- If all goes according to plan, Whatcom County will be welcoming a semi-professional soccer team in the near future, according to release sent out on Monday, April 25.
Bellingham United F.C. has set the spring of 2012 as its anticipated start date for play at Civic Stadium, though its league and division have not been determined.
The club is owned by Jeff McIntyre and Erin O'Brien, founders of the Seattle-based Ruffneck Scarves. The team recently named longtime WFC Rangers coach Lance Calloway as its head coach. Another well-known figure in the local soccer community, Marc Ronney, will be his assistant.
According the club's website, the team is expected to select a league to play in sometime this fall or early winter. The three leagues B.U.F.C. is looking at joining are the Pacific Coast Soccer League, National Premier Soccer League or the Premier Development League of the United Soccer League.
Calloway said in a phone interview that he's excited to be a part of this team and to work with its owners. He said he thinks Whatcom County is ready for an outdoor semi-pro soccer team.
"There are soccer people here now," Calloway said. "It's popular all over the Northwest. And when you look at this community and the surrounding areas there's a lot of soccer talent."
Once a league has been chosen, the team plans to hold player tryouts in March of 2012, Calloway said. The club would like to begin play in early May of 2012.
"Our mission with Bellingham United is to create a trusted sports brand that the people of Whatcom County will be proud of for years to come," McIntyre said in the release.
Visit Bellinghamunited.com to find out more about Bellingham United F.C.