Virginia Cavalry FC, an expansion club in the second-division North American Soccer League, has delayed its launch until 2015.
The team was scheduled to begin play this spring, but stadium issues forced the organization last week to abandon the 2014 timetable.
“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,” principal owner Joe Travez said. “You only have one time to make a first impression.”
Construction of Edelman Financial Field, which is slated to house both the Cavalry and Loudoun Hounds minor league baseball team, is well behind schedule and will not be ready for use at any point in 2014. (The Hounds have also postponed their inaugural season for a year.)
Cavalry officials sought a temporary home at George Mason University, but construction projects on and around the Fairfax campus would have caused logistical issues. The sides met multiple times in recent months.
“The Board of Governors was fully apprised of the issues regarding the team’s stadium development, recognized the significant efforts Cavalry ownership expended in seeking alternatives and is fully supportive of the decision to delay the team’s launch for one season as being in the fans’ best interest,” NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said.
Former U.S. star John Harkes, a longtime Fairfax resident, has been serving as a Cavalry adviser and was in line to become the head coach. Mark Simpson, Harkes’s former D.C. United teammate, is the Cavalry’s general manager.
“We will not squander this opportunity to build a stronger club that will compete on the pitch and be financially strong with a long, successful future,” Travez said.
With the Cavalry sidelined, the NASL will introduce two expansion teams next season: Indy Eleven and Ottawa Fury. Virginia, Oklahoma City and Jacksonville are slated to join in 2015.
The NASL will field 10 clubs this coming year: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota United, reigning champion New York Cosmos, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Indianapolis and Ottawa.