FC Tucson is turning pro.
The USL Division III has added the local team to its upstart West Coast Conference, a move that was expected when the team was purchased by Phoenix Rising FC — a USL club — in October.
Phoenix Rising FC and FC Tucson will have the first USL-USL Division III affiliation in the history of both leagues. FC Tucson is expected to formally discuss its move at a later date.
FC Tucson moves from the semipro Premier Development League, which was made up mostly of college players who were free for the summer. They were not paid, but received room, board and food. FC Tucson was one of the Premier Development League's best-run clubs between 2012-17, going 53-15-18 in the regular season and 5-5 record in the PDL Playoffs. The won their division each year between 2014-17.
The move is the latest change for FC Tucson, which saw the departure of coach and general manager Jon Pearlman late last year, the latest in a series of front-office changes since the sale. The team has yet to name a new coach.
USL CEO Alec Papadakis said in a news release that he was "thrilled" have FC Tucson on board, and that league expects "the club to continue its tremendous record of success from the Premier Development League.”