USFL unveils eight franchises for 2022 reboot: best to worst nickname ranking

The United States Soccer League is set to give spring soccer another try, and on Monday the eight teams that will open their first season in the spring of 2022 were revealed on Fox Sports. The league chose eight franchises that were also part of the original USFL, which ran from 1983 to 1986, and retained the rights to the original major team names.

Here are the eight teams that will play in 2022. Four will be in the North division and four will be in the South division:

Michigan Panthers
New Jersey generals
Philadelphia stars
Pittsburgh Maulers

Birmingham stallions
Houston players
Breakers of New Orleans
Tampa Bay Bandits

The eight USFL teams that will play in 2022


All eight teams will play matches at the same location in the inaugural season. Logos have been updated for the new league and Fox Sports explained that the central location will be announced at a later date. The league will begin playing in April 2022, with games every Saturday and Sunday during a 10-game season.

“We are delighted to take this next major step in the development of a new USFL,” said Brian Woods, president of USFL football operations in a press release. “These eight teams form the core of our initial league roster and will represent an exciting brand of professional football coming this spring. We look forward to the start of our inaugural season.”

The USFL is the third attempt at spring football in the past four years, hoping to overtake a season after the Alliance of American Football collapsed due to financial problems in 2019 and the cancellation of the XFL in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (XFL is now targeting 2023 for a return). The USFL made its debut in 1983 and lasted for three seasons.

The original USFL launched the careers of Herschel Walker, Reggie White, and many others due to competitive salaries that outweighed what NFL players were making at the time. But the absence of a strict salary cap has led to an unsustainable wage bill which has contributed to the destruction of the league. The league started with 12 teams and had a territorial draft, to load rosters with familiar local college stars to attract fans.

This version of the USFL closed in 1986. She had voted to move from a spring to fall schedule to eventually compete with the NFL – an attempt to force a merger between the leagues. The USFL won an antitrust lawsuit against the league because the NFL violated anti-monopoly laws, but the USFL only made $ 1 – and shut down in the months that followed.

Fox Sports will be the league’s initial broadcast partner.

Here’s how we categorized the “new” USFL team names and their revised logos a few months into the league:

1. The stars of Philadelphia

The original USFL Double Champions had one of the best logos and uniforms in the league in the 1980s. The updated Stars logo has a modern twist that will look great in reincarnation.

2. Birmingham stallions

One of the most popular teams in the initial USFL still has one of the most popular names and one of the best logos. This version is even more beautiful than the popular 1980s.

3. New Jersey Generals

Another team logo that has received a nice touch of modernization, keeping the colors of scarlet, white, royal blue and sunflower gold that made them popular in the 1980s.

4. Tampa Bay Bandits

This name is actually named after the dog “Bandit” of the original owner John Bassett, but the nickname matches one of the original USFL franchises.

5. The Houston players

Not one of the original USFL franchises (from 1983), but Gamblers is a fun nickname. Keeping the “Gambler Red” colors takes things up a notch.

6. Pittsburgh Maulers

Named after hammer-wielding workers in steel foundries, the name corresponds to the city. They’ve basically kept the same logo from 1984, which is great for establishing a brand, even though it’s hard to compete with the Steelers.

7. Breakers of New Orleans

Although it is a name inherited from Boston, the name comes from a strong sea wave hitting the shore. With hurricane damage to New Orleans over the past 15 years, this might not be the best idea.

8. Michigan Panthers

The first USFL Champions were a founding member, but only lasted one season in the USFL. The NFL has the Panthers now, so the USFL could have done better here. Why not the Memphis Showboats?

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