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Maine’s first professional soccer club announces name

Maine's first professional soccer club announced its name, logo and brand in Portland on Saturday.

"Hearts of Pine" is inspired by Maine's state tree, the Eastern White Pine, and Portland Valentine Bandit Kevin Fahrman.

Club Founder Gabe Hoffman-Johnson said the heartwood of the pine tree gives it strength, and the bandit is an authentic Maine story.

"The hearts, sort of, have become ubiquitous in Portland and Maine. It's something this community has rallied behind and wants to continue that legacy, unfortunately, after Kevin's passing. Now the club gets to continue that legacy," he said.

Hundreds of fans who attended the announcement stood in line to buy Hearts of Pine merchandise and secure tickets for the inaugural season next year.

Last September, the United Soccer League announced that Portland would become home to a USL League One franchise.

Tryouts are expected this fall, with the first match planned for Spring 2025.

The club will host its games in Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Hoffman-Johnson said Portland's young diverse community is key to the club's success.

"A very passionate community almost outsized in the way it supports its sports teams. But really, the community and culture, as we're evolving as a city and a state soccer is the perfect fit," Hoffman-Johnson said.