There is one key word to take out of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ announcement that the club hopes to place a USL-PRO affiliate in New Westminster.
There are still a lot of variables in play. Some should come easier than others: It’s hard to imagine USL-PRO not wanting to approve this. To be fair, the league has approved far more speculative expansion pitches over the last several years. With the backing of an MLS side and two more investors willing to put themselves out in the open, the New Westminster pitch will arguably be one of the best pitches USL-PRO will have seen since the third division’s partnership with MLS was announced ahead of the 2013 campaign.
Ian Gillespie of Westbank Projects Corp., and Gary Pooni of Brook Pooni Associates are the new partners in the New Westminster proposal.
The promise is to have Queen’s Park Stadium refurbished for the new USL-PRO if the franchise is granted. So, there shouldn’t be a venue issue.
The Whitecaps hope to have their USL-PRO affiliate in New Westminster for the 2015 season — which would be far more convenient for the club than to ship prospects to the Carolinas for their professional seasoning. The proximity of the USL-PRO affiliate to Vancouver would, logically, allow for the team to better supervise and manage its young players.
The biggest “if” might come from the Canadian Soccer Association; though, the national sanctioning body for the game in this country has softened what had been a hardline stance towards USL-PRO.
Read the rest of this entry »