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Demba Ba, Eden Hazard involved in San Diego NASL team

A potential owner emerges.

Liverpool FC v Besiktas JK - UEFA Europa League Round of 32 Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

With recent reports that NASL expansion is coming to Southern California in the near future emerging, comes an interesting new wrinkle on Thursday.

Demba Ba, the Senegalese striker who has enjoyed good times in the English Premier League, among other places around the world, talked to Eric Wynalda on his SiriusXM show, “WTF” on Thursday, and dropped himself and former teammate Eden Hazard in the NASL expansion fray.

“Me and a group of investors, a couple of players as well in the project, are doing something for San Diego right now,” Ba said on the show.

Ba explicitly identified his group’s connection to Club 9 Sports, the agency led by respected American soccer executive Peter Wilt, who recently told reporters NASL was looking at expansion to San Diego and Orange County.

“We are close to finalize and get the license from the guys from Club 9 Sports and we have an LOE with the NASL, and we are very close to finalizing to bring the team in San Diego, which will be something big,” Ba told Wynalda.

Among the famous people involved besides Ba? His former Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard.

“We have some players, a group of investment, one of the most famous guys is Eden Hazard, a very close friend of mine, and he’s excited as well,” he said.

Wynalda asked how long Ba would be continuing his playing career, and Ba (possibly) joked he was going to play for the mooted team.

“I might be playing another six, seven years, so why not play in San Diego so I can pay myself?”

The clip provided on social media by SiriusXM did not include any indication on a specific timeline for a San Diego expansion team, nor a comment on where the team would play in the area.

So what does that mean? More details are trickling out, and unusual for NASL expansion rumors, a specific name is tied to an ownership bid in Southern California. Whether the project will come to fruition remains to be seen, but we’ll continue to keep tabs on this and other expansion reports for the region.

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