PDL News Release
Thursday, July 18, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. – The Premier Development League is pleased to announce the addition of Lane United FC for the 2014 season. Lane United FC began as a community-based non-profit organization created with the aim of bringing high-level soccer to the city of Eugene, Ore. The club is in the process of being transferred to the ownership of Redside Sports, LLC, led by Frank Nakatsuma and Joseph Hawes, and will now make the transition into the PDL.
“We are very excited to join one of the elite divisions of the PDL,” said Hawes. “Cascadia is a special place for soccer and we are proud to be officially part of it. We can think of no better way to celebrate the accomplishment than by playing a friendly against the Portland Timbers U-23s on Thursday night. We know the community will support the team like it has it's University and minor league baseball teams, and make Lane United FC another point of pride for our wonderful fans who made this all happen.”
Lane United FC will compete in the Northwest Division in 2014, which includes three teams affiliated with MLS sides – the Portland Timbers U-23s, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 and Sounders FC U-23 – and a number of other traditional powers. United will face the Timbers U-23s on Thursday night in an exhibition contest as the two clubs begin a new rivalry in the state of Oregon.
“We are delighted to welcome Lane United FC to the PDL and look forward to having them compete in one of the league’s strongest divisions starting with the 2014 season,” USL President Tim Holt said. “The Pacific Northwest has become one of the biggest hotbeds of American soccer, and we believe that with the outstanding leadership provided by Redside Sports, Lane United FC will be another success story in a region filled with them.”
The PDL has been the destination league for young college players to continue their development toward the professional ranks, with clubs from across North America not only competing for a championship each summer, but also providing the opportunity for top-level competition for the best players in the college ranks.
More than 150 former PDL players have been selected in the MLS SuperDraft in the past five seasons, including each of the past two No. 1 picks – Andrew Wenger (Carolina Dynamo) in 2012, and Andrew Farrell (River City Rovers) in 2013. One player from the 2012 PDL season, Kekuta Manneh, earned a Generation adidas contract from MLS, given to a handful of underclassmen each season, without stepping onto a college campus in part thanks to his standout play for the Austin Aztex. The 18-year-old was then selected with the No. 4 pick of this year’s SuperDraft by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
In addition to the MLS SuperDraft, a number of former PDL alumni have also been signed to Home Grown Player contracts by MLS clubs, with those such as the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes (Ventura County Fusion), New England Revolution’s Scott Caldwell (Michigan Bucks), FC Dallas’ London Woodberry (Baltimore Bohemians) and the Seattle Sounders FC’s DeAndre Yedlin (Sounders FC U23) all continuing their development in the PDL after leaving their MLS club’s academy to play college soccer.
For more information, and to stay up to date with news and tryout information, please visit the club’s website at www.laneunitedfc.org.