LAFC announced on Friday they have ended their USL affiliation with nearby club Orange County SC by mutual agreement after two years.
#LAFC and Orange County SC have mutually agreed not to extend their affiliation agreement for the 2019 USL Season after it expired upon completion of the 2018 USL season.— LAFC (@LAFC) December 14, 2018
Both teams are coming off successful 2018 seasons, with LAFC reaching the playoffs in their inaugural campaign and OCSC getting to the USL Western Conference final. LAFC signed 2017 Orange County starting goalkeeper Charlie Lyon for their first season, while another LAFC goalkeeper, Luis Lopez, made several starts at Orange County to rehabilitate following a long injury layoff in 2018.
However, both teams also looked elsewhere in the MLS-USL partnership for loans, with LAFC sending players to Las Vegas Lights FC and Phoenix Rising FC in addition to Orange County, and OCSC featuring players on loan from the New England Revolution, NYCFC and Columbus Crew SC seeing significant minutes in 2018.
MLS and USL instituted an official partnership in 2013, which includes official team affiliations as well as MLS owned teams in USL. Beginning in 2019, big changes are coming to USL, with the second division being renamed the USL Championship, and a third division being introduced, called USL League One. Across those two leagues, there will be 14 teams totally or partially owned by MLS clubs for the 2019 season.