With several D.C. United officials, including General Manager & Vice President of Soccer Operations Dave Kasper, looking on in attendance, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 7-1 (with 1 absence) on Wednesday night to send plans for the Black-and-Red’s training facility and stadium for a USL team forward for further action.
The next step in the process is for plans on financing the project to be reviewed and approved at the next meeting, scheduled for January 18. Concurrently, developing a lease agreement and development activities would be coordinated as well.
“We are excited to have made this sort of progress,” Kasper told B&RU after the meeting on Wednesday night. “With Loudoun County, we have been talking for quite some time. We’ve had good dialogue with the board, but with folks that work on a daily basis for the county.
“We’ve put together a very good plan,” he added. “We think this is a great county, a county that will support an USL team.”
Over the course of the hour-long session, several of the Supervisors of the county spoke favorably on the proposal in comprehensiveness and benefits to the area. Supervisor Ralph Bouna (Ashburn) said that “It’s a very good deal...” for the county where Loudoun would still continue to own the land while Supervisor Matthew Letourneau (Dulles) said it was an “...excellent opportunity for the county.”
Several of the eight citizens that spoke were from the Kincaid Forest portion of the county, and worried about concerns with traffic, noise from events and “crime activity” that one commenter claimed to have witnessed at D.C. United games. However, some praise of the deal was shared by some of those residents, including a multi-regional environmental representative. Members of Loudoun Soccer (a United Developmental Affiliate who would be nearby the stadium) voiced their support of the bill.
Some concern was expressed about the expediency of the process in part to meet the March 2019, though Letourneau mentioned the need of a starting point and was impressed by this one. B&RU also learned of the team’s confidence in making the 2019 start for the team, as the team will use prefabricated components in the construction of the stadium, in a construction project to last approximately three months once land has been prepared for building.
With all the work on the Black-and-Red’s infrastructure, Kasper is keeping focus on the coming days and weeks for the first team as well. Kasper is set to head down to Florida to take in the MLS Combine in the next couple of days, ahead of the MLS SuperDraft on January 19. With the third pick in the first round, United will have plenty of options to choose from.
“We’ve done our work, and now the final step is to go and see the players play, evaluate, do the physical testing and interviews,” said Kasper. “We have a good pick this year, and hopefully we get something good.”
And despite several key acquisitions already this offseason, United fans can potentially look forward to several more moves.
“We still have more moves we want to make,” Kasper said in conclusion.