Monday, November 03, 2014
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER LAUNCHES SECOND LOS ANGELES FRANCHISE
The City of Los Angeles will now have two football (soccer teams) playing in the Major League Soccer, the top tier football league in the United State Of America.
At a press conference recently, MLS's commissioner, Don Garber unveiled the league’s second Los Angeles-based franchise, LAFC, which will replace the now-defunct Chivas USA.
In what many see as one of the worst kept secrets in US soccer, the beleaguered Chivas USA franchise was purchased from the MLS for over US$100 million by a group that include, American-Vietnamese venture capitalist Henry Nguyen, movie producer Peter Guber, Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan and ESPN analyst Tom Penn.
Commissioner, Garber, the deal will help help make the league one of the top soccer leagues in the world.
“We are thrilled to welcome Henry Nguyen, Peter Guber, Tom Penn and their owner partners to Major League Soccer''. Garber said.
“This visionary ownership group will chart a course that will further elevate the sport in this great city and, combined with a new state-of-the-art stadium, accelerate us down the path toward becoming one of the top soccer leagues in the world''.
The new team, which will be known as Los Angeles Football Club, are set to join the league in 2017 along with a new Atlanta-based team.
LAFC, according to an official release, will play in a ‘new soccer stadium in the greater Los Angeles area built specifically for the team’. Precisely where that stadium will be located, and who will be appointed to design and built it, remains to be seen.
The announcement comes as New York City FC and Orlando City prepare to enter MLS next season.
The New York ownership group, which is made up of the New York Yankees Major League Baseball (MLB) team and Premier League side Manchester City, reportedly, paid a similar expansion fee back in 2013.
With the dissolution of Chivas, MLS will be a 20-team competition next year. The league has also confirmed it will realign its conferences, with Orland and New York joining the Eastern Conference, and Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City shuffling to the Western.
In the mean time, an expansion team in Miami, backed by David Beckham, who played for the other Los Angeles based MLS club, Los Angeles Galaxy, are still at a standstill.
The group’s stadium proposals were rejected in June and there has been little progress since.