Manitoba

Elite-level soccer team announced for Winnipeg

Elite soccer announced its return to Winnipeg on Monday with the unveiling of WSA Winnipeg, the newest member of the Premier Development League.

Elite soccer announced its return to Winnipeg on Monday with the unveiling of WSA Winnipeg, the newest member of the United Soccer League's Premier Development League.

The club — World Soccer Academy — will play a 16-game schedule between the months of May and August, starting in 2011.

The league has teams in the United States and Canada and is geared towards players under 23 years of age.  the season runs 16 games, the bulk of the home games for the Winnipeg team will be played at the Waverley Soccer Centre.

The Winnipeg franchise is an evolution of the World Soccer Academy that has been operated for many years, providing a soccery academy as well as elite level training to players.

Eduardo Badescu, William Rosales and Costas Ignat, the principals of WSA, completed the successful franchise bid.

We are impressed by the level of commitment demonstrated by Eduardo Badescu and his partners, as well as the enthusiasm of the province’s large soccer community," USL CEO Alec Papadakis said in a news release.

"We have no doubt that WSA Winnipeg will immediately become a strong organization, both on and off the field, and will help set the bar high for other PDL teams."

WSA Winnipeg will compete in the Heartland Division of the PDL, the top U23 men’s league in North America.

The PDL provides Major League Soccer with a large portion of its talent pool, with 48 former PDL players selected at the 2010 MLS Draft alone, according to Papadakis.

Tryout information for the team will be announced at a later date.

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