Kristian Vazquez | PasionNaranja

Your next USL-1 team?

The USL story in Puerto Rico seems to be growing by the day. Earlier today Esteban Pagan, from the Primera Hora newspaper, reported speaking with USL executives Tim Holt and Chris Economides regarding the possible interest of the league in inviting the Puerto Rico Soccer League (PRSL) team Sevilla FC-PR into the USL-1. Economides told Pagan that he hadn’t heard about the possible expansion to Juncos while Tim Holt said there was no interest in adding another team in Puerto Rico.

Interestingly enough, when we spoke briefly with Sevilla FC-PR earlier this week, they mentioned something about Ponce also being invited to the USL. Following up on the possible expansion of the USL in the Island, we spoke with Ponce River Plate’s president Steven Alvarez. Last week we spoke to Alvarez regarding the rumors that they had been invited to join the NASL, which he described simply as rumors and nothing else.

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We asked about the alleged USL invitation to Ponce River Plate, to which Mr Alvarez said: “There’s been no concrete offer from the league but we have been approached by an intermediary. The USL is interested in meeting with me regarding the possibility of Ponce playing in the USL. We should be meeting with them next week in order to further explore the possibility.”

When asked if the club is seriously considering the possibility, Alvarez replied that they are very interested in possibility, particularly considering the international competition that the USL would represent. He also told us that the club has been increasing their budget in order to attempt to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League and that the team would have the support to be able to compete in the USL. Alvarez also made sure to reiterate his club’s commitment to the Puerto Rico Soccer League and to the development of soccer in Puerto Rico. “If we compete in the USL, we would make sure to also field a team to compete in the PRSL. We are very commited to this professional Puerto Rican league” added Alvarez.

We will be speaking with Mr Alvarez again next week after his meeting with USL representatives.