USL News Release
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues is proud to announce the addition of the Los Angeles Blues to USL PRO for the 2011 soccer season. The Los Angeles Blues are owned by the Mansouri family and will be led by Vice President & Head Coach, Charlie Naimo, and General Manager, David Adams.
“We are incredibly excited to bring a USL PRO team to Southern California and the greater Los Angeles area,” Naimo said. “This city has such a grassroots passion for the sport spread across its many neighborhoods and diverse population. We really believe we can tap into that fervor and passion and have a locally-focused team that becomes part of the fabric of its community with the Los Angeles Blues.”
USL PRO will make its debut in 2011 and includes marquee franchises such as the Charleston Battery, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos and Orlando City. Designed to help ensure the long-term stability of professional soccer in North America below MLS, USL PRO will feature 16 teams in 2011 and will benefit from national television and online broadcast packages. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO will feature an unprecedented six teams with more than a decade of operational experience in 2011, and more than 100 years of combined operational experience.
“It’s very exciting for us that the LA Blues will be the flag-bearers for USL PRO’s Western Conference expansion, which will continue in 2012,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “With an ownership group that’s well known and respected in Southern California, we expect the Blues to thrive in a highly competitive sports market.”
The Blues will play a majority of their games at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium. Completed in 1992 and seating 10,000 fans, Titan Stadium is considered one of the finest soccer stadiums in Southern California and with the addition of the Blues will help bring professional soccer closer to the inland cities and communities of Southern California and the Los Angeles metropolitan region.
“Titan Stadium is a gem of a soccer venue and we’re pleased to have reached an agreement with Cal State Fullerton to have the Blues play at Titan,” Naimo said. “There’s a lot to do between now and when we kick off in the spring but we are committed to putting the best possible USL PRO team out there and giving soccer fans and the community and exciting team to rally behind.”
A long-time soccer executive and coach, Naimo has been the President & Head Coach of the USL W-League’s Pali Blues since 2007, capturing two league championships, one regular season title and one Organization of the Year award. Naimo was also the General Manager of the Los Angeles Sol in Women’s Professional Soccer as the Sol captured the 2009 WPS Regular Season title. Adams is a collegiate soccer player who has played with MLS reserve squads during his post-college career.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Los Angeles Blues to USL PRO,” USL President Tim Holt said. “Both the ownership group and management team have years of professional soccer experience and are long-time, respected members of the USL family. Their participation in the 2011 season represents the first of several USL PRO teams that will ultimately comprise our Western Conference in the coming seasons.”
The Blues will have a formal team introduction including a launch of their logo, team website, initial player signing, coach’s welcome and pep rally at Titan Stadium on Tuesday, December 14. The general public, media and soccer fans from around LA are invited to attend. To get all the latest information on the date, time and further details of the event, follow the Los Angeles Blues on Twitter at www.twitter.com/labluespro.