Friday, June 20, 2008

If They Head It, I WILL Come .....

An exciting brochure arrived in the mail today ..... exciting, that is if you spell football with a u rather than two o's ..... is a soccer franchise coming to West Texas?

According to the brochure, the Midland RockHounds management and ownership are in negotiation to purchase a PDL (Premier Development League) soccer franchise.

According to the league's website, the USL Premier Development League is one of the United Soccer Leagues (USL). The top U23 men’s amateur league in North America is the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the development ground for elite players. The 2008 campaign features a 67-team format within four conferences, consisting of 16 regular season matches, 8 home and 8 away. The schedule is augmented by participation in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and various exhibitions. Players have the ability to compete in the PDL throughout the summer months in a professionalized setting while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is the proving ground for players that aspire to reach the highest-levels of the game, while providing affordable family entertainment within their city.

The USL, by the way is in its third decade of operation, helping soccer at all levels continues to grow in the U.S., Canada, and Caribbean. The largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America, United Soccer Leagues is dedicated to growing the sport at the grassroots level in every community.

Including Midland-Odessa? "If we head it," the brochure asks, "will you come?"

According to the brochure, the venue for the USL/PDL franchise would be Grande Communications Stadium (already the venue for high school soccer games), which would host eight home games from May through August. Apparently, the West Texas franchise would be part of USL/PDL's Mid-South Division, joining teams from Austin, Euless, El Paso, Richmond and Laredo, Texas; Baton Rouge and Metarie, Louisiana; and Clinton, Missouri. In addition to enjoying the competition, youngsters in the area would have an opportunity to take part in camps and clinics throughout the year.

But what's it going to take? The brochure stresses that "Your Opinion Counts" ... and so does your support. Right now, local interest in season tickets (we're getting box seats for our whole family) and sponsorships - from individuals, families and companies - is being polled. If you haven't gotten a brochure, you can contact the Midland RockHounds front office at (432) 520-2255 for more information.

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