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Watch Party!

Join Prodigal Soccer for a watch party on Friday, November 15 at 51st Street Speakeasy at 2 p.m.

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Prodigal names Board of Advisors for Soccer Team

Prodigal LLC today named their Board of Advisors for their soccer team that begins play in USL PRO in the Spring of 2014.

The Soccer Board of Advisors is made up of members of the business community in the metro area that also have a vested interest in the success of the sport of soccer. The volunteer position allows those business leaders to provide insight to Prodigal as they move toward their first game in USL PRO in Spring 2014.

Prodigal’s Board of Advisors consists of the following members: Jason Hawkins, Assistant Director of Coaching for the Oklahoma Soccer Association and VP of Special Projects for First Fidelity Bank; Russ Lissuzzo, past president of the Edmond Soccer Club and owner of Heartland Title; Blaine Wood, Division Sales Manager, Dr Pepper Food Service; Randall B. Allen, President & CEO of MidCon; Lisa Springer, Mercy Health Center Regional VP of Marketing and Communication; Sam Warden, Board Member of NOKC Soccer Club; Jeremy Humphers, President of Norman Youth Soccer Association and Vice President, Accounting at Devon; Matt Fansher, General Manager of Soccer City and former State Director of Coaching for Oklahoma Soccer Association.

“We feel a Board of Advisors comprised of business leaders that also have a vested interest in the sport of soccer increases the visibility of the sport in the metro area,” said Prodigal LLC owner Bob Funk Jr. “Each of these individuals comes from a unique line of work as well being an active participant in the sport of soccer. Their expertise in their field of business will assist our strategy for relating to businesses in Oklahoma City.”

“In addition, the creation of the board of advisors is another step for our group to weave ourselves into the fabric of our community. We anticipate fantastic feedback from the group as we move forward toward playing professional soccer in Oklahoma City in the Spring of 2014.”

Soccer fans can place a deposit on a ticket package by calling 405-235-KICK (5425).

Prodigal LLC is a full service event management company based in Oklahoma City. Prodigal operates the Oklahoma City Barons professional hockey team, co-promotes Professional Bull Riders (PBR) events in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, operates the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR), serves as the co-organizer for the March of Dimes Sports Headliner Banquet and produces the Bricktown 4th Fest and is sales and marketing partner with All College and World Cup of Softball.

Prodigal partners with ADG to build soccer specific stadium in OKC

Prodigal LLC announced a partnership with locally owned ADG, Inc. to design and build a soccer specific stadium in Oklahoma City to be the home of Prodigal’s USL PRO franchise.

Beginning in Spring 2014, Prodigal will operate a USL PRO franchise in Oklahoma City. Several locations for game play for the first season are currently under consideration. USL’s PRO division is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league outside of MLS. The league not only serves as a springboard to the MLS for players, but also for franchises. Four of the last five clubs to enter MLS have moved up from the USL’s top professional division, including teams in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and Montreal.

Prodigal and ADG are exploring sites to build the stadium and are engaged in discussions about long-term strategy, location and design. Initial plans for the stadium call for it to seat 7,000, with the ability to expand to 20,000, the minimum size for a franchise to be considered to earn an expansion team in North America’s best soccer league, Major League Soccer (MLS).

“Part of the three-year long process to bring a USL PRO team to Oklahoma City was to explore the opportunity to build a soccer specific stadium in the metro area,” said Prodigal CEO Bob Funk Jr. “ADG has proven itself to be a company that can design and service award winning work. We look forward to working with ADG to design a stadium that can serve the needs of our USL PRO team, and also expand based on our long-term goal of bringing an MLS team to Oklahoma City.”

"We are privileged to be a part of this important project for Oklahoma City," said Scott Dedmon, Design Director and principal at ADG, Inc. "When we designed the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark it set a new standard for Triple-A Baseball. We expect to do the same for USL PRO Soccer. This will be an exciting new sports venue for Oklahoma City and will express the growth of our city."

ADG provides design and program management services to clients throughout the country from its base in Oklahoma City. The firm’s award-winning design work can be seen throughout downtown Oklahoma City. The firm designed the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, now in its 15th year of operation. ADG is also responsible for the new Dean McGee Eye Institute at OU Medical Center, Nonna’s Ristorante, the City Center Parking Garage north of Devon’s tower and multiple projects at Saint Anthony Hospital, including Saints Medical Plaza, the east campus expansion and the twin beacons atop the ADG-designed surgery center.

