Tuesday, October 10, 2006
TORONTO, ON -- The Toronto Lynx announced today that the club is taking a new direction for the 2007 season. Following 10 years of showcasing the highest level of men’s professional soccer in Toronto through the USL First Division, the Lynx will be moving the men's team to the Premier Development League in 2007.
The Toronto Lynx men's team, together with the Toronto Lady Lynx, intend to continue showcasing the finest soccer talent and action at Centennial Park Stadium in Toronto’s west end.
“Moving the Lynx to the PDL makes a lot of sense,” says Bruno Hartrell, the chief financial officer and part-owner. “It allows the Club to direct its resources to continue building the solid base necessary for continued growth.”
Next year will mark the 11th season that the Lynx will showcase some of the finest Canadian talent in Toronto. They will be the fourth Canadian PDL side, joining the Ottawa Fury, the Thunder Bay Chill and the Abbotsford Rangers. The alignment of the league will be announced at a later date.
“The Lynx have always been at the forefront in developing young Canadian players into talented professionals, and although we will miss their presence in the USL First Division, we look forward to what they will bring to the PDL and to North American soccer as a full vertically-integrated club,” said USL Vice President Tim Holt.
Subject to OSA approval, the Lynx are also planning to add two more female teams to it's six existing Super Y-League teams at the U15 and U20 levels. The Lynx PDL team and the Lady Lynx W-League team, are the logical extension of the SYL program and will also provide many Lynx Academy alumni the opportunity to continue to play at the highest competitive level.
The Lady Lynx will continue to play in the W-League, which continues to represent the highest level of play in North America for females. All the 2007 Toronto Lynx teams are supported by the Toronto Lynx Premier Soccer Academy, under the direction Club Head Coach and academy Director, Duncan Wilde.
The Toronto Lynx U16 Boys coached by Wilde has qualified for the Super Y-League North American finals to be played in Tampa, Florida this November. The Junior Lynx won the Mid West Division with a 10-2 record and are scheduled to face the 2004/05 Defending Champions, Schulz Academy of Florida in their very first game.
The Lynx will continue to grow its fan base through the many fine community outreach programs that they have established over the years.
“Most of our fans are kids, their moms and dads and their coaches,” says Nicole Hartrell, the Chief Operating Officer for the Lynx who was instrumental over the last 10 years in establishing the infrastructure that has allowed the Lynx to build a solid base for sustained growth. “We will continue our outreach programs with schools, youth organizations and youth clubs which are the driving force of our ticket sales.”
The club intends to keep tickets affordable and to continue the fun dynamic, family-friendly activities at the stadium that keeps their fans returning. The soccer landscape continues to evolve in Toronto and North America and with this in mind the club has strengthened its base for continued success for many years to come.