Artist rendering of the new multipurpose ball park being built in Loudoun County, Virgina.
Loudoun County in Northern Virginia will be the next team announced to join the North American Soccer League. Loudoun County is no surprise as Steven Goff of the Washington Post broke the news several months ago, reporting an ownership group interested in the NASL. Several teams were discussed at this past weekend’s NASL Board of Governors meeting held in Tampa, Fla. It’s believed that the northern Virginia team was one of those considered and was approved to start in the spring of 2014. Ottawa is also scheduled to start play that same year.
A NASL Virginia.com website was discovered this afternoon that announces “soccer event rescheduled” and labeled NASL Virgina. The invitation says the event will take place next Monday, November 5, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Loudoun Soccer Park. Sources have told IMS that they believed the event was originally planed for this week but the impending storm pushed things back to next Monday. The presidential election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The Virginia group will be owned by Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) who also own the Loudoun Hounds baseball team. Former D.C. United goalkeeper and assistant coach Mark Simpson will be in charge of VIP’s soccer operations.
Craig Stouffer from the Washington Examiner confirmed this afternoon that the Loudoun Hounds baseball team told him via an email that a “major soccer announcement” would be forthcoming next week.
The Loudoun Hounds just recently struck a deal to play at a new minor-league baseball park which is being built as part of a mixed-use development project. The new baseball stadium, where it is believe the new NASL franchise would play, will seat 5,500 and have much more room for soccer if needed. The USSF requirements for a D2 pro team requires a stadium that seats at least 5,000. The Hounds website states the stadium will not have real grass but claims it will have a microbrewery on on-site and 27 private Luxury Suites.
Loudoun County, located some 50 miles from Washington DC, is one of the fastest growing communities in the United States and also has the highest per capita income of any other county in the country.
Several weeks ago Peter Wilt announced he was working with several teams, one of them being from Indianapolis. Wilt stated that the ownership group he represented had been in talks with the NASL and also expected to be a discussion point at last weekend’s Board of Governors meeting. The former Chicago Fire and Minnesota Thunder GM said that the Indianapolis group, who he was doing consulting for, would not be ready to play until 2014.