Sports and recreation design work beyond the ballpark has included multiple projects for schools and churches throughout Central Oklahoma. Founded in 1975, the firm has called Bricktown home since 1987—before the sports and entertainment district was established. ADG has a staff of more then 50 employees, including architects, interior designers, engineers and program managers. Program management contracts include overseeing all the MAPS for Kids projects as well as the MAPS 3 program.

Prodigal LLC is a full service event management company based in Oklahoma City. Prodigal operates the Oklahoma City Barons professional hockey team, co-promotes Professional Bull Riders (PBR) events in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, operates the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR), serves as the co-organizer for the March of Dimes Sports Headliner Banquet and produces the Bricktown 4th Fest and is sales and marketing partner with All College and World Cup of Softball.

Prodigal is engaging the local community to assist in naming the team with an online contest at www.okcusl.com. Tickets may be reserved by calling (405) 235-KICK.

ABOUT USL PRO

USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below and in support of MLS, both on and off the field. In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that will enhance the development of professional players in North America, strengthen the competition in both leagues, and establish a solid foundation for future collaboration. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO features 13 teams participating in the 2013 season, including expansion teams in Phoenix and Tampa. The league is focused on aggressive but deliberate growth by adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and US Soccer standards, which are located in markets that further promote regional league play. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams will compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is the longest-standing pro league affiliate member of US Soccer.

  • The USL PRO season runs from April through September
  • The season consists of 26 regular-season matches
  • USL PRO features six teams with more than 10 years of operating experience and more than 100 years of combined operational experience
  • Expansion teams have been announced in Sacramento, California and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for 2014.

Notable Players with experience at the USL PRO level

Tim Howard

GK   6-3   North Brunswick, NJ.
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  • Began his professional career in 1997 with USL’s D3 PRO League with the North Jersey Imperials, making 16 appearances in 19 games for the club
  • Skills earned the attention of Major League Soccer’s MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls)
  • Played three seasons with the MetroStars
  • Earned call up to U.S. Men’s National Team beginning in 2002
  • Began consistent play for U.S.N.T. in 2007
  • Played four seasons for Manchester United (English Premier League)
  • Acquired in 2007 by Everton (English Premier League)
  • Recorded 100 shutouts for Everton in over 200 career appearances for the club
  • Earned several awards during his career
  • MLS Best XI (2001, 2002)
  • Member of English Footballer’s Team of the Year (2004)
  • 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Gloves (Best Goalkeeper)

Brian Ching

F   6-1   Haleiwa, Hawaii
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  • After brief stint with Los Angeles in 2002 was loaned to USL Pro’s Seattle Sounders
  • Scored 16 goals in 25 games with the Sounders earning USL Pro First Team honors
  • Signed with San Jose Earthquakes in 2003, scoring six goals in 15 games before injury ended his season
  • Returned to Earthquakes in 2004 and scored league-leading 12 goals in 25 games
  • Names MLS Comeback Player of the Year in 2004
  • Moved with franchise to Houston and became a fan favorite with the Dynamo, playing in over 150 matches
  • Won two MLS Cups with Houston in 2006 & 2007
  • Names to U.S. National Team in 2003
  • Scored 11 goals in 45 games over eight years with U.S.N.T.
  • Named to U.S. World Cup Team in 2006

DeWayne De Rosario

F   5-11   Scarborough, Ontario
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  • Canadian National Team captain started pro career with Toronto Lynx in USL’s Top Professional Division
  • Signed with USL Pro’s Richmond franchise after three seasons in Germany
  • Scored 15 goals in 23 games with Richmond in 2000
  • Performance in Richmond earned him a contract with San Jose Earthquakes
  • Key performer with San Jose, helping squad earn MLS Cup titles in 2001 & 2003
  • Moved with franchise to Houston
  • Won two additional MLS Cups with Houston in 2006 & 2007
  • Golden Boot award winner (led league in goals) with D.C. United in 2011
  • MLS MVP Award Winner in 2011
  • Played with Toronto FC, New York Red Bulls, San Jose, Houston & D.C. United in MLS career
  • Scored 20 goals in 73 international appearances for Canada

Photo credits: Houston Dynamo, DC United & U.S. Soccer

MLS PARTNERSHIP

USL PRO and MLS entered into a formal partnership in January, 2013.

