Friday, October 13, 2006

Pro soccer coming to San Fransico

Starting next season, soccer fans in San Francisco will have a top-level USL team to cheer for when the California Victory come to town.

The Victory represents the first USL First Division team to play in California since 2001. The club will be owned by Spanish League club Deportivo Alaves, marking the first time a USL club has been owned by a professional European club. In fact, the name 'Victory' is derived from Alaves' home city of Vitoria, the capital city of the province of Alava in the Basque country of Spain.

The team will play their matches in Kezar Stadium, located in the southeastern corner of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The stadium holds 10,000 and is also used by the San Francisco Dragons of the Major League Lacrosse.

"The San Francisco Bay area is one of the premier markets in the world," said Alaves' President Dmitry Piterman. "The world's best city and the world's most popular sport are a perfect match. Bringing soccer to the heart of San Francisco is a great opportunity to reach out to large urban population. The quality of the ownership will guarantee a competitive team and a top-notch organization to represent this market."

"Bringing the USL First Division back to California is an important development for the league, particularly for our Western-based franchises," said USL Vice President Tim Holt. "The San Francisco and greater Bay Area has a proven track record with fan support of professional soccer and we are confident that the Victory will become a staple in the soccer community beginning in 2007."

Congratulations to the Bay area.

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