Puerto Rico Islanders Join NASL
September 9, 2010 - North American Soccer League (NASL) News Release
The North American Soccer League ("NASL") is proud to announce the addition of the Puerto Rico Islanders. The Puerto Rico Islanders currently compete in USSF Division 2 and have qualified for the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League for three consecutive seasons.
"We are honored and proud to welcome Puerto Rico to the NASL. The Puerto Rico Islanders, who are the preeminent Caribbean team and whose remarkable accomplishments in league and international play, have elevated second division soccer in the United States," said NASL CEO, Aaron Davidson. "The Islanders have been at the forefront of the remarkable growth the sport has experienced on the island of Puerto Rico and their addition to the NASL makes our league stronger."
"It is the perfect time for the Puerto Rico Islanders to continue moving forward to next and better levels in professional soccer. NASL and its members are on the right track and our organization and soccer development in Puerto Rico deserves no less. We are confident that NASL will be excellent for Second Division Soccer in the United States. Through NASL soccer in Puerto Rico will experience the continuous growth that it has achieved thus far. This is yet another step in the right direction as we have done since the inception of our organization," expressed the Puerto Rico Islanders President, Andres Guillemard-Noble.
He also added: "That the future is promising more than ever and we will continue to showcase to the soccer world that Puerto Rico does it better."
As the only professional club in Puerto Rico currently aligned with a North American professional league, the Islanders on-field success has led to incredible growth for the sport on the island. The Puerto Rico Islanders have developed one of the Caribbean's best soccer traditions and history of achievement dating back to the inception of the club in 2004.
In the 2008-2009 CONCACAF Champions League, the Puerto Rico Islanders reached the semifinals falling on penalty kicks to Mexican giants Cruz Azul. In 2009-10, the Islanders eliminated Toronto FC of MLS in the Preliminary Round. In the current 2010-2011 edition of the competition, the Islanders defeated MLS leaders, LA Galaxy in the Preliminary Round and are currently tied for the lead in Group D with Mexican club Toluca. Earlier this season, the Puerto Rico Islanders won the 2010 CFU Club Championship after placing second in 2009.
The NASL is committed to developing the highest level professional soccer league below MLS in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The NASL will be submitting its application to the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to officially become the only second division professional soccer league in the United States.
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