TAMPA, FLORIDA (January 11, 2018) – The United Soccer League announced this week that Memphis, TN will be joining as an expansion city in the league in 2019. The club is owned and operated by Peter Freund and Craig Unger, owners of the Memphis Redbirds, the AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball.
Memphis To Join USL as Expansion Side in 2019
As of now, Memphis is one of three expansion teams joining the USL in 2019. They will be joined by Austin, TX (as of now) and Birmingham, AL. All teams have yet to be unnamed. The Memphis team will play at AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds.
“The addition of Memphis to the USL is another landmark for the growth of both the league and the sport of soccer in the Southeast,” “The USL continues to lead this growth in the sport’s popularity and demand by identifying and securing thriving expansion markets, with Memphis the latest example. This in turn continues to drive the league toward its goal of becoming one of the top Division II leagues in the world, alongside the likes of the English Championship, Liga Adelante in Spain, and Germany’s 2. Bundesliga,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis.
“Memphis has already shown itself to be a passionate sporting city, with the work Peter Freund, Craig Unger and their organization at the Memphis Redbirds a perfect illustration of that,” Papadakis continued. “We are extremely pleased to add Peter and Craig to our already world-class ownership group, and believe the experience they bring from operating and managing a professional sports organization will mirror the success other USL clubs with similar backgrounds have built.”
Memphis is the second largest city in the state of Tennessee, behind Nashville. It is also a top 50 media market in the country and is the corporate headquarters of FedEx, International Paper, and AutoZone.