A national pro soccer league — and not the one sought by SoccerCity developers — announced Monday it has chosen San Diego is its latest expansion market.
The North American Soccer League said the new club would make its debut in the spring of 2018.
The league is backed by global soccer stars Demba Ba, Eden Hazard, Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sow. It now has six teams in the United States, one in Canada and one in Puerto Rico. Earlier this year Fullerton in Orange County was chosen for the ninth expansion team and San Diego will be the tenth.
While North American Soccer is a professional-level league, Major League Soccer with 22 teams is considered preeminent and is being sought by the SoccerCity developers.
Bob Watkins, a longtime San Diegan business and community leader, will serve as the new soccer club’s president.
“It’s an absolute honor to bring professional soccer to San Diego County,” said Watkins. “The international soccer stars driving this effort give us an excellent foundation from which to build.”
“We intend to develop local talent, helping young children realize their dreams of playing professional soccer, and we intend to help San Diego become a soccer capital
known around the world,” he added.
Officials said the club is in the process of scouting locations in North County to build a privately-financed soccer complex that will include its home stadium. It will play its games at the University of San Diego until the stadium is complete.
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