USL News Release
Friday, May 5, 2006
TAMPA, FL -- United Soccer Leagues announced Friday that Crystal Palace FC, which recently launched an Academy and Developmental Club in the United States called Crystal Palace FC USA, will launch an expansion Premier Development League team, Crystal Palace Baltimore FC, in 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jim Cherneski, Sporting Director for Crystal Palace FC USA stated, “It is very exciting to launch this Academy and PDL club in the Baltimore area. I played in the last season of USL professional soccer with the Baltimore Bays in 1997 and it was sad to see the professional outdoor game leave the area. We are excited to bring it back with true quality and professionalism. This is a real opportunity for young players in our area to get recognized and develop under the Crystal Palace FC developmental system. This is a 100-year-old club with a rich history in player development and their expansion of the Academy into the United States is just another example of their commitment to nurture young talent. Last season in the English Premier League, Crystal Palace were one of the few teams to field five players which came through their Academy into the first team.”
The Coca-Cola Championship league side is currently set to begin its semifinal playoff series with Watford for a chance at the final promotion berth to the English Premier League Saturday. The club will then hold their 2006-2007 pre-season training in the United States, landing in Washington, DC on the 13th of July, 2006 for a three-match tour, which includes an exhibition against the USL First Division Virginia Beach Mariners July 22 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. The remaining two matches will be announced at a later date. They will be training in the Annapolis/Baltimore, MD region.
Bob Dowie, Crystal Palace FC Director of Football commented “One of the key briefs Chairman Simon Jordan gave me when I came on board was to develop the footprint of Crystal Palace worldwide. More specifically he wanted us to establish a presence in developing football countries, to give the club access to their best and brightest up and coming young talent as well as their current star players. Simon, Dominic Jordan and myself have been working hard over the past eight months or so to define the US-based Academy set-up and this culminated in Dominic and myself visiting the Baltimore area in late April to finalize the details.”
“We are very excited about Crystal Palace joining USL,” said USL Vice President Tim Holt. “USL, and the PDL in particular, are excellent vehicles for player development and scouting at the international level. We are confident Crystal Palace, as pioneers in a movement we feel could expand to other clubs, will find this venture to be very successful given the number of talented players in this country. Jim Cherneski deserves a great deal of credit for making this project a reality”