“The NASL has a long and glorious tradition as a quality professional league and we are proud to join them in 2014,” said Bob Farren, Chairman & Founder of VIP Sports & Entertainment. “We believe the addition of professional soccer significantly enhances the entertainment options we can offer our fans and we are extraordinarily happy to welcome the NASL to Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. region.”
Accompanying this announcement is the launch of a Name The Team contest to have our fans determine the name of the franchise. Fans are encouraged to submit names for their new soccer team at NASLvirginia.com, presented by Edelman Financial Services, Buffalo Wing Factory & Pub, Mountcastle Plastic Surgery and Sonak Family Chiropractic.
“The NASL is delighted to add Virginia to the league as our 11th team, beginning play in 2014,” said Commissioner David Downs. “Over the past year we have gotten to know the owners and management group here quite well, and share their strong belief that this team will be successful in every sense of the word in this rapidly growing and vibrant community in Northern Virginia.”
By 2014, the NASL will consist of 11 teams and their split-season format will run from Spring to July 4 and then Summer to early November with the champion determined by the winner of the Spring Championship hosting the winner of the Fall Championship. VIP Sports & Entertainment will host at least 16 home regular season games.
LPS President Joe Travez added his thoughts on the world’s game: “We will work with NASL and its partner Traffic Sports, headquartered in Brazil, to bring the global game home to Loudoun County through various international matches. It is an exciting opportunity to expand Virginia’s role in the world sports market.”
Farren noted, “The opportunity to expand the lineup of professional sports in Loudoun County and Northern Virginia with the quality of an NASL franchise is a tremendous compliment to our plans at the Ballpark. We all look forward to tapping into the power of the youth soccer network of the DC Region and finding fans all across the region to be a part of the future success of this team.”
Among the goals of VIP’s soccer franchise will be the development of an academy system, formed by teaming up with several established youth soccer clubs including Loudoun Soccer, the largest club of its kind in Virginia. Former DC United Goalkeeper and Coach Mark Simpson will be the club’s Director of Soccer Operations.
About the NASL: The North American Soccer League (NASL) is sanctioned as America’s Second Division of Professional Soccer by the United States Soccer Federation, just below Major League Soccer. The NASL is a professional men’s soccer league with eight current teams in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
The NASL’s history reaches back to the late 1960’s and the original inception of a professional soccer league in the United States. The NASL was best known for great teams like the New York Cosmos, the Washington Diplomats, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies and world-class players like Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia.
The league was reestablished in late 2009 and began league play on April 9, 2011 and the Minnesota Stars were the inaugural season’s champions and the Tampa Bay Rowdies recently won this year’s NASL Championship. The league will expand to nine teams with the return of the NY Cosmos in 2013 and to 12 teams with the introduction of Virginia and Ottawa for 2014.
About VIP Sports & Entertainment:The mission of VIP S&E is to provide the families of Northern Virginia with an unprecedented level of affordable entertainment all year long, for generations to come. The centerpiece of VIP’s community-focused endeavor is a stunning, innovative 5,500-general admission ballpark complex in the One Loudoun multi-purpose development near Dulles International Airport. The state-of-the-art facility will be designed to comfortably host Loudoun Hounds professional baseball, NASL professional soccer, high school and other amateur sports, as well as premium concerts, festivals, fairs and community events. With a range of unique amenities and distinctive features, VIP’s venue will truly be a place of “Universal Appeal With a Neighborhood Feel™.”