Los Angeles Soccer: L.A. Legends

Lancaster's exit aids Blue Star in PDL

February, 17, 2011
The Premier Development League season arrives at the end of April, and missing will be the Lancaster Rattlers, who have moved to a rival league after four seasons in the United Soccer Leagues' amateur/semipro division.

Orange County Blue Star should be pleased.

The Rattlers' departure leaves eight teams in the Southwest Division -- five of them in the L.A. area -- with an unbalanced, 16-game schedule. Everyone must play two division rivals three times, and, wouldn't you know it, two of the most prominent sides must square off more than twice.

And Orange County, expected to battle 2009 PDL champ Ventura County Fusion and Hollywood United FC for the Southwest title and one of the division's two postseason berths, isn't one of them.

The three Ventura County-Hollywood United showdowns is the biggest news from the PDL schedule released Thursday by the Tampa-based USL. Hollywood United visits Fresno Fuego for the league opener on April 29, and the L.A. Legends are home July 24 against Fresno in the final regular-season game.

The Southern California Seahorses will open in a tripleheader May 14 at Cal State Fullerton, playing the Legends at 4:30, between W-League and USL Pro games. The other local teams' seasons begin at least 13 days earlier.

Blue Star, which opens its season May 1 against the Legends at Huntington Park High School, will play three games against L.A. and the Seahorses. The Fusion gets an extra match with the Seahorses and HUFC plays Fresno a third time.

Lancaster, rebranded as Rattlers FC, have moved to the 37-team National Premier Soccer League, another national amateur/semipro outfit. Among the NPSL's 10 new clubs are Santa Ana Winds FC, which will play at Santa Ana Stadium, and FC Hasental, based in the Conejo Valley, in and around Thousand Oaks.

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