Women’s Professional Soccer Finalizes Philadelphia as Eighth WPS Franchise for 2010: Announces Ownership Group
Team Name to be Unveiled at Ceremony in Downtown Philadelphia in April
SAN FRANCISCO (March 17, 2009) – Women’s Professional Soccer today announced that its Board of Governors has approved awarding its eighth franchise to the Philadelphia ownership group, Philadelphia Women’s Pro Soccer LLC, led by David Halstead and Matthew Driver, which will begin play in the 2010 WPS Season. Philadelphia, joining in on the Inaugural Season festivities, will reveal its team name at a special downtown ceremony in April 2009.
“In the midst of all the build-up for our Inaugural Season, we are proud to approve Philadelphia as our eighth franchise and to bring WPS to Philadelphia in 2010,” said Tonya Antonucci, WPS Commissioner. “It’s a testament to the framework that we have put in place that new investment groups and passionate owners are excited about the opportunity to be a part of this league for our second season and help WPS grow in the coming years and beyond.”
“We are excited for Philadelphia to be joining WPS for the 2010 season, where together we will enjoy great soccer from world-class athletes,” said Philadelphia President and CEO, David Halstead. “My partner, Matt Driver, has put together an outstanding grass roots soccer organization. This organization, combined with the support from the Philadelphia communities, our MLS partners, and distinctive coaching staff, will serve as a tremendous foundation for our team to be the envy of the League.”
"We’ve been looking forward to launching this franchise for a long time… the Philadelphia community is eager for and deserving of pro soccer," said Driver. "We believe we can build and sustain a passionate fan base through lots of involvement from this soccer-loving community, and terrific play by our team. Nick Sakiewicz and Philadelphia MLS have provided great support to us as we have gotten this franchise off the ground - it will be an exciting and unique partnership."
Halstead is the President and CEO of Halstead Global LLC, a business-consulting firm providing market analysis, strategic and performance planning, and management assistance to growing commercial organizations. As a partner at the Bradson Corporation from 1991-2007, Halstead earned a reputation for creating and sustaining effective corporate leadership teams, long-standing and profitable customer relationship programs, winning business development strategies, and disciplined internal processes. With Bradson Corporation, he served as Director of Business Development, Vice President of Operations, and finally President and is credited with aiding the company’s rise as a respected industry leader in the federal government marketplace.
Prior to his career in consulting, he served in the United States Air Force and worked on Capitol Hill. He is active in community service and charitable organizations, including Fairfax Police Youth Club, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Donor’s Choose, which helps needy school children and public schools acquire classroom resources. Halstead has an MA from George Washington University and BS from the University of Maryland. A native Texan, he and his wife Linda now live in Virginia raising their two soccer-playing daughters.
Philadelphia franchise President and CEO, Halstead, is joined by General Manager and Head Coach Matt Driver in the countdown to the team’s 2010 installment. Driver has been a guiding force in the area of soccer education and development in the United States. He is the author of "Coaching Dynamics - Effective Coaching and Management of Top Level Teams" and starred in three best selling DVD’s - "Block Defending and Counterattacking Schemes", "Speed of Play with Matt Driver" and "Transitional Play with Matt Driver.” He is also the former first assistant coach of the New England Revolution (MLS) where he assisted Steve Nicol in taking the team from last to first place in the Eastern Conference, culminating in the MLS Cup final against the LA Galaxy.
Prior to coaching the Revolution, Driver saw tremendous success as a USL D3 Pro League coach, guiding the South Jersey Barons to several conference titles and a regular season National Title. In addition, he is responsible for the eastward expansion of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) and the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
As a former professional soccer player in England, Germany and the U.S., Driver comes with the the experience to lead the Philadelphia franchise. He is a Glasgow, Scotland, native and resides in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, with his wife, Karen.
More details about the team will be revealed in April while the league's expansion draft for 2010 will be scheduled following the completion of this season.
Learn more at www.wpsphilly2010.com