USL News Release
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
TAMPA, FL -- United Soccer Leagues announced that Dayton, Ohio will be home to the newest expansion club in the Premier Development League, the Dayton Dutch Lions. The new club is supported, in part, by Dutch Eredivisie leaders and UEFA Europa League entrant FC Twente, and will begin play in 2010.
Besides a full professional first team in the PDL, the club will also have a youth academy in order to develop youth players to professional players. This academy is based on the Dutch Youth Development Philosophy, ranked worldwide in category 1 according to FIFA. The quality of the youth academy is guaranteed through a close partnership with Dutch Premier League club FC Twente, whose youth academy was voted Best Academy in 2007 and 2008. More details on the partnership will be outlined the beginning of December.
“The reason of starting a Dutch-inspired soccer club in the USA is that there are 18 million soccer players in the USA - the most in the world - and although the Americans dominate almost every sport, there are very few US players performing at the world’s top level,” said Dayton Dutch Lions President Mike Mossel. “We feel a lot of that has to do with the tactical development, something the Dutch school is known for worldwide.”
“We will start educating kids at the age of seven and develop them for the next 8-10 years to prepare them for a professional career in either the USA or Europe. Therefore we consider the Dayton Dutch Lions FC to be the ‘Gateway to professional soccer.’ And even if a professional career is out of reach, our quality education will more than likely contribute towards obtaining a soccer scholarship for a college career.”
“The addition of the Dayton Dutch Lions is a fantastic development for the league,” said Director of Operations Lee Cohen. “The opportunities this will provide players who are on the club and face them in league play will certainly be very beneficial.”
The Dutch Lions Capital Group B.V. is a joint venture between Tammer Sportmanagement and Business and Sports Performance in the Netherlands.
Erik Tammer is owner of Tammer Sportmanagement and guides soccer players during and after their (professional) soccer career. Tammer is a former professional soccer player and played for several Premier League clubs in the Netherlands such as AFC Ajax, SC Heerenveen and Sparta Rotterdam.
Mike Mossel is owner of Business and Sports Performance and advises and coaches, individuals and organizations on performance improvement. Mossel also has a professional soccer background. He played for First Division clubs RBC Roosendaal (the Netherlands), KFC Turnhout (Belgium) and Cincinnati Riverhawks (USL-1). He graduated from Xavier University in 1993 with a major in Sport Management.
The club is supported by Dutch Premier League club FC Twente and a Dutch and an American Project Group, with people like Bud Lewis (Head Coach of Wilmington College for 35 years and three times Ohio Coach of the Year) and Jack Hermans (former Head Coach of Xavier University, Director of Soccer Unlimited soccer Camps and in the Ohio Soccer Hall of Fame).
“Partnerships such as these are the exact model of what we are trying to create system-wide in USL,” said USL President Emeritus and Senior Director of International Development Francisco Marcos. “Relationships such as this bring in professionalized coaching systems from established, successful foreign clubs to develop the players as well as give those players greater access to professional playing opportunities abroad as these representatives will be far more aware of the player’s capabilities than can be attained from a three-day trial as part of a typical European tour of clubs that many players undertake.”
About FC Twente...
The Dutch club is currently in the midst of one of its best seasons in team history, leading the league with an unbeaten 11-0-2 record, and is participating in the UEFA Europa League. The club finished second in the league last season and was fourth the year before, qualifying via playoffs over Ajax for the UEFA Champions League for the first of two consecutive appearances.