major league soccer is expanding to 30 teams in 2025 after San Diego obtained the rights to a new expansion team this week.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement Thursday, introducing billionaire Mohamed Mansour and the Sycuan tribe as co-owners of the team.
«We are delighted to welcome San Diego to major league soccer as our 30th team,» Garber said in a news release. «For many years, we have believed that San Diego would be a great MLS market due to its youthful energy, great diversity and the fact that soccer is a part essential of daily life for so many people.
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«Mohamed Mansour and the Sycuan tribe have an incredible vision to build a club that will inspire and unite football fans across the city and region.»
The Sycuan Tribe becomes the first native american tribe to take an ownership stake in a professional soccer team. San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado is also a member of the investment group.
“I am a businessman and I tell you that the association is the most important thing. We were aligned from the beginning: we have our values and commitment,» Mansour told The Associated Press.
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«San Diego has been itching for another major league sports team, especially since the vacancy created by the nfl departure,» Sycuan Tribal Chairman Cody Martinez also told the outlet, referring to the Chargers, who relocated to Los Angeles.
«My tribe, the Sycuan, has thousands of years of history in the San Diego region, but also decades of strong, solid support for sports in this city. So it was really a natural evolution.»
According to a league news release, the team will play at the 35,000-capacity Snapdragon Stadium, which is already home to the San Diego Wave FC, a National Women’s Soccer League expansion team that began play in 2022.
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The new team’s nickname has not been announced, but the team is expected to play in 2025.
Tom Penn, a former NBA executive and ESPN analyst who served as president of Los Angeles FC until 2020, was introduced as the club’s CEO.
Associated Press contributed to this report.