As The Equalizer reported Sunday, Western New York has officially been granted a WPS expansion team to begin play in 2011. Joe Sahlen, owner of the USL W-League’s Buffalo Flash, heads the ownership group for the team that will split its home games between Rochester’s Marina Auto Stadium (home of the Rochester Rhinos) and Niagara University.
“The league is proud to announce an eighth franchise for the 2011 WPS Season that will play in Western New York,” said incoming WPS CEO, Anne-Marie Eileraas. “The Western New York region has a tremendous soccer tradition and the existing infrastructure of the Flash organization will provide a great foundation for this team to flourish in WPS.”
The Flash won the W-League Championship in July, when The Equalizer first broke the news that the group may look into WPS. Talks moved quickly and in just two months, the Flash are ready to enter WPS for the 2011 season.
“All of us in the Flash’s organization are excited at the opportunity of moving up into WPS,” said Flash owner Joe Sahlen. “Our undefeated season in the W-League gives us a strong base and provides tremendous momentum entering the 2011 season. We are confident in WPS as a league, its franchises, and our own competitive ability. Our inclusion into WPS will help promote female competition, area participation and mutual growth for all parties involved.”
Details of the team’s identity will be unveiled at press conferences in Buffalo and Rochester Oct. 5 or 6. The expansion draft will take place in late October.
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