Dayton Dutch Lions News Release -- www.dutchlionsfc.com
Thursday, September 30, 2010
The Dayton Dutch Lions are proud to announce their participation in USL PRO for the 2011 season, where they will compete at the highest level of competition in the United States, Canada, and Caribbean outside of MLS.
The new USL PRO will combine teams from across North America into regional divisions, including teams such as Charleston, Richmond, and many others. Furthermore, the club is joining a continually expanding league that in 2011 is expected to add a Caribbean division with clubs in Puerto Rico and Antigua & Barbuda.
The league announcement has given Dayton an extra boost of confidence and significance in solidifying itself as a reputable organization on and off the pitch. The Dutch Lions were 5th in attendance in their inaugural season in the 67-team USL Premier Development League. Furthermore, their popularity on the global scale is catching talented players’ eyes as the upcoming season approaches.
The Dayton Dutch Lions look forward to building a successful professional men’s team on the pitch, as well as its new W-League women’s team and highly-touted Super-20 men’s team for 2011. This natural progression follows the plan the Dutch Lions’ ownership group foresaw.
“Besides being very excited it is a logical step for our organization,” Dutch Lions President Mike Mossel said. “It has always been our goal to start in the Premier Development League in the beginning and gradually move up to the top Division under the MLS. With the merger of the USL First and Second Divisions we find ourselves already after six months where we would have liked to have been after a couple of years. Being an ambitious organization that wants to lead in soccer in the region and create a “Gateway to Professional Soccer,” we certainly like the challenge and measure ourselves with some of the top teams in the nation.
“With the great feedback we are taking from our initial season we are very confident to raise the quality of our team and organization even more to make sure we provide a great soccer product to the Dayton soccer community. I hope a lot of people will come out and support us in 2011, not only our men’s pro team but also our new women’s team.”
“We’re pleased the Dayton Dutch Lions will be a part of USL PRO, which we expect to help solidify the long-term stability of professional soccer below MLS in North America,” USL President Tim Holt said. “Considering the professional manner at which the organization operates, as well as their partnership with Dutch champions FC Twente, we believe the Dutch Lions are developing a model for other USL PRO teams to follow.”
The Dayton Dutch Lions FC are currently also in the middle of the Fall season for their new Youth Academy in partnership with Dutch Premier League Champions FC Twente. The Academy currently has six teams with two more being added in the winter and spring season. As the Gateway to Professional Soccer, the Dutch Lions Academy sees its professional team’s success as a direct result of how its academy will benefit from each step that every program takes forward. With this in mind, the Dutch Lions youth system will become increasingly popular, and more importantly, talented; after which the players in the DL Academy can move into professional careers in the United States and abroad.