Surrey could be home to a new pro soccer team and stadium

Vancouver Whitecaps' Jordan Harvey, right, and Tim Parker celebrate Harvey's goal against FC Dallas during the second half of an MLS soccer game in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday April 23, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Look out Whitecaps, another pro soccer league could be coming to town.

Canadian Premier League Soccer (CPL) is working with ownership groups to establish a new professional franchise in the Lower Mainland.

“We can confirm a group of local business leaders have submitted a proposal to the City of Surrey representing a future franchise in the Lower Mainland,” CPL spokesperson Greg McIsaac said in an email.

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“The proposal includes the potential development of a soccer-specific stadium. The group is also exploring other municipalities in the Fraser Valley concurrently.”

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The specific terms of the formal proposal remain confidential.

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The CPL launched its bid to create a FIFA-sanctioned Canadian pro soccer league back in May, when it earned the support of Canada Soccer.

The league is aiming for a 2018 kickoff, but as of yet, just two teams have been confirmed: Hamilton and Winnipeg.

Halifax city council has also given the green light to a new soccer stadium and up to 10 cities are said to be interested in joining.

The Canadian Premier League is envisioned as a professional domestic league that would offer a development pathway for young Canadian players to soccer’s highest levels.

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It comes amid a string of successes for the Canadian women’s national team, including two Olympic medals and a quarter-final finish in the Women’s World Cup.

League organizers hope the CPL could offer a pathway to success for Canada’s men’s team, which has only earned a single berth in the World Cup.

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