Major League Soccer expansion team coming to San Diego, will play at Snapdragon Stadium
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Major League Soccer is coming to San Diego, with the league hosting a Thursday news conference for the official announcement.
Mayor Todd Gloria will join MLS Commissioner Don Garber, British- Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour and Cody Martinez, chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, for the official 10:45 a.m. announcement, the MLS said.
KUSI’s Brandon Stone and Chase Izidoro previewed the highly anticipated announcement on Good Morning San Diego (below).
According to published reports, Mansour — senior treasurer for the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party — is set to back an MLS expansion team with $500 million in partnership with the Sycuan tribe.
Any such team could play in Snapdragon Stadium by 2025, a year before the United States will join Mexico and Canada in hosting the 2026 World Cup.
Dan Courtemanche, vice president of communications for the MLS, told City News Service he could neither confirm nor deny the announcement of a new club.
An announcement made Tuesday said only that Thursday’s event at Snapdragon Stadium would feature “a significant announcement about the future of soccer” in San Diego.
Meanwhile, in response to MLS expansion rumors, the ownership of one of San Diego’s existing professional soccer clubs — San Diego Loyal SC of the USL Championship — put out a defiant statement last week saying the team isn’t “going anywhere.”
“Our unwavering commitment is to the vision of growing soccer in this city, and we want to make that abundantly clear,” said Andrew Vassiliadis, chairman and owner of SD Loyal. “Landon Donovan, the entire San Diego Loyal team and I are dedicated to this mission, and we will continue to work tirelessly to achieve it. Our passion for soccer and for our community will never falter.”
Donovan, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, coached SD Loyal for its first three seasons, 2020-22, then became its executive vice president of soccer operations in December 2022.
The San Diego Wave, which began play in the National Women’s Soccer League in 2022, plays in Snapdragon Stadium and set a league single-game attendance record of 32,000 against Angel City FC last September.
The official team website is www.sandiegofc.com
Following the press conference, KUSI’s Chase Izidoro caught up with part-owner, Manny Machado.