Friday, July 25, 2008

The future of Vancouver soccer

A quick note that I'll (in my capacity as a Langley Times reporter) be attending a Vancouver Whitecaps conference on "the future of soccer in Vancouver and British Columbia" later this morning (11:00 a.m. Pacific). The press release (shown below) gives practically no details, but there are a few important things that will likely be announced here.

The first one will likely be that Steve Nash is now a part owner of the team, given the comments he made on CBC's broadcast of the MLS All-Star Game yesterday and the rumours that have been flying for a while now. This could be huge for the Whitecaps. Nash is a favourite son in this province, but more importantly, he's a fantastic spokesman and a name that's known across the world. Bringing him on board will make the Whitecaps a far more desirable target for Major League Soccer expansion.

That's probably what the second announcement will be about: official confirmation that Vancouver will push for MLS status by 2011. Again, not really news, as that's the only way the B.C. Place renovation really makes sense for them, but it will be good to have it out in the open. MLS commissioner Don Garber seemed pretty positive [Eric Koreen, National Post] about Vancouver at the All-Star game, so we'll see shortly if that was just pandering to the Canadian media or not. I'll have an update as soon as possible after the conference, either this afternoon or this evening.

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