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Copyright 1999
Oregon Live ®
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PFE lands soccer team for 2001

Tuesday, August 31, 1999


By Roger Anthony of The Oregonian staff

Portland Family Entertainment will announce today it has reached an agreement to operate an expansion team in the A-League of the United Soccer Leagues.

Jim Taylor, who helped organize the Women's World Cup matches held in Portland this June, will be general manager of the team. He said it would begin play in 2001.

While the A-League is the top classification of the USL, it is considered soccer's version of Triple-A baseball -- with the caliber of play a notch below that of Major League Soccer 's. Teams play a 28-game season running from May to September. Salem and Corvallis have USL franchises, though in lower divisions. A Portland franchise would join the A-League's Pacific Division, which has teams in San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

"People will be skeptical," Taylor said. "But if you create the right atmosphere, people will be interested in taking a look."

The soccer team is the third franchise acquired by PFE, a partnership of 16 investors headed by former Trail Blazers executive Marshall Glickman. PFE also has signed a letter of intent to purchase the Calgary Cannons of the Pacific Coast League, with the intent of moving them to Portland in 2001; as part of that deal, PFE will purchase the Portland Rockies.

A-League franchises sell for about $300,000. Teams typically carry an 18-player roster, with a limit of five foreign-born players. Payrolls in the A-League run between $150,000 and $200,000.


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