Victoria Highlanders FC is a Canadian soccer club in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) and Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL). The Highlanders began PDL play in April 2009 as part of the Northwest Division of the 67 team PDL, while the women joined the PCSL in 2013 after coming from the W-League.
The PDL and PCSL are training grounds for the best up and coming footballers in the sport and a stepping stone to the North American Professional soccer leagues. Highlanders FC players are largely a consortium of Canadian and NCAA Division I University and College players, Canadian Under 20 National Team Players, local Vancouver Island players, and a mix of import players from the UK, Europe, and Asia.
The franchise is held under the ownership of business entrepreneur Alex D. Campbell. A soccer coach by night, and a savvy entrepreneur by day, Alex D. Campbell, born in Port Alberni, BC understood the need to help develop young soccer players across the Island. Believing Victoria was ready for a new professional soccer franchise after witnessing the success of the FIFA U-20 World Cup (Canada 2007), Mr. Campbell began the application process with the United Soccer Leagues.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring a professional soccer franchise to Victoria,“ said Highlanders FC owner Alex D. Campbell. “Victoria has long been a hot-bed of young soccer talent with over 15,000 kids playing the game locally. Our club gives these youngsters and talented players throughout Vancouver Island something to aim for and the chance of playing soccer at a professional level. We are looking forward to creating affiliation agreements with top European clubs, and giving our players and club exposure in this sport. Our goal is to make the Highlanders a community-based club that Vancouver Island can be proud of”.
United Soccer Leagues
As the United Soccer Leagues starts its third decade of operation, soccer at all levels continues to grow in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. The largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America, the United Soccer Leagues is dedicated to growing the sport at the grassroots level in every community. The USL's First and Second Division's, now realigned to form the USL Pro Division (North American men’s professional soccer), the USL Premier Development League (U23 North American men’s amateur), the USL W-League (North American women’s amateur), the USL Super-20 League (U20 North American men’s and women’s amateur) and the USL Super Y-League (North American boy’s and girl’s elite youth amateur) have provided a platform for thousands of players to reach their dreams since 1986. This vision and commitment to develop a soccer nation by fans, investors, administrators, coaches, and players has created the foundation for the growth of the sport, while presenting affordable, exciting family entertainment in over 100 cities and towns on the continent.
Premier Development League
The top U23 men’s league in North America is the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the development ground for elite players. The league features a 67-team format within four regional conferences, consisting of 16 regular season matches, 8 home and 8 away. Players have the ability to compete in the PDL throughout the summer months in a professionalized setting while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is the proving ground for players that aspire to reach the highest-levels of the game, while providing affordable family entertainment within their city.