Q: What is USL?
USL is the strongest U.S. and Canadian men’s professional soccer league below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS), on and off the field. Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL featured 14 teams in 2014, including expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Teams have already been announced for 2015 in Austin, Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Louisville, Montreal, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis, Toronto, and Tulsa, with more additions expected soon.
Q: Why add a USL team?
Whitecaps FC 2 will provide a bridge between the club’s Residency program and MLS first team, allowing promising young players to develop in a competitive professional environment. Whitecaps FC become the seventh MLS club to officially field a team in USL for the 2015 season, joining Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers (T2) and Seattle Sounders FC (Sounders FC 2), as well as LA Galaxy (LA Galaxy II), Montreal Impact (FC Montreal), Real Salt Lake (Real Monarchs), and Toronto FC. All MLS clubs are expected to either field their own team or have an affiliate in USL next season.
Q: Why UBC?
We explored a number of options and UBC was the right fit. UBC is our training home and we look forward to the final phase of the National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC). We have a great partnership with UBC and a shared vision for sport and community. Vancouver is a huge soccer community and UBC is a vibrant community with nearly 80,000 residents, students, staff, and faculty.
Q: How long is the USL season?
In past years, there have been 28 matches (including 14 home matches) and the season runs March-September, but this will be confirmed by USL in early December.
Q: How many MLS players will play on the new team?
There will be very talented players loaned from our MLS team, as well as the top players from our Residency program, and additional USL players. It is too early to provide details, but the intent of the team is to provide a bridge to the first team and to grow and develop our Canadian players, and as there is with all of our teams, there will be integration.
Q: What is the capacity at Thunderbird Stadium?
We’re looking at an initial capacity of at least 3,500 fans.
Q: What will the fan experience be like compared to MLS and BC Place?
The fan experience will have a strong family and community feel, and will be similar to the atmosphere we created at Swangard in our pre-MLS days.
Q: Will there be a supporters section?
Yes. We’re very excited about our supporters’ engagement in this project. We met with members of our supporters groups before the launch and they were the first to sign up for WFC2 Season Tickets.
Q: How much will tickets be?
Our goal is to create a unique, affordable experience for local soccer fans, families, students, and supporters. We are currently accepting $50 deposits. Season Tickets start at $118 plus applicable fees – just $8 per match – for MLS Season Ticket Holders and the UBC campus community including residents, students, staff, and faculty. Limited family packs are also available, starting at $199. For more information on all WFC2 ticket options go to whitecapsfc2.com.
Q: Is there a founders club, similar to S2 in Seattle and T2 in Portland?
Yes. The first 1,100 Season Ticket Holders in our inaugural WFC2 season will be a part of the WFC2 Starting 11, and will be guaranteed the best Season Ticket price every season for as long as they renew. Among the benefits will be voting rights on which of the team’s kits they will wear for each match, the opportunity to receive a jersey off the back and to be included in the starting XI photo, and two additional ambassador tickets to share with friends and family who have not attended a WFC2 game.
Q: What does this mean for the USL Premier Development League (PDL) team? Will you keep it?
Whitecaps FC will no longer operate a USL PDL team. WFC2 will provide the bridge from our Residency program to our MLS first team, replacing the PDL side.