As last week’s election weighed heavy on the minds of many in Loudoun, and across the county, soccer enthusiasts here redirected their focus as several partners gathered in Leesburg to celebrate the North American Soccer League’s planned expansion with a county-based team.
The news first came shortly before the Loudoun Hounds announced plans to move the team’s proposed baseball stadium, which the NASL team plans to share, from Kincora to One Loudoun. That stadium must still win land use approvals.
“The NASL has a long and glorious tradition as a quality professional league and we are proud to join them in 2014,” said Bob Farren, chairman and founder of VIP Sports & Entertainment, the entity bringing the Hounds to Loudoun, in a press release. “We believe the addition of professional soccer significantly enhances the entertainment options we can offer our fans and we are extraordinarily happy to welcome the NASL to Northern Virginia and the Washington, DC, region.”
Several hopeful team owners submitted proposals to be the next team, but the package put together by the VIP-Loudoun Professional Soccer LLC beat out the competition.
“They blew us away, frankly, in the process, with how this team would work,” said NASL Commissioner David Downs, promising that the league would remain in the county for years to come. “No matter how large this league grows, we will always have all of our great teams come and visit you in Loudoun.”
The team’s inaugural season is expected in 2014, the same year the Loudoun Hounds are expected to first take the first.
“I am thrilled to death that we are here at this point,” said Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York.
Joe Travez, president of Loudoun Professional Soccer, said the sport has played an important role in his life and that he hopes to share that with a new generation of young athletes.
“We’re going to create an incredible tradition,” Travez said during an announcement ceremony in Leesburg last week, adding that when he was a child, soccer “touched my heart.”
Travez played Division 1 college soccer.
“Soccer has made me who I am. It builds character,” he said. “The amount of passion for this game is incredible and is only going to grow.”
Learn more about helping name the team by visiting www.naslvirginia.com