Thursday, July 10, 2003
TAMPA, FL - United Soccer Leagues announced today that Calgary FC, Inc.'s A-League franchise rights have been terminated and that USL will manage, effective immediately, Team Calgary throughout the remainder of the 2003 A-League season in place of the terminated Calgary Storm club.
"It is an unfortunate situation that we are stepping in to manage the team in Calgary, however, we are very optimistic for the future of A-League soccer in Alberta with the addition of Edmonton next spring," said USL Chief Operating Officer Dave Askinas. "We are in discussions with the city of Calgary, Calgary Minor Soccer and a number of individuals and groups from the business community interested in the possibility of owning an A-League team and are confident we will find a solution for the 2004 season, perhaps sooner."
USL will manage Team Calgary with funding pooled from the other 18 A-League franchises, who earlier this week approved the decision to take over operation of the team.
"We are appreciative our owners have given us the opportunity to manage the team and expect the squad and key staff members to remain intact," said A-League Director of Operations Tim Holt. "The team will fulfill all of its schedule obligations for the remainder of the season."
USL also announced the termination of the Premier Development League Calgary franchise today. The club's scheduled matches for this weekend will be fulfilled by the Abbotsford Rangers, who were previously playing in the Northwest Division as a provisional member.
"The Abbotsford Rangers have proven themselves to be a competitive team on the field and having them complete the season on behalf of the Calgary Storm Prospects is the most logical and practical solution," said PDL Director of Operations Steve Clamp.
The Yakima Reds' two postponed matches in Calgary from this past weekend (July 5 and 6) have been ruled forfeits, giving the Reds two 1-0 wins.