Soccer Business Bits: MLS Partners with Degree, USL Restructures & More

We are on the road tonight, so just some quick hitters from around the business world of American soccer.

For the second consecutive season, MLS is working with Degree for Men through the Socio MLS program.  Targeted to Hispanic families, the program offers coaching and ref clinics in Los Angeles and Houston.  Additional sponsors include adidas and Castrol. Teams will contribute player appearances and team gear.  The program hopes to reach 25,000 families, more than tripling participation from last year.

Big news in lower division American soccer, as the USL issued  press release announcing that the USL would merge its First and Second divisions into one lower division league.  The new USL Pro league aims to start play in 2011 with teams and franchises to be announced in the coming weeks.   The league anticipates four geographic divisions and expects to retain its USSF sanctioning.

Finally, MLS is joining other major American sports leagues in encouraging its teams to construct its facilities with a focus on solar power.