VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Monday that the club is confirmed to be one of the first two founding teams for a new women’s professional soccer league in Canada.
Under the banner of Project 8 Sports Inc., Olympic Bronze Medallist Diana Matheson and business partner Thomas Gilbert have partnered with a team of Canadian sports leaders to alter the women’s soccer landscape in Canada.
“Whitecaps FC are thrilled to be one of the first teams to sign on to a professional women’s soccer league in Canada,” said Stephanie Labbe, Whitecaps FC general manager of women’s soccer. “The creation of this league is something we have been advocating for over many years, and to be part of seeing it come to fruition is truly exciting. We look forward to working with stakeholders across the Canadian soccer environment to make this league successful.”
Whitecaps FC and Calgary Foothills Soccer Club are confirmed as the first two of eight teams competing in the league, which will kick off in 2025. Project 8 actively engages with additional potential partners, prioritizes woman-led groups wherever possible, and expects the six remaining teams to be confirmed in 2023. The league will operate nationwide through two conferences, each comprising four teams.
“Our club has always been a big supporter of the women’s game, starting at the grassroots level through to our Girls Elite program,” added Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. “The missing piece has been a top-level professional women’s team. We are excited to be a founding member of a domestic women’s professional league in Canada.”
The league will be led primarily by former national team players, with Olympic Gold Medallists Christine Sinclair and Labbe contributing to the planning and development of the league.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC purpose is to unite and inspire its communities. Whitecaps FC is one of the longest standing professional soccer clubs in North America, having originally been founded in 1974. Since 2011, the men's first team has played in Major League Soccer, the top tier of professional soccer in the United States and Canada. Whitecaps FC are a fully integrated club, housing one of the most unique soccer development programs in North America, starting from grassroots and including professional development programs for both boys and girls, with a goal to provide a safe and welcoming environment so that all participants can thrive and achieve their potential. In 2022, the club participated in the inaugural seasons of MLS NEXT Pro and League1 BC. For more information, visit whitecapsfc.com.