December 14, 2013, CLEARWATER, Fla. (ISN) – United Soccer Leagues (USL) hosted its Hall of Fame & Awards Dinner Friday night in Clearwater Beach, Florida, and awarded the Victoria Highlanders with the 2013 Progress Award and Mark deFrias was announced as the 2013 Executive of the Year.

“It was an unbelievable PDL season for the Highlanders both on and off the field.” stated Highlanders General Manager Mark deFrias. “The Progress Award embodies all the hard work that many staff, volunteers and players put in throughout the 2013 season to make it by far one of our greatest years since the inaugural season back in 2009.”

Finishing in 8th place in the Northwest Division in 2012, the Highlanders PDL team finished first in the Northwest Division, won the Western Conference final and represented the West in the PDL Final Four in Austin Aztex. Unfortunately, losing to the Thunder Bay Chill in the semi-final match.

“We had a lot of change from the 2012 to 2013 season. It was my first season as General Manager, Steve’s (Simonson) first full season as Head Coach, and we made changes to our operations and marketing to help increase the game day experience. We are pleased to see all these efforts recognized by the USL, and I was humbled to be nominated for the award amongst some great leaders in soccer, let alone to win.”

“We won’t be resting on our laurels. Planning has already started for the 2014 season and we will continuously look at ways to improve our performances both on and off the field of play.”

Season tickets for the 2014 season are available. To secure your seats visit selectyourtickets.com or call the Highlanders office at 250-590-8432. Fans can always get the latest news and updates from victoriahighlandersfc.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/VictoriaHighlandersFC, or on Twitter @HighlandersFC.

2013 USL Organizational & Executive Honors


Regular Season Champions: Richmond Kickers

Fair Play: Richmond Kickers

Marketing: Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Broadcast: Orlando City

Communications: Richmond Kickers

Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award: Hunter Leemon, Richmond Kickers

Progress Award: Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Executive of the Year: Jason Kutney, Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Organization of the Year: Orlando City


Regular Season Champions: Thunder Bay Chill

Fair Play: Austin Aztex, NJ LUSO Parma, Southern California Seahorses

Marketing: FC Tucson

Broadcast: North Sound SeaWolves FC

Communications: Reading United AC

Rookie Franchise of the Year: Real Boston Rams

Progress Award: Victoria Highlanders FC

Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award: Teresa Howe, SW Florida Adrenaline

Executive of the Year: Mark deFrias, Victoria Highlanders FC

Organization of the Year: Austin Aztex


Regular Season Champions: Virginia Beach Piranhas

Fair Play: Dayton Dutch Lions

Marketing: LA Strikers

Broadcast: Seattle Sounders Women

Communications: Washington Spirit Reserves

Rookie Franchise of the Year: Bay Area Breeze

Progress Award: Carolina Elite Cobras

Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award: Remy DuCote, Washington Spirit Reserves

Executive of the Year: Jon Billings, Seattle Sounders Women

Organization of the Year: Dayton Dutch Lions