Ottawa lands NASL team

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

OTTAWA - Pro soccer is coming to Lansdowne Park.

Ottawa has landed an expansion franchise in the fledgling North American Soccer League, a source confirmed to the Sun Wednesday night.

Details will be revealed during a news conference Monday at the Civic Centre.

The team will be owned and operated by Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and will begin play when the Lansdowne revitalization project is completed, which is also when Ottawa's new Canadian Football League team will take the field.

The realistic expectation for the stadium redevelopment to be finished is now 2014.

OSEG frontman Jeff Hunt was unavailable for comment.

The NASL, which is part of CONCACAF, is a Tier II circuit. Essentially, it is to Major League Soccer what the American Hockey League is to the NHL. The discrepancy in talent is minimal, however.

After a 17-year run from 1968-84 in a different form, the NASL was founded in 2009 and began play last April.

It is currently an eight-team loop featuring the Montreal Impact, FC Edmonton, Carolina RailHawks, NSC Minnesota Stars, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Puerto Rico Islanders, FC Tampa Bay and Atlanta Silverbacks. Their schedule has 28 games, with each team playing 14 at home and 14 on the road.

Baltimore and San Antoinio are to join the league in 2012.


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