The longtime Richmond-based Total Soccer Systems (TSS) Academy will be operating a team in the USL Premier Development League for the upcoming season.
TSS has purchased the Washington Crossfire franchise and will be playing out of Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.
The TSS FC Rovers will be part of the PDL Northwest Division that includes last year’s finalist Calgary Foothills, Seattle Sounders U23, Lane United of Oregon and the Victoria Highlanders.
The Rovers will be led by TSS owner and head coach Colin Elmes. Their roster consist of entirely domestic players.
“The PDL creates the apex of our player development model and gives the younger male players in our program a clear progression that takes them to the end of their high school period and beyond,” Elmes said. “TSS Rovers main objective will be to help push players into the higher levels of the game in North America, help populate our national team programs and with our home being at Swangard Stadium, organically create a community-based culture that soccer people can own and support.
“If along the way TSS Rovers hits the heights of some of our other Canadian franchises, that will just help enhance all of the above.”
Based out of Richmond for the past 17 years, TSS moved from its longtime home on No. 5 Road last September to the Drummond Club athletic facility on Savage Road. The TSS Soccer Centre features a 20,000 square foot indoor facility for its wide range of programs.
The TSS Rovers will be one of seven new teams operating in the PDL this coming season.
“We are excited to bring soccer back to the grass at Swangard Stadium,” added general manager and assistant coach Will Cromack, “and are delighted to be able to provide more professional player development opportunities to the wonderful soccer market of greater British Columbia.
“The PDL provides a further professional environment for kids who may have been passed over by the other clubs in our area. A place where they might aspire to continue to develop and enhance the opportunities for our region to still develop more players. As a late blooming development sport the more clubs providing places to play is always great for the soccer community.”
The PDL is part of the United Soccer League, operators of the Division II USL as well as the Super Y League.
“We are thrilled to welcome TSS FC Rovers into the PDL,” PDL Director Todd Eason said. “Targeting strong ownership groups, such as TSS Rovers, has been a strong focus of the league for 2017, and the club will definitely improve an already talented Northwest Division. By adding a PDL franchise to the top of their development pyramid, the TSS Rovers have provided a direct path to the professional level for their elite academy players and local college-aged talent.”