My favourite soccer team in the world is dead.
According to a series of tweets in advance of CTV Vancouver Island's Saturday newscast, the Victoria Highlanders FC ceased operations effective January 31st. Here's what we know so far:
Just spoke with Highlanders GM Mark deFrias - he told me he resigned this morning. The Highlanders Men's and Women's team will both fold.— Chandler Grieve (@CTVNewsChandler) January 31, 2015
It's with a heavy heart that @HighlandersFC has shutdown all football operations effective immediately. Announcement made this afternoon.— Lake Side Buoys (@LakeSideBuoys) February 1, 2015
This affects the academy, U21 and first teams. There will be no Victoria side in @USLPDL in 2015.— Lake Side Buoys (@LakeSideBuoys) February 1, 2015
@ThatRituroGuy There was a tweet from CTV Victoria today stating DeFrias resigned this morning. Owner made brief phone interview from AZ— Lake Side Buoys (@LakeSideBuoys) February 1, 2015
@CTVNewsChandler The news has hit the supporters group pretty hard about the club today. Out of the blue really.— Lake Side Buoys (@LakeSideBuoys) February 1, 2015
Despite this news that left me somewhat of an emotional wreck on an otherwise fine Saturday evening, I cling to this tiny shred of optimism:
I've been told that the CSA are seriously looking at launching an Ontario League One style league in BC in 2016. Maybe @HighlandersFC reborn— AFTN (@aftncanada) February 1, 2015
I'll add any information I can find to this article as soon as I have it. In the meantime, for a more eloquent eulogy than I could muster at this time, please read former Eighty Six Forever editor-in-chief Ben Massey's post at Maple Leaf Forever.