What If USA Had Pro/Rel | FM19 Experiment

The MLS is in its 22nd season, and the league is thriving better than ever. However, there are many leagues below it including the USL and PDL etc. What if they had a four-tier promotion and relegation system? We put it to FM19 and here’s what it thinks…

Will we see cup shocks? Who will win the league and who will be relegated?!



The MLS is still the top tier of American soccer, however it now has promotion and relegation. In addition to this, the play offs have been scrapped and who ever wins the league is the winner.

The salary cap has been removed and such as the contract rules have as well – with players now just having Full-Time contracts instead of DP, Senior or Senior Minimum Salary.

The season now follows the European calendar starting in August and finishing in May, and the league now plays an extra 4 games taking the total up to 38.

The league was won by Atlanta United, whilst FC Dallas, New England and Orlando City were the teams relegated down to the USL Championship.

USL Championship


The new second tier of the US soccer pyramid has 24 teams, and plays 46 games. Three teams go up and three are relegated.

The winners of the league was LAFC, joined by Houston as runners up, whilst San Jose won the play offs to win promotion to the MLS again. The teams that went down to USL 1 were Charleston, Jacksonville and the New York Cosmos.


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The third tier of the pyramid also has twenty four teams, and likewise to the Championship also plays 46 games. However, in the USL1, three teams go up, but four teams instead of three go down, like the English League One.

The winners of the inaugural season were Real Monarchs followed by the runners up, St. Louis, and these two teams were joined in promotion by NYRB II, the reserve side of the New York Red Bulls, as they got promoted to the USL Championship. The four teams going down to USL2 are Carolina Rapids, Hartford Athletic , IMG Academy and Loudoun United FC.
The league was so close Rio Grande Valley, who finished in 14th place, finished with 81 points, which in the Championship would have got you to 4th place!


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The fourth tier of the US soccer pyramid has 25 teams, and four teams go up, whilst two teams go down. Three teams go up automatically followed by a fourth decided by a play off. Due to the league having 25 teams instead of 24, each team plays 48 games.

The title was won by Charlotte Eagles, and they were joined in the automatic places by Reading United and Des Moines Menace. A play off was then held to decide who would take the fourth and final promotion space and that was won by Sockers FC Chicago, which meant all the top 4 went up.

The two teams that went down to the North American Premier League (inactive league sadly) were Westchester Flames and Western Mass Pioneers.

US Open Cup


Sadly there was no major shocks in the Open Cup, with not a single team below MLS making it past the fourth round. The cup was in the end won by Sporting Kansas City.

That ends the experiment of if the US Soccer pyramid had promotion and relegation. What are your thoughts on this subject? Should it be brought in or should single entity remain? Let us know by tweeting us on Twitter at @DictateTheGame

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