San Diego in MLS? Yes, please.
Major League Soccer will welcome its 30th team in 2025.
This past week, Major League Soccer unveiled the next arrival to Major League Soccer, none other than San Diego.
It’s been a fun ride watching Major League Soccer grow over the past few years, even if some of the disruptions have changed conference makeups and screwed up a schedule of opponents that had a bit of rhythm. Each expansion team has deepened the opportunity for domestic players and made our academies stronger overall and brought even more competitiveness to a league that is one of the best in the world as far as parity goes.
San Diego will be another chapter in that process. What different tactics will they bring to developing their squad? What diamonds in the rough will get an opportunity in southern California? What will they name their squad?
(By the way, it looks like FC San Diego or San Diego FC. Okay.)
As a recent transplant to southern California, I’m excited. For one, it gives me another chance to head down the road and see FC Dallas in person at least once a year, but the other piece of excitement is how rich the soccer culture is out here. There is definitely talent that flies under the radar, so San Diego could end up producing a future star or two.
What else might this mean?
For one, we are starting to narrow down those potential cities where another franchise could go. Eventually, I think it is possible to imagine another Dallas-Ft Worth team to materialize, maybe one located over toward Ft Worth or Arlington. Could Phoenix or Sacramento also work themselves into the mix? It’s possible, but future franchises are really going to have to bring some investment to the league considering San Diego brought $500 million to the table.
The other interesting nugget is how close this will place Major League Soccer into competition with a Liga MX team like Club Tijuana. Is there potential to build on that rivalry or for those squads to foster a partnership, loaning players across the border? I’m curious how they will work out their MLS Next Pro side too and explore maybe having games up in Orange County, since the Los Angeles teams are more focused on their immediate city.
San Diego is also going to shake up the western and eastern conference again. Folks are already wondering how that might impact scheduling, so it will be interesting to see. Who will their natural rivalry be? Los Angeles? Which one?
Finally, San Diego will be a great destination for a lot of soccer players. It’s a beautiful place. The weather is amazing. I imagine it won’t be hard to sell the location to pros from across the world who want to play the beautiful game in a beautiful spot.
What do you think about this big announcement?
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