarterfinals ( Oct. 20-22 ), Semifinals ( Oct. 27-29 ) and Final ( Nov. 3-5 ). The 2017 USL Cup Final will be played the weekend of November 10-12 . The full 2017 USL schedule will be released soon. Ottawa Fury FC season tickets for the 2017 USL season are now on-sale at [ OttawaFuryFC.com ](http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001fxRS3yrhrWiTUAQX27Pp3M4mmdcarETDhN2DZMSH6Skotcmqbvoq4Lk3T5RxltBGwZ1_Gm6m1PMNVUQdpNU8YOUyImTnt5FBFvyogme4GAyCPjrN5yJ5nfov81VsxAOY07i4tsNsMWP94YPEKodg1xDWQLLGCXyIKHxcMs3pFjc=&c=Yc75RT4fKUMuEBOOzGcnPQRT2NXndZ5Sgf7DPDMjWOWOnHnHASudkQ==&ch=ZOHl-4mb21i8gweO7qaLGIABaZJM4B1tJNCFY6l9rep1e08D9fRopg==) , by calling [ 613.232.6767 X1 ](tel:(613)%20232-6767) or in person at The Box Office at TD Place. The conference alignment will be: ** Eastern Conference ** Bethlehem Steel FC Charleston Battery Charlotte Independence FC Cincinnati Harrisburg City Islanders Louisville City FC New York Red Bulls II Orlando City B ** Ottawa Fury FC ** Pittsburgh Riverhounds Richmond Kickers Rochester Rhinos Saint Louis FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Toronto FC II ** Western Conference ** Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC LA Galaxy II OKC Energy FC Orange County Blues FC Phoenix Rising FC Portland Timbers 2 Real Monarchs SLC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC San Antonio FC Seattle Sounders FC 2 Swope Park Rangers Tulsa Roughnecks FC Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 The 2016 season saw the USL record a total attendance of almost 1.5 million for 29 teams, a 33 percent increase from 2015. The league has more than doubled in size since 2014 and has built a stable, highly-competitive professional soccer league positioned for long-term success. The USL enters the 2017 season with three new teams, and has announced Nashville SC as joining the league in 2018. Additional expansion announcements are expected in the near future.