USL PRO Announces Third Team in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico United
The United Soccer Leagues announced late yesterday afternoon the third Puerto Rican team to join USL PRO, Puerto Rico United Sporting Club. This is the 15th team announced for USL PRO that will play in the 2011 season. USL has stated that an announcement for one more team (16th) is yet to come.
The announcement was anticipated as the team had showed up on the USL PRO website one morning in November but was quickly taken down after IMS questioned the USL about the unannounced team. Others involved with the USL had also talked about a 3rd Puerto Rican club that would join USL PRO.
Puerto Rico United will now join Sevilla FC Puerto Rico and Club Atlético River Plate Puerto Rico as the third Puerto Rican team, and Barracuda FC of Antigua and Barbuda for the 4th Caribbean team. The four teams will play in an “international conference” along with Tuesday’s announced team, Los Angeles Blues, according to that team’s General Manager David Adams.
According to the USL press release, the team is led by owner Raul Blanco who founded the team in 2007.
“PR United started as an amateur team in 2007 and now we are in USL PRO. We are growing!” Blanco said. “This is a big step for the team and we accept the challenge. Our participation in the 2011 USL PRO season will help raise the levels of professional soccer in Puerto Rico.”
Puerto Rico United is based in Aguada, Puerto Rico, and plays its home games at 4,000-seat Aguada Stadium. Aguada has a population of 40,000 and is located in the western coastal region and served by nearby Rafael Hernandez International Airport.
“We’re excited to add Puerto Rico United to the roster of Caribbean clubs that will participate in USL PRO starting in 2011,” said USL Senior Director of International Development Francisco Marcos, who has overseen USL’s expansion into the Caribbean. “We are well on our way to achieving our vision for the Caribbean in USL, where we ultimately hope to have as many as eight franchises in what would become a Caribbean conference.”
While the USL PRO schedule was tentatively set at the USL AGM in November, it’s believed the final schedule will be announced in late December.