The United Soccer League (USL) has awarded a franchise to the city of Fresno in California.
The team, which will be named Fresno Football Club, will be owned by an investor group headed by Californian businessman Ray Beshoff. The putative side will join Nashville SC and one more club to be announced for the 2018 USL season, when the regular schedule will expand to 34 games per team across 31 weeks.
“As professional soccer continues to grow in this country, the USL stands at the forefront, leading the sport’s next phase of expansion to fantastic markets like Fresno,” said Alec Papadakis, chief executive of the USL. “Fresno is a vibrant community with passionate soccer fans, a strong corporate base, and a regional population of nearly one million people.
“Our success is possible due to the league’s strong ownership group, one of the best in professional soccer, and we welcome Ray and his team to the family. We are thrilled to be a part of this community, and officially welcome another fantastic club to the USL.”