“What a great pun ! ” notes Loudoun lawyer Doug Landau. Known as a “punster” and a soccer fan, coach and player, lawyer Landau is excited that Loudoun County may have its own professional soccer club. The Triathlon Trial Lawyer’s Major League Soccer (MLS) tryout at George Mason University when the league was first formed is the stuff of comedic legend.
The North American Soccer League, a level below Major League Soccer, will announce an expansion franchise based at the One Loudoun development in Ashburn according to news reports. The soccer franchise will be owned by Virginia Investment Partnership LLC, which also plans to run the Loudoun Hounds, a baseball team that is part of the Atlantic League. Both will share a planned stadium with 5,500 permanent seats and capacity of up to 10,000 spectators. Both teams are scheduled to start playing there in 2014. The move to bring this team to the Capitol Metropolitan area is not about siphoning fans from MLS’s D.C. United. It’s a step toward a more thorough tiered system in the United States, one in which players can move up and down as in baseball and hockey. D.C. United will benefit from having a place where it can send its youngest players to develop. It will be interesting to see how this “farm system” improves the level of play in the U.S. Professional ranks, and ultimately, American World Cup competition.