The Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced last week that they had hired Richard Nightingale as team president. In his introductory press conference last week Nightingale said that the team would end its affiliation with Houston and proceed without an affiliate.
Other big takeaways from today: The Hounds/Houston partnership is over, and the team will not have another MLS partner...— Matt Grubba (@Grubba_Trib) December 17, 2014
Last season was the first year that the two teams were affiliated with each other. Houston suffered a lot of injuries during their season which complicated what players were to remain in Pittsburgh and caused several to go back and forth between the two teams.
Looking forward when asked about a new partnership the Dynamo said they are "exploring all our options for a USL PRO partner for the 2015 season. We are looking for the right fit and an organization to send our young players to develop." While Houston has plans to create its own team, those plans are for the 2016 season leaving them with the need for a single season affiliation.
Currently, Charleston Battery, Saint Louis FC, Wilmington Hammerheads, Colorado Springs Switchbacks, Orange County Blues and Tulsa Roughnecks are all teams without affiliation. The most likely candidate geographically, the Austin Aztecs, announced recently that they are affiliating with the Columbus Crew. Charleston Battery had a single season deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps who started their own affiliate team this off-season. Houston spent part of its preseason in Charleston for the Carolina Challenge Cup for the last two seasons. They will be doing so again in January.