Jan. 21, 2015
By Marco D'Onofrio
At a press conference held at Vaughan’s City Hall on Wednesday morning, Toronto FC confirmed the news that Toronto FC II would indeed begin play in USL PRO starting in 2015 and that the new franchise would be playing their home games just north of Toronto, in Vaughan.
“I have been working to bring a professional sports organization to Vaughan since becoming Mayor and today my dream has become reality,” said Mayor of Vaughan Maurizio Bevilacqua. “On behalf of Vaughan Council, I would like to thank MLSE, Toronto FC, Tim Bezbatchenko, OSA and Ron Smale for making it happen– it’s been an honour to work with them to bring this new team to Vaughan. This is fantastic news for our city and bodes well for our mission to become world class. As someone who has loved and played soccer my entire life, I am pleased to say that I have purchased the first four season tickets and am looking forward to cheering on Vaughan’s new team this summer.”
In a symbolic gesture, Mayor Bevilacqua handed over a cheque to Toronto FC general manager, Tim Bezbatchenko to become the first season ticket holder for the city’s newest professional sports franchise. Season tickets are already on sale to the general public and the 12 game package can be had for the very affordable price of $96.
The team will train at the same facility as the Major League Soccer side, but will be playing their matches at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan, which will have a newly built facility that the club hopes to have ready for July 1, 2015.
“This agreement further enhances our ongoing relationship and strong partnership with Toronto FC and the city of Vaughan. More importantly, the investment in a facility such as this on the existing OSA complex will provide a significant boost not only to the soccer community but also to the area as a whole for years to come.,” said Ontario Soccer Association President Ron Smale. “Beyond TFC’s USL Pro team, we will be able to host high-level soccer competitions for League1 and the Ontario Player Development League at a first-class facility—a facility which can also be utilized by the City of Vaughan for other community events as well. This is a true partnership that will benefit everyone.”
Toronto FC II will be just one of a plethora of expansion teams being added to the league in 2015, that also sees the likes of Austin, Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Louisville, Montreal, New York, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis, Toronto, Tulsa, and Vancouver joining USL PRO.