Plans to Put a Pro Soccer Team in Portland Are in the Works
Gabe Hoffman-Johnson, a former Falmouth High soccer standout and former soccer captain from Dartmouth, says he wants to bring professional soccer to Portland and the city is "on board" with the idea, according to a recent story from the Press Herald.
Gabe is a huge soccer fan but his career was cut short do to physical problems, the article says.
The paper says the United Soccer League is North America’s largest minor league soccer organization and is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation. The USL is currently considering Portland as a new expansion site to their USL League 1, a third tier North American pro soccer league.
A USL executive scouted Portland back in 2017 and since then he says since their first visit to Maine the idea has been "beyond exploratory," the Press Herald reports. The next step is to see if pro soccer is something that's wanted in Portland. The league currently has just 10 teams now but the executive says USL League 1 plans to expand to 30 to 40 teams by 2026.
Gabe thinks Portland will be perfect for a team and cites the "hipster image with a vibrant food and beer scene as having a synergistic relationship with soccer," according to the Press Herald. And he's already come up with a name for the team, Portland United.
Now they have to find playable land. The paper says Fitzpatrick Stadium with 6,000 seats meets USL League 1 requirements but the field isn't wide enough. If it were, a new USL team could have been playing in Portland as early as next spring.