USL News Release
Friday, May 1, 2009
ROCHESTER, NY -- Doug Miller Soccer, the Rochester Rhinos, and United Soccer Leagues announced that the Doug Miller 19, Inc. has acquired the rights to the women’s USL W-League soccer franchise in Rochester, New York. The W-League team will be located in Rochester, NY and will be named the Rochester Ravens FC.
This relationship brings new life to the commitment to an elite women’s soccer team in Rochester NY. The Rochester Ravens FC will begin competition May 16th, 2009 at Rhinos Stadium, replacing the previously announced Western New York Pride.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to bring this level of women’s soccer to Western New York,’ said Doug Miller, President of the Doug Miller - Rochester Rhinos Academy. “The tradition of excellence the Rochester Rhinos men’s professional team have earned, combined with this renewed commitment to women’s soccer is what makes Rochester Soccer Town USA.”
Prior to the launch of Women’s Professional Soccer, the W-League served as the highest level of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada and was the first elite level national women’s league when it debuted in 1995. Now that the WPS has kicked off its inaugural season in 2009, the W-League will serve a vital role in supporting the professional league by providing a feeder system for the top collegiate, international, and amateur players in the world.
The team’s name is part of the new club’s incorporation of the history of women’s soccer in Rochester. The original W-League Rochester Ravens side was founded in 1996 and was inducted into the USL Hall of Fame as a 10+ Club in 2005. In the Ravens second year, the team set a still-standing W-League attendance record for a friendly, playing the US Women’s National Team in front of 9,131. The following year, the club featured a burgeoning young17-year-old talent Abby Wambach, who finished eighth in the league in points (21) and sixth in goals (9).
“Doug Miller, and the Doug Miller Rochester Rhino’s Academy is an outstanding organization with a vision that we support wholeheartedly,” said Rochester Rhinos Owner and President Rob Clark. “As a soccer organization, not only do they have a great understanding of what it takes to run world class youth program but also the business expertise to make the Rochester Ravens FC successful at the W-League level.”
Doug Miller is a beloved figure in the Rochester community. The former Rhinos star is the team’s all-time leading scorer and has 77 goals and 20 assists in his USL First Division career for the regular season. After playing for Rochester from its launch to 1999, Miller made a return in 2003 for another three-year stint. He helped lead Rochester to two of its three USL-1 championships as well as the 1999 US Open Cup title.