Soccer returns to Wilmington with Hammerheads, USL-Pro

Published: Nov. 9, 2010 at 9:37 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2010 at 11:11 PM EST
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Posted by Bob Bonner - email

The Wilmington Hammerheads disappeared for a season, but they never really went away.

That feeling is the reason the Hammerheads will be back on the field in 2011.

Co-owners Bill Rudisill, Dr. Clyde Harris, Cindy Harris, Dr. Mario Basegoda and Dr. Sara Borcherding each felt a need to bring the team back to Wilmington after it was taken away at the conclusion of the 2009 season.

"When it went away, I was mad." said Dr. Clyde Harris at Tuesday's announcement.  "If it needed to be the Green Bay Packers model and I got 100 guys to chip in, we were bringing this team back."

The league felt just as strongly

"There was a void when soccer left Wilmington."  Chris Economides, Senior Director of the USL Pro League said.  "This was one of the storied franchises of the league, so this is a banner day for not only the Hammerheads but for the USL."

The Hammerheads will take part in the upstart USL Pro League which will combine teams from the USL First and Second divisions for play in 2011. The USL PRO will consist of as many as four geographic regions in 2011. Teams scheduled to compete in USL PRO in 2011 will be announced in the coming weeks.

In the mean time, head coach David Irving will be networking to fill out a roster.

"It's time to start networking."  said Irving.  "I've already been in contact with players, but at this point we don't even have a ball to play with."

The organization will keep the name Hammerheads and there is no indication there would be any changes to the logo or color scheme.

"When we lost the team I really didn't realize how much of a brand we had created." said co-owner Bill Rudisill.  "I wouldn't have brought the team back without the name and the colors because they mean so much to people."