The Vancouver Whitecaps FC are expected to announce within the next month whether they will start their own league or return to the United Soccer Leagues for another season.

The ’Caps, who are joining Major League Soccer for the 2011 season, are looking at forming their own league for 2010 with the Team Owners Association (TOA) — a group of USL teams that includes the Montreal Impact.

“We’re trying to set up our own league and that process is still ongoing,” said Bob Lenarduzzi, president of the Whitecaps.

“The thing that we’d like to make clear is that we will be playing in a league next year. We won’t be taking a year’s hiatus.”

In an interview with Montreal radio station CKAC, Alec Papadakis, one of the new owners of the USL, said neither the Whitecaps nor the Montreal Impact would be in the USL in 2010.

However, a clarifying statement, issued later in the day by the league, stated that while negotiations between the USL and the TOA had ceased, the door was still open for the ’Caps to play in the USL-1 in 2010.

“No one has ever said, ‘that’s it, you’re not in,’” Lenarduzzi said. “And we’ve never said, ‘we’re in.’ It’s in limbo.”

USL ownership
The USL’s new owners, Nurock Soccer Holdings, purchased the league from Nike and Umbro in August.