Within the last week, the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (USL PDL) officially announced the 2012 inaugural seasons of two new Massachusetts-based clubs, Worcester Hydra FC and Boston Victory SC. The teams will both play in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference joining the already established Western Mass Pioneers, Vermont Voltage, MPS Portland Phoenix, New Hampshire Phantoms, and Ottowa Fury.
Both teams will each play 16-game schedules beginning in May. They will hope to add new competition to an already reputable league that includes the Under-23 developmental squads of many teams around Major League Soccer and is one of the biggest pools of young soccer talent in the country.
The PDL is the fourth tier of soccer in the U.S., and hosts 4 divisions comprised of 9 different divisions of teams from around the country, as well as Canada and Bermuda. As per PDL regulations, rosters may be made up of no more than 8 players over the age of 23 and must have at least 3 players age 18 or younger. Teams mainly tend to draw their talent from NCAA soccer players looking to continue their development during the summer months.
While much information is still yet to be released regarding these two new clubs, certainly the aspect of having semi-professional soccer outside of our beloved Revs has the potential to excite New England soccer fans and even draw them out to some games--particularly in the case of Boston Victory SC who will undoubtedly hope that city-dwelling fans will delight in the easy commute to their games just outside of Boston compared to journeying down to Foxboro for a Revs match.
The club has stated (in a post on fellow Revs blog The Indirect Kick) that they hope to find a home that is "convenient to public transit, ensuring easy access for all of our fans". For their 2012 inaugural season, Boston Victory will play at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy, Mass.
From BVSC's press release this morning:
"We want to win and to be inspiring on the field," said Salim Kassouf, President of BVSC. "Our fans see us as Boston's next generation soccer club and so we are committed to being resilient."
You can read the entire press release as well as learn more about the team and how you can "join the passion" by visiting their Facebook page. Also check them out on Twitter and at their website bostonvictorysc.com.
As for their Central Massachusetts counterpart, Worcester Hydra FC will play their games at Foley Stadium in downtown Worcester (which I understand from their official press release is quite "state-of-the-art"). Learn more about them via the same web outlets: Facebook, Twitter, and their website.