The Pennsylvania Roar will begin its inaugural season in the Major Indoor Soccer League in November at the Sovereign Center, which by then will known as Santander Arena.
The league announced Wednesday morning that Reading had been awarded a franchise for the 2013-14 season, but multiple calls to the league office were met with refusals to confirm the team name or ownership group.
However, former Reading Express owner Andrew Haines, who will do marketing work for the Roar, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the Roar is the Reading expansion team.
In addition, website PennRoar.com features an MISL club and links to a Facebook page advertising as much. That page shows a seating chart that matches the Sovereign Center's.
The Roar website lists Glen Goldstein and his wife, Dawn, as the team's owners. Goldstein is a member of Missouri Sports Holdings; he and his wife co-own the MISL's other expansion team, the St. Louis Ambush, with Will and Shelly Clark and Haines and his wife, Leah.
Goldstein and Haines will fly in from Missouri Sunday, Haines said, and hold a press conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Sovereign Center.
Haines, a Lancaster County native, sold the Express before it ever played a game when he was also the president of the American Indoor Football League.
He was also an owner of the Lancaster Liberty of the Global Professional Basketball League, among other teams and leagues. The Liberty folded after its only season in 2009.
The logo on PennRoar.com is an apparently roaring black bear with red eyes clutching a soccer ball.
PennRoar.com lists the Sovereign Center as its home address. A number on the site leads to Goldstein's voicemail. A message left there was not returned.
Reading's newest soccer team caught Art Auchenbach and Mike Moyer, executives of Reading United and FC Reading Revolution, respectively, off-guard.
Reading United plays in the Premier Development League, which is part of the United Soccer Leagues that govern the Major Indoor Soccer League. The Revs play in the National Premier Soccer League, which is sanctioned by U.S. Soccer but not affiliated with the USL.
Auchenbach was not aware of the Roar's announcement Wednesday morning.
On Wednesday afternoon, USL president Tim Holt said he expects the United to participate in the Tuesday presentation of the team.
Auchenbach said he will be there after sending the Reading Eagle a statement saying that he and the United "look forward to being a part of a year-round USL soccer presence in Reading. Reading United has been in discussions with United Soccer Leagues management regarding our involvement with this new indoor soccer opportunity for our area."
United's season runs from May to August; the Roar will play from November to March.
Sovereign Center general manager Zane Collings said that discussions on an indoor soccer team coming to the arena have been ongoing all summer and that he expects the team to play a 20-game schedule with 10 home games. The MISL schedule is set to be released in August or September, according to the league website.
Holt said the league hasn't finalized the number of teams in the league for the 2013-14 season. The MISL release listed Reading as one of seven league locations, along with Baltimore, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Rochester, Syracuse and St. Louis.