Warren Smith, co-founder and president of San Diego Loyal, is seeking team penalties for player's display of bigotry.
Warren Smith, co-founder and president of San Diego Loyal, is stepping down. Photo by Chris Stone

 After two years in the position, the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club team’s president is stepping down, it was announced Friday.

Warren Smith, who will remain with the club as a part owner, “has played an instrumental role in founding and developing the club and the club is grateful for his service and wishes him the best in his future endeavors,” a prepared statement reads.

“I am exceptionally proud of the work that the team of people at San Diego Loyal accomplished and how they performed over the last two years,” Smith said. “It was an honor to lead the club to this point.”

SD Loyal Chairman Andrew Vassiliadis said he will serve as interim president to ensure a smooth transition.

“We wish (Smith) the best as he continues to work on his health and creating an ideal work-life balance,” Vassiliadis said. “His passion to make San Diego an even better place to live, work and play is what inspires me to continue his legacy and bring the city that I love so much `the beautiful game,’ as well as the sense of community for all that comes with it.”

Smith, in turn, thanked Vassiliadis “for his love of San Diego, belief in me, the way he handles himself as a person and his love for this club. I would also like to thank the SD Loyal staff for the incredible work during my tenure. Together, with our fans, we have created something special for this community that will last a lifetime.”

Launched in June 2019, San Diego Loyal is the newest member of USL Championship, a USSF-sanctioned Division II pro league. The team finished its inaugural season in 2020 with a 6-5-5 record.

The club plays at Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego. Retired professional player Landon Donovan, executive vice president of soccer operations for the Loyal, also serves as first team manager. Donovan scored three goals for the United States in the 2010 World Cup.

More information on the Loyal is at sdloyal.com.

–City News Service