Home Sports USL League One format sets up a battle of the birds

USL League One format sets up a battle of the birds


It’s going to be flamingos vs. owls for a good portion of the 2020 USL League One season.

The league announced a format for a 20-game season that aims to minimize air travel for 2020 that will get underway July 18. The format assigns each of the leagues 12 teams with a “regional rival” that it will play four times — two at each team’s home stadium. Forward Madison’s regional rival will be Union Omaha, the league’s only independent expansion side. Union Omaha’s mascot is the owl.

Each team will also be assigned one team that it will not play at all in order to cut out some air travel. For Forward Madison, that team is 2019 last-place finisher Orlando City B.

Each team will play seven other clubs in a home-and-away series, and the final two games of the season will be one home and one away game against other clubs.

The top two teams at the end of the 20-game season will then face off in the week of October 31 for the USL League One championship.

League rules will change to allow five substitutes per match, rather than the usual three. Each team will dress 18 players for each match, as usual.

The full schedule will be announced in the coming days. All matches will be broadcast on ESPN+.

To comply with Public Health Madison Dane County restrictions on gathering, Forward Madison has moved training to Wisconsin Dells. It is not clear yet how many fans will be allowed to attend home games in Madison.