Appalachian League

Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report

by Dan Krieger
November 14, 2022 - Appalachian League (ApL)


Appalachian League: The summer-collegiate Appalachian League, which operates under the Major League Baseball and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline, announced its 2023 season schedule with the same ten teams as last season and aligned in the same five-team East and West divisions. Each team will play a 48-game schedule from early June through July 2023.

Arizona-Mexico League: The organizer of the former 2003 version of the independent AZMXL is trying to restart the league with play beginning in June 2023. The new AZMXL currently lists seven proposed teams called the El Paso Sun Kings, Nogales (AZ) Charros, Phoenix Stars, Yuma Sun Sox, Cananea Mineros (Sonora, Mexico), Bisbee Copper Kings and Tucson Cowboys. The 2003 version of the AZMXL had only four teams: two Arizona teams called the Bisbee-Douglas Copper Kings and Nogales Charros and two Mexican teams called the Cananea Mineros (Sonora) and Tecate Cerveceros (Baja California). The 2003 AZMXL season was shut down early after only about three weeks of play due to financial issues.

Florida State League: The affiliated low Class-A FSL announced its 2023 season schedule that will feature the same ten teams as last season and aligned in the same four-team East and six-team West divisions. Each team will play a 132-game schedule from April 6 through September 10, 2023.

Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente: Puerto Rico's LBPRC, also known as the Puerto Rican Winter League, recently started its 2022-23 season with six teams called the Criollos de Caguas, Gigantes de Carolina, Indios de Mayguez, Cangrejeros de Santurce, RA12 and Leones de Ponce. Teams play a 48-game regular-season schedule through January 4, 2023.


Canadian Elite Basketball League: The summertime minor professional CEBL, which completed its 2022 season with ten teams, announced the league will add a yet-to-be-named expansion team in Winnipeg (Manitoba) for the 2023 season. The CEBL will remain at ten teams in 2023 as it is suspending operations of the Newfoundland Growlers (St. John's) franchise after one season. The CEBL was not satisfied with the Growlers' 2022 home arena, the 1,400-seat fieldhouse at Memorial University. The city's main arena, the 7,000-seat Mary Brown's Center, was leased to the Newfoundland Rogues of the 2021-22 American Basketball Association and it is switching to the spring-summer The Basketball League in 2023. The CEBL previously announced the relocation of the Guelph Nighthawks (Ontario) to become the Calgary Surge (Alberta) and the rebranding of the Fraser Valley Bandits as the Vancouver Bandits for 2023.

The Basketball League: The minor professional TBL announced teams called the Long Beach Bluewaves and the Louisville-based Derby City Distillers have been added for the 2023 season, which will start in March 2023 with 50 teams in the United States and 3 in Canada. The league's Lansing (MI) Pharaohs announced the team will not play in 2023 because it is moving to Pontiac (MI) and will rejoin for the 2024 season as the Oakland County Pharaohs. Lansing competed in its first TBL season in 2022.


XFL: The outdoor professional spring-season XFL, which plans to restart play in February 2023, announced it will hold a player draft next week for the eight teams that will be part of the 2023 season.

Major League Football: The proposed springtime developmental MLFB, which failed to start a four-team condensed season this past August due to funding issues, announced it will be holding a shareholders meeting next month. League officials are fully committed to starting training camp in April 2023 followed by a full schedule with a championship game in early July 2023.


ECHL: The ECHL's Atlanta Gladiators announced the team will be renamed the Atlanta Thrashers for one game next week as a tribute to the city's former National Hockey League team by that name. The Thrashers played 11 seasons (1999-2011) in the NHL before relocating to become the Winnipeg Jets.

Federal Prospects Hockey League: The lower-level minor professional FPHL recently announced plans to establish a yet-to-be-named new team based out of the redeveloped 5,300-seat Apex Center in Wythe County (VA) for the 2023-24 season.

Western Professional Hockey League: The WPHL started play this weekend on its 24-game 2022-23 exhibition schedule. The WPHL's only team called the Las Vegas Millionaires is playing home and away games this season against several semi-pro Senior-A level teams as the league's soft opening. The inaugural games had the Las Vegas Millionaires playing an independent team called the Santa Rosa (CA) Growlers. Other Senior-A teams on the Millionaires' schedule are the Rock Springs (WY) Roughnecks, Breckenridge (CO) Vipers, Vail (CO) Yeti, Park City (UT) Pioneers, Reno (NV) Raiders, Fond du Lac (WI) Bears and NorCal Stampede (Stockton, CA).


Major League Soccer: The MLS held its player draft this week to stock the expansion St. Louis City SC, which will start play in the 2023 season as the league's 29th team.

MLS NEXT Pro (Major League Soccer): Major League Soccer's developmental reserve league known as the MLS NEXT Pro announced the Carolina Core FC (High Point, NC) has joined as the league's second independent (non-MLS affiliated) team and will start play in the 2024 season. Major League Soccer's Nashville SC announced the team's new Huntsville (AL) MLS NEXT Pro affiliate will be called the Huntsville City Football Club, or Huntsville City FC, when it starts play in the 2023 season.

National Women's Soccer League: A group called the African American Sports & Entertainment Group and The Town FC are exploring an NWSL expansion franchise for the Oakland/East Bay region. Another group of former players from the USA women's national team has also expressed interest in bringing an NWSL expansion team to the San Francisco Bay Area.

USL League One (United Soccer League): The Division-III professional USL League One announced the 2023 season will feature 12 teams each playing a 32-game schedule. The league operated with 11 teams in 2022, but the FC Tucson is dropping down to the pre-professional USL League Two and put its USL League One franchise up for sale. The league is adding two expansion teams called the Lexington Sporting Club (Lexington SC) and One Knoxville Sporting Club (One Knox SC) for the 2023 season. The Trenton-based Real Central New Jersey soccer organization announced it is exploring development of future professional teams in the men's USL League One and the women's USL Super League, which plans to start play in August 2023 as a Division-II pro league. The organization had a 2022 men's team in the pre-professional USL League Two and a 2022 women's team in the Women's Premier Soccer League.

USL W-League (United Soccer League): The Cleveland Force SC, which had a men's team play its inaugural season in the 2022 pre-professional USL League Two, recently announced it will operate a women's team in the 2023 season of the pre-professional W-League.


Western Ultimate League: The women's professional WUL announced the addition of a new team called the Colorado Alpenglow as an eighth team for the 2023 season, which will run from March through May. The Alpenglow will be comprised of players from Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. The WUL completed its first full season in 2022 and all seven teams called the San Francisco Falcons, San Diego Super Bloom, Los Angeles Astra, Arizona Sidewinders (Mesa), Oregon Onyx (Portland), Seattle Tempest and Utah Wild (Salt Lake City) will return in 2023.

Dan Krieger is the creator of the Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report, which has been tracking changes in the sports world's leagues, teams and nicknames since April 2007.

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