Dayton Dutch Lions Press Release - www.dutchlionsfc.com
Thursday, July 8, 2010
TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues is pleased to announce that the Dayton Dutch Lions of the Premier Development League will make the jump to the USL Second Division and add a franchise in the USL W-League in 2011. The Dutch Lions joined the PDL as an expansion team this season and have averaged almost 1,500 fans a game at Miami Valley South Stadium in Bellbrook, Ohio while fighting their way to the top of the PDL’s Great Lakes Division standings.
Dayton is expected to continue that success after joining the USL Second Division and facing professional competition from regional rivals such as the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Harrisburg City Islanders. Dayton’s expansion W-League franchise will likely join the ultra-competitive Midwest Division, which currently includes five teams from the region including a natural instate rival in the Cleveland Internationals.
“The promotion of Dayton Dutch Lions to USL-2 and the addition of a W-League team is the logical next step for what is rapidly becoming one of the more progressive soccer clubs in the United States,” USL President Tim Holt said. “Building upon their 2010 season PDL success and the support of technical partner FC Twente, these teams instantly enhance the quality of USL-2 and the W-League. “
Now in its 16th season, the USL Second Division is the longest-running professional soccer league in North America. The proving ground for men’s professional soccer in the United States and Caribbean, USL-2 features future stars and elite players from throughout the world aspiring to play at the highest level in North America and abroad. In addition to league play, USL-2 teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions.
The first and longest-standing women’s league in North America, the W-League is USL’s highest level of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. The 2010 USL W-League campaign features 29 teams in three regional conferences playing 10 or 12 regular season matches. In addition to featuring international and professional stars, elite amateur players have the opportunity to compete on amateur teams in the league while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is recognized throughout the world for providing superior competition for female players, while offering affordable family entertainment for fans across North America.
The principals behind the Dayton Dutch Lions are Tammer Sportmanagement, owned by Erik Tammer, Business and Sports Performance, owned by Mike Mossel, and FinFac beheer B.V., owned by Peter van der Molen. Tammer is a former professional player for premier league clubs such as AFC Ajax Amsterdam, SC Heerenveen en Sparta Rotterdam. Mossel played for First Division clubs RBC Roosendaal, KFC Turnhout (Belgium) and the Cincinnati Riverhawks (USL-1), and graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati.
“The promotion to USL-2 and development of a W-League club was just a matter of time,” Mossel said. “To be the best, we must begin to play among the upper-echelon clubs. We want to set a standard, and I believe we have done that so far in the PDL in our first season. But more importantly, our decision was made with our Premier Academy in mind,” explained the Dutch Lions co-owner.
In addition to the PDL team, the Dutch Lions feature a premier youth academy with the goal of developing players to reach the top European football clubs and to use the USL-2 and W-League as a stepping-stone to produce stars.
Owner Erick Tammer said this is the most crucial ingredient for success.
“The Dutch Lions FC is a gateway to professional soccer,” Tammer said. “For us to say this we must provide the best environment and training possible here in the U.S., and thanks to USL, players are inevitably going to see that vision become a reality.”
The Academy is based on the Dutch youth development philosophy, and the quality is guaranteed thanks to a close partnership with Dutch Premier League club, FC Twente.
United Soccer Leagues
Founded in 1986, United Soccer Leagues has become the largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America by building on the vision, commitment, and passion of players, fans and investors. Now in its third decade of operation, USL continues to be a driving force in the growth of soccer in the United States, Canada and Caribbean. USL provides a clearly defined path for the progression of male and female soccer players beginning at the youth level (USL Super Y-League/USL Super-20 League), continuing up through the amateur level (USL Premier Development League/USL W-League) and on to the professional level (USL First Division/USL Second Division). A platform for countless players to reach for their dreams each year, USL is devoted to developing the sport at the grassroots level in every community across the region.