Virginia Cavalry FC, a proposed minor league soccer team that had hoped to begin play in the North American Soccer League next year, has announced it isn’t going to make it in 2014, and will now set its sights on 2015.
The Cavalry join the long-awaited Loudoun Hounds minor league baseball team on the sidelines for next season, in the latest setback announced by the two teams’ ownership, VIP Sports & Entertainment. The Hounds on Monday announced what the State of NoVa told you in October, that they will not be ready for next season. In addition, the founder of VIP and the driving force behind the two teams, Bob Farren, stepped down last month as head of the operation. The Cavalry’s announcement was first reported by the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
The Cavalry hoped to join the NASL, which is the tier below Major League Soccer, and as recently as last month was negotiating with George Mason University to play some of its home games in Fairfax. That apparently didn’t work out, and in a statement released Friday, principal Cavalry owner Joe Travez said: “With a number of variables regarding our stadium and having exhausted numerous alternative Northern Virginia venues, it is best for the team and the League to wait one more year to begin play. This was a difficult decision, but we owe it to our fans and our club’s future to start in as strong a position possible. You only have one time to make a first impression.”
Ah yes, the stadium, Edelman Financial Field. Winter is here and we’re still not seeing much infrastructure, though on Monday team spokesman David D’Onofrio said the construction on the site, at One Loudoun near the intersection of Route 7 and the Loudoun County Parkway, is stadium-related. But now that both the Hounds and the Cavalry have postponed their debuts to 2015, the rush to build is now postponed as well. For now.
In other Cavalry news, the team has named former D.C. United goalkeeper Mark Simpson as its general manager. In October, The Post’s Steve Goff reported that U.S. soccer great John Harkes, who lives in Fairfax, was in talks to be the Cavalry coach. Simpson said in a news release: “We have worked long and hard to create the mission and vision of Cavalry FC and we are fully committed to putting a product on the field we can all be proud of and our fans can fully support.”
This is the first postponed season for the Cavalry, who were first announced in November 2012, and the third for the Hounds, who originally had hoped to begin play in the independent Atlantic League in 2012.