USL statement regarding Vancouver MLS expansion
March 18, 2009
TAMPA, FL – Upon the announcement of Major League Soccer’s expansion to Vancouver, British Columbia for 2011, United Soccer Leagues Vice President and COO Tim Holt issued the following statement regarding the Vancouver Whitecaps and the club’s current and future association with USL:
"United Soccer Leagues congratulates Greg Kerfoot and his partners in their successful Major League Soccer expansion bid for Vancouver, British Columbia. The Whitecaps have been a highly performing USL First Division franchise under Greg's ownership and Bob Lenarduzzi's leadership for the better part of the decade, and the team has been instrumental in the ascent of USL-1 into one of the region's most competitive men’s professional soccer leagues as evidenced by the performances of the Puerto Rico Islanders and Montreal Impact in the CONCACAF Champions League. With teams representing the Whitecaps in our Premier Development League, W-League and Super Y-League, USL looks forward to continuing to serve as a primary venue for the club's ambitious player development programs and anticipate future discussion regarding their USL-1 franchise rights in the months ahead.”
“Although there will be an undeniable void without Vancouver as a USL-1 market as of the 2011 season, the level of interest in USL-1 from substantial prospective franchise ownership groups is at an all-time high. In several weeks, the Austin Aztex will make their USL-1 debut followed in the 2010 season by the Tampa Bay Rowdies and at least one other franchise to be announced within the next 30 days. We are grateful for the role played by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the development of USL-1 the past several years and look forward to building upon this in the coming seasons."