REDMOND, WA— Washington Crossfire of the PDL are kaput today as the PDL officially announced the club’s league rights were sold to a group in Vancouver BC, just as goalWA reported a few weeks back.
This leaves Washington, once the Northwest hub of the league, with just a single operating club: Sounders U-23 (Sumner.)
It brings to an “American” end the story of Seattle Wolves FC, who played in the Pacific Coast League, then in the PDL, before being bought by Crossfire (an elite youth giant) in 2010.
Guess we need to update this scorecard.
TSS FC Rovers Acquire PDL Franchise
TAMPA, Fla. – Based in Vancouver, TSS FC Rovers will participate in the 2017 PDL season after a transfer of ownership from the Washington Crossfire.
“We are excited to bring soccer back to the grass at Swangard Stadium,” General Manager and assistant coach Will Cromack said, “and are delighted to be able to provide more professional player development opportunities to the wonderful soccer market of greater British Columbia.”
TSS has operated out of its own facility for 17 years, assisting thousands of players over the years in skill development, with many players moving on to professional careers.
“We are thrilled to welcome TSS FC Rovers into the PDL,” PDL Director Todd Eason said. “Targeting strong ownership groups, such as TSS Rovers, has been a strong focus of the league for 2017, and the club will definitely improve an already talented Northwest Division. By adding a PDL franchise to the top of their development pyramid, the TSS Rovers have provided a direct path to the professional level for their elite academy players and local college-aged talent.”
Set to compete at Swangard Stadium during the 2017 PDL campaign, TSS Rovers are led by Owner and Head Coach Colin Elmes.
“The PDL creates the top or apex of our player development model and gives the younger male players in our program a clear progression that takes them to the end of their high school period and beyond,” Elmes said. “TSS Rovers main objective will be to help push players into the higher levels of the game in North America, help populate our national team programs and with our home being at Swangard Stadium, organically create a community-based culture that soccer people can own and support. If along the way TSS Rovers hits the heights of some of our other Canadian franchises that will just help enhance all of the above.”
The TSS Rovers join Weston FC, Lakeland Tropics, Myrtle Beach Mutiny, Nashville SC U23, Tobacco Road FC, Wilmington Hammerheads FC and a San Diego-based team as expansion franchises set to compete next season.
“The PDL provides a further professional environment for kids who may have been passed over by the other clubs in our area,” Cromack said. “A place where they might aspire to continue to develop and enhance the opportunities for our region to still develop more players. As a late blooming development sport the more clubs providing places to ply is always great for the soccer community.”
The PDL is part of the United Soccer League, operators of the Division II USL as well as the Super Y League. The USL is focused on creating a clear #PathToPro for elite players, from youth to Division II and beyond. The PDL has helped high-caliber players rise to the professional ranks for more than two decades. More than 200 PDL alumni, including 2016 MLS Defender of the Year Matt Hedges and 2016 Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris, participated in the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season, while more than 350 alumni took part in the United Soccer League regular season. U.S. Men’s National Team members Brad Guzan, DeAndre Yedlin, Gyasi Zardes, Keegan Rosenberry, Darlington Nagbe and Sacha Kljestan are also among the PDL alumni currently competing professionally.
As a major developmental platform for future professional players, the PDL currently has 12 franchises owned and operated by an MLS or USL club, or holding a partnership with an MLS or USL club.