The North American Soccer League, the second division in the U.S. pro pyramid, has approved an expansion bid by a Northern Virginia group that will field a team in Loudoun County, starting as soon as 2014.
Virginia Investment Partnership LLC, which will own and operate the NASL club, has scheduled an announcement next Monday at Loudoun Soccer Park in Leesburg. It has also launched a Web site, www.naslvirginia.com.
VIP will also run a minor league baseball team, the Loudoun Hounds, and house both teams at a stadium planned for the One Loudoun development in Ashburn — nine miles north of Washington Dulles International Airport and about 30 miles west of D.C. The ownership reached a deal this month with developers to build a venue that will feature 5,500 permanent seats and flexibility to accommodate about 10,000 spectators.
The NASL’s board of governors met in Florida over the weekend — at the culmination of the two-leg championship between the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Minnesota Stars — and was voted to approve the Virginia bid.
VIP directed inquiries to the new Web site.
The NASL, one tier below Major League Soccer, had eight teams this season: Tampa Bay, Minnesota, San Antonio Scorpions, Puerto Rico Islanders, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Atlanta Silverbacks and FC Edmonton. The New York Cosmos are set to begin play next year and an Ottawa club is scheduled to join in 2014.