  • Starting in 2013, USL PRO and MLS Reserve League teams take part in interleague play.
  • Four USL PRO clubs – the Harrisburg City Islanders (Philadelphia Union), Orlando City (Sporting Kansas City), the Richmond Kickers (DC United), and the Rochester Rhinos (New England Revolution) – entered into formal affiliation agreements starting with the 2013 season.
  • Each club affiliation includes at least four players on long-term loan from the MLS parent club to its USL PRO affiliate.
  • MLS teams with formal USL PRO affiliates will not participate in the 2013 MLS Reserve League.
  • All interleague games count in both the official USL PRO and MLS Reserve League standings.

TEAM DEVELOPMENT

USL has offered a platform for franchises with the aspiration of joining MLS build a strong platform to build from, with four of the last five franchises to enter the league having formerly been part of USL.

The Seattle Sounders were the first side to make the transition in 2009 after 15 seasons in USL, with the four-time Champion becoming Major League Soccer’s 15th franchise. Since then the Sounders have been a figurehead for the league, regularly drawing more than 40,000 fans each game to Century Link Field, and leading the league in average attendance in every season since it was admitted.

Two years later, the Sounders were joined by their Cascadia brother, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps. The Timbers spent 10 seasons as part of USL, rebuilding the history of the club and implementing infrastructure that sees it continue to operate a franchise in the PDL as a stepping stone for its academy players to reach the next level.

The Whitecaps also continue to have USL ties as they too operate a club in the PDL for graduates of their academy system. The Whitecaps, which claimed the heritage of the club’s name in 2001, also had great success in USL, winning two championships and reaching the playoffs each season before its move to MLS.

The Montreal Impact became the fourth former USL club to join MLS in 2012, with the club making a smooth transition to the top flight as it currently sits in the playoff positions more than midway through the season. With a passionate fanbase, and a history of continental success while part of USL, the Impact are also making their return this summer to the CONCACAF Champions League.

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

USL PRO, and its predecessors, has offered a pathway to Major League Soccer for a number of players who have gone on to successful careers in MLS and internationally. Below is a list of alumni currently active in the top flight

2013

Clint Irwin – Charlotte Eagles to Colorado Rapids (15 appearances, 14 starts)
Ryan Richter – Charleston Battery to Toronto FC (10 appearances, nine starts)
Mechack Jerome – Orlando City to Sporting Kansas City (10 appearances, eight starts, one assist)
Matt Kassel – Pittsburgh Riverhounds to Philadelphia Union (one appearance)
Alec Kann – Charleston Battery to Chicago Fire (Back-up goalkeeper, no appearances)

2012

Alex Caskey – Charleston Battery to Seattle Sounders (28 appearances, 15 starts, one goal, four assists)
Yordany Alvarez – Orlando City to Real Salt Lake (28 appearances, 11 starts)
Lewis Neal – Orlando City to D.C. United (19 appearances, seven starts, two goals, one assist)
Lawrence Olum – Orlando City to Sporting Kansas City (29 appearances, 10 starts)

2011

Mamadou Danso – Portland Timbers (USL) to Portland Timbers (42 appearances, 40 starts, three goals)
Bright Dike – Portland Timbers (USL) to Portland Timbers (23 appearances, nine starts, six goals)
Tom Heinemann – Charleston Battery to Columbus Crew (35 appearances, 15 starts, three goals, two assists)
Lamar Neagle – Charleston Battery to Seattle Sounders (56 appearances, 28 starts, 11 goals, seven assists)

2010

Sheanon Williams – Harrisburg City Islanders to Philadelphia Union (83 appearances, 83 starts, three goals, nine assists)

2009

Osvaldo Alonso – Charleston Battery to Seattle Sounders (122 appearances, 118 starts, six goals, 12 assists, MLS Best XI 2012)
Sebastian Le Toux – Seattle Sounders (USL) to Seattle Sounders (138 appearances, 115 starts, 33 goals, 32 assists, MLS All-Star selection)
Zach Scott – Seattle Sounders (USL) to Seattle Sounders (52 appearances, 41 starts, one goal, one assist)

2008

Sinisa Ubiparipovic – Minnesota Thunder to New York Red Bulls (82 appearances, 36 starts, four goals, five assists)

2005

Clyde Simms – Richmond Kickers to D.C. United (217 appearances, 182 starts, three goals, nine assists)

2004

Alan Gordon – Portland Timbers (USL) to LA Galaxy (150 appearances, 95 starts, 35 goals, 25 assists)

2003

Brian Ching – Seattle Sounders to San Jose Earthquakes (230 appearances, 150 starts, 82 goals 34 assists)

2001

Dwayne De Rosario – Richmond Kickers to San Jose Earthquakes (312 appearances, 262 starts, 102 goals, 76 assists, MLS MVP 2011)