Maine’s new USL-1 soccer franchise dubbed Portland Hearts of Pine, to kick off in 2025

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The expansion team will hold tryouts for players this fall.

Portland Hearts of Pine will begin play in USL League One in 2025.

In front of more than 1,000 fans in Portland, and with Gov. Janet Mills declaring the state’s first “Day of Soccer,” Maine’s new USL League One soccer franchise was dubbed the Portland Hearts of Pine, and will kick off play in 2025.

The United Soccer League announced an USL-1 expansion franchise in Maine’s biggest city last September. In November, Portland City Council approved the club’s lease agreement to play at 6,000 capacity Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Hearts of Pine, or Hearts for short, have already named a team president (Kevin Schohl), a director of operations (Hannah Sirois, formerly of the Maine Celtics) and a head of marketing, and will hold tryouts for players this fall. Coaches and other team principals are expected to be named in the fall.

“This is a great day for soccer in Maine, but that’s just the beginning of what’s to come. We hope the club will inspire not just soccer fans and players, but everyone who has their heart in Maine,” said Schohl.

The Hearts of Pine name was developed with input from local supporters, with tie-ins with Maine’s nickname as The Pine Tree State, as well as the Hearts moniker mirroring soccer clubs elsewhere, like Edinborough’s famed Heart of Midlothian of the Scottish Premiership.

“The club crest features an iconic Maine pine tree set against deep blue water, basking in the glow of a unique creation, the Dirigo Heart, which re-imagines Maine’s famous Dirigo Star in the spirit of Portland’s beloved Valentine’s Day Bandit,” the release explained.

Gov. Mills led the Portland crowd gathered for the announcement in cheers for Maine’s newest professional franchise.

“I congratulate Maine’s new professional soccer team, Hearts of Pine, on unveiling the name that Maine people will cheer on for years to come,” she said. “In celebration of this exciting milestone and in honor of passionate soccer fans across the state, I have proclaimed today as the first-ever Maine Day of Soccer. I look forward to joining Maine people to cheer on Hearts of Pine when they take to the field next year.”

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