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Sounders 2 unlikely to take cross-country trips during USL PRO season

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Sounders 2 will have a much easier travel schedule than their MLS counterparts. USL PRO announced their new 24-team alignment and a rough outline for the schedule on Wednesday, indicating that teams won't be asked to fly across the country for regular season games. The finalized schedule is expected to be released before the end of January.

"USL PRO will be split into 12-team Eastern and Western Conferences in 2015, with teams facing each of their conference opponents at least twice during the 28-game regular season schedule," the press release explained. "The additional six games (beyond the standard home and away against the other 11 intra-conference foes) will be matchups against geographic rivals resulting in several cross-conference contests."

While their schedule is not yet finalized, this likely means the Sounders will play at least one extra game against Timbers 2 and Whitecaps 2 with four more still to be determined.

USL PRO also announced a chance to the postseason format. Like MLS, six teams from each conference will qualify with the top two seeds in each conference getting byes into the second round. The 3 seed will play the 6 seed and the 4 seed will play the 5 seed in a single-elimination game. The 3-6 winner will play the 2 seed and the 4-5 winner will play the 1 seed also in a single-elimination game at the home of the higher seed. The final will feature the winners of each conference in a single game hosted by the team with the best regular-season record.