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Report: Whitecaps, Impact will not return to USL in 2010

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TSN.ca Staff
10/28/2009 2:15:48 PM
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Although the Montreal Impact defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps in this past month's USL final, it appears as though neither team will be in the league next season according to one of the league's two owners, Alek Papadakis.

In an interview with Montreal radio station CKAC, Papadakis confirmed that neither of the Canadian based clubs would be part of the USL for the 2010 season after the two sides failed to reach an agreement for continuing play next season and that the T.O.A (Team Owner's Association) was ready to move in another direction.

"The negotiations are finished," Papadakis told CKAC.  "We decided to continue our preparation for the season 2010 with the teams which wished to remain with us."
Papadakis also stated that there were no hard feelings on either side.

"I would like to thank the two Canadian teams, the WhiteCaps and the Impact, for all that contributed to the USL for the past few years," Papadakis told CKAC.  "They were excellent for our league and I have much admiration for them. Now, I wish them good luck in their future plans. "

While Papadakis is stating that the Impact and Whitecaps time in the USL is done, no one from either team has made an announcement on the subject.  As of the time of publishing the Impact were still selling season tickets to the 2010 USL season on their website.

While the Whitecaps are scheduled to join the MLS in time for 2011 season the potential loss of the Impact could be devastating for professional soccer in Montreal.

CKAC is reporting that the Impact have one of two options, either attempting to create a rival circuit with other rogue league owners or potentially wait and join MLS Division II which is being discussed as potentially launching next year.

Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi was on TEAM 1040 sports radio in Vancouver this afternoon and confirmed the Whitecaps are planning to leave the USL and form a separate soccer league with, among others, the Impact.

The Whitecaps and Impact will be joined by five other bodies, as Lenarduzzi envisions an eight-team league.

"We felt that eight was the minimum number required but our hope is that prior to start up next season that there would be others that would look at what we're doing and like the prospects of an owner-operated league."

Impact celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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