Vancouver Whitecaps FC are North America’s oldest soccer franchise and are now looking to take the next step in their storied history by joining Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2011. This Sunday at 7:00 p.m., the Whitecaps host Minnesota Thunder at Swangard Stadium and the 'Caps are encouraging all soccer fans, and everyone who wants to bring more major league sports to the Lower Mainland, to play a role in helping the club secure an MLS franchise for Vancouver.
Everyone who attends the match this Sunday will receive an MLS rally card with instructions for their participation during the match. Video and audio recordings of the fans will become part of the official Whitecaps MLS bid submission. In addition, fans are also encouraged to sign up online at whitecapsfc.com/mls to show their support.
For tickets, which start at $18, call 604.280.4400 or visit ticketmaster.ca. For information on group tickets and match packs, call the Whitecaps office at 604.669.WAVE (9283) or visit whitecapsfc.com.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER APPLICATION
Last May, the Whitecaps announced their intention to pursue a lease agreement in a renovated BC Place, with the new-look stadium scheduled to open in early 2011. The Whitecaps are currently working with BC Place to ensure the renovated venue will rival the best soccer-specific stadiums in North America. In addition, the club remains firmly committed to pursuing the development of its proposed soccer-specific Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium on downtown Vancouver’s central waterfront and rail lands.
In addition, since May, the Whitecaps announced that local sports icon Steve Nash has joined the Whitecaps ownership team to help bring an MLS franchise to Vancouver. The Whitecaps have also received tremendous support from the community and all levels of government.
MLS intends to add two clubs by 2011, thus bringing the league to 18 teams. They are considering markets in the United States and Canada for the 17th and 18th teams. The application is due on October 15, 2008, and an announcement regarding the next two expansion clubs will take place during the fourth quarter of 2008 or the first quarter of 2009.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC have been Vancouver’s professional soccer club since 1974. In 1979, they became the first professional team from Vancouver to win a major North American title when they won the North American Soccer League’s Soccer Bowl championship. From 1988 to 1991, Vancouver won four consecutive Canadian Soccer League titles and most recently, the United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) championship in 2006. This year’s team is currently tied for first overall in USL-1 with a record of 13 wins, six losses and seven draws.