Friday, September 15, 2006

USL expands to Bermuda

The USL is expanding into yet another soccer federation as they announced that a new second division team will begin play in Bermuda next season. The other three federations are the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The team has not yet been named, however, their players will mainly come from the Bermuda National Team (BNT), which currently ranks 163rd in the world.

The ownership group is made up of "former English Premier League players Shaun Goater and Kyle Lightbourne, head coach of the BNT, along with successful local businessman Paul Scope, the former head coach of the Bermuda Women's."

Goater said of the new team, "Having a professional club team from Bermuda competing against teams from the US on a regular basis is part of an overall plan to improve the standard of football in Bermuda and to improve the competitiveness of the Bermuda National Team. We see a USL team as providing the core of the BNT and would give Bermuda youth a realistic opportunity to play football at the professional level."

This is exactly the kind of thing CONCACAF needs. Bermuda only has 70,000 people, so a full league of their own is not realistic. This USL team is not going to turn the BNT into a powerhouse, but it will give more young players a chance and it will add at least a little extra competition to the confederation.

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