The United States Soccer Federation, North American Soccer League (NASL), and United Soccer Leagues (USL) announced today the formation of a new Division 2 professional soccer league for the 2010 season. The new league will consist of two six-team conferences, with Vancouver Whitecaps FC being a member of the NASL Conference.
Joining the Whitecaps in the NASL Conference are Carolina RailHawks, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Miami FC, AC St. Louis, and Montreal Impact. The second conference, titled the USL Conference will include Austin Aztex, Minnesota, Portland Timbers, Puerto Rico Islanders, Rochester Rhinos, and Tampa Bay Rowdies. League details including rules, match schedule, television rights, and other important operational issues will be announced in the near future.
“We are very pleased to be able to confirm our 2010 season and believe this resolution is a positive step towards our overarching goal of strengthening and growing the game in North America,” said Vancouver Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “We are thrilled that our fans can enjoy the same high level of soccer during our last season at Swangard Stadium and continue to follow our development, as we move towards Major League Soccer in 2011.”
Under the agreement, U.S. Soccer will oversee the league for the 2010 season, working with both the USL and NASL on day-to-day league activities. The new league will be managed by a board of directors that will be composed of one representative per team and one from U.S. Soccer. An executive committee will also be created to implement the directors’ decisions.
The Whitecaps are also pleased to confirm their participation in the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, which will again feature league rivals Montréal Impact and Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC, competing for the Voyageurs Cup. The 2010 winner of the six-match tournament will advance to represent Canada in the 2010-11 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2010 season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets include all regular season and playoff home matches at Swangard Stadium, Nutrilite Canadian Championship home matches against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, as well as priority listing for Vancouver MLS 2011 in BC Place. For more information on 2010 season ticket packages, call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or click here.About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, the Whitecaps created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, the Whitecaps have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Vancouver will play their inaugural season in Major League Soccer.