Report: Real Salt Lake considering creation of USL PRO "farm" team in Utah
Another professional soccer team might soon be playing in Utah, if the demand is present.
Whitney O'Bannon reported in the Deseret News on Monday that Real Salt Lake are considering establishing a USL PRO team in the state, provided local fan support is strong enough to sustain both teams.
With the establishment of a partnership between MLS and USL earlier this year, one future option MLS clubs have is to enter a reserve team into the USL PRO league, although they may alternately choose to loan players out to already-existent USL PRO teams. Based on the report, RSL are currently mulling the former option and considering setting up their own team "in the next two years."
“I do think that there's a consensus that we want a kind of farm system like the NHL or Major League Baseball,” Real Salt Lake general Manager Garth Lagerwey told O'Bannon. “Which means, at some point you'd have a stand-alone reserve team with separate staff and separate players.”
In order to make the new team option possible, RSL are apparently targeting a matchday attendance range of 5,000-10,000, although Lagerwey did note in the article, “that's not a scientific benchmark, that's not a break-even mathematical benchmark.”
Still, given the more than 6,000 fans who attended a reserve match between RSL and BYU earlier this season, and the upcoming USL PRO-MLS Reserve League series between RSL and FC Phoenix as part of the 2013 MLS/USL partnership, the club will get a sense of whether there is demand for a full USL PRO affiliate in the region.