NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps and the City of New Westminster have signed a memorandum of understanding towards bringing a United Soccer Leagues Pro franchise to the British Columbia city.
The USL Pro division is the third tier league in North American professional soccer, behind MLS and the North American Soccer League.
The proposed team would start play in 2015 and would be based at Queen’s Park Stadium, which would be upgraded to accommodate professional soccer.
“We are thrilled to announce our efforts with the City of New Westminster to bring a new professional soccer team to its vibrant sports and family oriented community,” club president Bob Lenarduzzi said in a statement . “A USL Pro franchise in our own backyard is an important step in our efforts to support the development of players, especially young Canadians, at every level by bridging the pathway to our Major Soccer League team, as well as the national team.”
In addition to the current Whitecaps ownership group, the proposed franchise will be co-owned and operated by B.C natives Ian Gillespie and Gary Pooni.