The Rio Grande Valley FC is an American professional soccer team based in the Rio Grande Valley operated by Lone Star, LLC. They joined the United Soccer League in the 2016 season. Lone Star has the same ownership team as the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, of the NBA G League.
The team serves as a hybrid affiliate of the Houston Dynamo of the MLS. Chris Canetti, Houston Dynamo president, called the relationship "an important and necessary step." The hybrid affiliation, a first for the USL, means that the Dynamo will be responsible for the tactical part of the club - selecting players and coaching staff. The ownership group, Lone Star, will be responsible for operations and day-to-day management of the club.
The USL is one of the most prominent Division II professional soccer leagues in the world, reaching a population of more than 75 million people to fuel the growth of professional soccer across North America.
In 2016, more than $100 million were invested league-wide into stadium infrastructure to create venues that deliver an unforgettable fan and competitor experience. The USL has national media partnerships with ESPN and SiriusXM, and recently invested $10 million to create USL Productions – which includes a state-of-the-art facility that will produce and distribute nearly 500 league matches and more than 1,000 hours of original content to national partners, local affiliates, USL’s Match Center and international markets.
A growing league, the USL has more than doubled in size since 2014, with Ottawa Fury FC, Reno 1868 FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies debuting in 2017. Nashville SC, Fresno FC, Las Vegas Lights FC, North Carolina FC, Indy Eleven and ATL UTD 2 are set to join the league for 2018, with Birmingham, Alabama, Austin, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee set to join the league in 2019. Beyond league play, the USL regularly features international exhibitions against leading Premier League, Liga MX, and Bundesliga clubs, among others.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., the USL provides unparalleled club support with a growing team of more than 50 professionals across 17 departments, ranging from operations to marketing, communications and sponsorship.
The USL was formed when two existing professional leagues were combined into a single league property before the 2011 season. The league was designed to help ensure the long-term stability of professional soccer in North America, and featured 12 teams in a pair of six-team divisions during its initial campaign. Among the league’s founding members are five longtime USL clubs with more than 100 years of operation among them – the Charleston Battery, Harrisburg City Islanders (now Penn FC), Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers and Rochester Rhinos. In January of 2017, after a thorough application review process, the U.S. Soccer Federation granted the USL Division II status beginning in the 2017 season, recognizing the significant investment and high level of operating excellence of the USL and its member clubs.