Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson introduced on Sunday that the spring soccer league created in a merger between the XFL and USFL will probably be rebranded as the United Football League — dropping “Xtreme” and “States” from every of their names, respectively. They’ll kick issues off with the first sport on March 30.
Johnson made the announcement along with his fellow league co-owner and longtime movie producing associate, ex-wife Dany Garcia, on Fox’s NFL pregame present. Johnson and Garcia, together with RedBird Capital Companions, had bought the XFL for $15 million from Johnson’s former WWE boss Vince McMahon after the latter’s try to revive the league in 2020 was foiled by the COVID-19 pandemic, ending the season abruptly.
Johnson mentioned on Fox that he believed there’s an urge for food for a spring soccer league not solely amongst followers, however gamers who wish to show they’re worthy of enjoying in the NFL in the event that they didn’t get observed by scouts whereas enjoying in faculty. That was Johnson’s personal background earlier than pivoting from Canadian soccer into professional wrestling as “The Rock.”
“I believe in the UFL … these gamers are going to play hard-nosed, intense soccer, passionate soccer,” Johnson mentioned. “You inform them you’ve received yet another shot in the UFL after which to go on to the NFL probably, how do you assume they’ll play? They’re going to ball out.”
The UFL will convey the broadcast companions from each of the merging leagues — ESPN/ABC for the XFL, Fox/FS1 for the USFL — collectively for the upcoming season. Ross Brandon, former CEO for the XFL, will serve the identical function for the UFL, whereas USFL will convey over its head of soccer operations, Daryl Johnston.
“Fox is soccer, and the success of the USFL has confirmed that there’s a vivid future for spring soccer,” Fox Sports activities CEO Eric Shanks mentioned in a press release. “The chance to convey collectively our two leagues — every with a dedication to advancing broadcast practices, rule improvements and the group — solely furthers the potential of the United Football League and solidifies its spot on the sports activities calendar.”
“The United Football League, a robust mixture of the XFL and USFL, will present passionate sports activities followers with an entertaining, progressive and action-packed season,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro added. “With compelling storytelling throughout conventional and digital platforms, fan-friendly improvements and large attain, this visionary league is well-positioned, and we stay up for our continued collaboration.”
“This new enterprise is feasible due to a shared visionary mindset, a profound ardour for the sport and first-hand expertise residing and creating the alternatives that soccer makes attainable,” added Garcia. “As a unified spring league, we’re capable of deepen our dedication to unlocking and surpassing the desires of our gamers, coaches, employees and followers. This league represents continued legacy and evolution, and we stay up for constructing the universe of spring soccer.”
Watch Johnson’s announcement in the clip above.