The PDL Northeast Division, which hosts all six New England-based PDL sides, will expand from seven to eight teams in 2014.
The announcement was made during the USL All General Meeting last weekend in Clearwater Beach, Fla., and confirmed via a Wednesday press release from the Western Mass Pioneers.
“Having the division back to 8 teams means a true 14 game schedule that will not include playing the same team 3 times during the regular season,” said Pioneers GM Greg Kolodziey in a team release.
Last summer, the Ottawa Fury announced that it would move up to the NASL in 2014. With Ottawa out, the Pioneers, Real Boston Rams, CFC Azul, GPS Portland Phoenix, Seacoast United Phantoms and the Vermont Voltage comprise the six clubs confirmed to play in the Northeast Division in 2014.
The Montreal Impact U-23s, which joined the PDL earlier this month, appear to be a prime candidate to join the division. Another possibility is the Westchester Flames, which competed in the nine-team Mid-Atlantic Division in 2013. The Flames played in the Northeast Division prior to their move to the Mid-Atlantic in 2011.
The Northeast Division featured eight clubs in 2012, but saw two clubs fold – Worcester Hydra and Boston Victory – before Real Boston was added as an expansion team last winter.