San Diego has been a hot topic in pro soccer expansion rumors in recent months, in all three men's pro leagues, and the latest report came from NBC San Diego on Monday.
Derek Togerson reported that USL is in negotiations to add a San Diego team to the league, with that team possibly entering play as soon as next year.
The report follows that of Scratching the Pitch's report on the same subject in April, which said a "strong ownership group" was trying to bring USL to San Diego in 2017 or 2018. It should be noted another story that report mentioned, that Nashville would get a USL team as well, has officially come true in recent weeks.
The NBC San Diego report notes the sticking point for a San Diego expansion team is likely a stadium plan. While the University of San Diego's Torero Stadium is mooted as an initial option, that stadium, with its spartan seating options and accommodations would not appear to be a prime candidate as a long-term option. And with soccer stadium projects being part of redevelopment plans mooted around town, the allure of waiting for a purpose-built stadium that could nurture a pro soccer team may be the brass ring USL is waiting for.
Of course, Togerson's report links this USL bid to a potential future that would include MLS expansion too, something that has been rumored as well of late. It seems more likely a soccer-specific stadium would be built for MLS than for USL, but as Togerson notes, this USL team could become an MLS team someday, possibly.
At this point, the amount of chatter makes it appear that a professional team will come to San Diego, more a matter of when and not if. But given we're in the heady days of soccer expansion fever, one never knows which twists are in the road ahead. Will San Diego enter the modern era of professional soccer in the U.S. with a team? We'll keep you posted on any developments in the story.
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