Highlanders welcome Calgary Foothills to PDL’s Northwest Division
VICTORIA – Victoria Highlanders FC would like to welcome Calgary Foothills to the Premier Development League for the 2015 season. After the departure of Whitecaps FC to USL PRO, the expected addition of Calgary to the Northwest Division brings the team total of the Highlanders’ back up to eight teams.
“We would like to express our congratulations to the Calgary Foothills organization,” remarked Highlanders general manager Mark deFrias. “The expected addition of Calgary to our division ensures that the level of play within the Northwest remains at the highest caliber. We are looking forward to developing a new rivalry with our Canadian counterparts and are excited about the possibilities Foothills addition presents to our team and our fans.”
The Northwest Division’s scheduling to accommodate Calgary’s team will be finalized at the 2014 United Soccer League’s Annual General Meeting, taking place this month in Tampa Bay, Fl.
Calgary Foothills is one of Canada’s leading youth clubs with proven success at the Canadian Club Nationals level, winning four national titles (2007, 2008 and two in 2009). Also known for its player development, the club counts former England international Owen Hargreaves, ex-Canada captain Kevin McKenna and current Vancouver Whitecaps player Sam Adekugbe among its long list of graduates.
With the implementation of a PDL team to its pyramid, Calgary Foothills hopes to create a more competitive environment where it can continue to develop players who will advance further at the collegiate, professional or international levels.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our club and the soccer community of Calgary to see high-profile soccer return to this great sporting city,” Calgary Foothills FC Technical Director and Head Coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said. “Since being a part of USL in the early 2000s, it has always been a personal goal of mine to return to USL with another team from Calgary.
“This has taken a lot of hard work from a lot of great people within our organization, but I firmly believe that Calgary is a phenomenal city with some excellent sporting franchises, which until now has been missing a soccer franchise. I feel now with the growth of the game across North America, we want a talent hotbed such as Calgary to play its part in growing the game.”
The top U23 men’s league in North America, the PDL is the destination league for college-aged players to continue their development toward the professional ranks with clubs from across North America not only competing for a championship each summer, but also providing the opportunity for top-level competition for the best players in the college ranks. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world.
For more information regarding Highlanders FC, please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.