Vancouver Whitecaps FC are expected to announce today that they are applying for a Major League Soccer franchise and that basketball superstar Steve Nash will be a partner in the bid.
The Whitecaps did not comment yesterday, but have scheduled a press conference for 11 this morning at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver.
Nash, 34, a two-time MVP for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, grew up in Victoria and is the son of a professional soccer player from South Africa. His brother Martin plays midfielder for the Whitecaps.
“I’ve been a fan of the (Whitecaps) since I was six,” Nash told a New York Times soccer blog last month that named Nash as part of a group that hoped to bring MLS soccer to Vancouver.
“I haven’t invested money yet, more like human capital. It’s a spectacular city. We’re really optimistic and we’re hoping to have some good news at the MLS All-Star Game in Toronto.”
Prior to yesterday’s all-star game, the MLS board of governors approved expanding the league by an additional two teams by 2011.
Vancouver, along with Montreal, Ottawa, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Portland, St. Louis and a second New York team were identified as prospective expansion markets by MLS commissioner Don Garber.
In May, the Whitecaps announced they would begin playing in B.C. Place in 2011 while work continued on their proposed waterfront stadium in Gastown.