Score: Major League Soccer expands to San Diego

The league’s 30th team — San Diego FC — will play at Snapdragon Stadium in Mission Valley starting in 2025.

SD MLS coming to San Diego

The 30th MLS team belongs in San Diego.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

After months of speculation, we can blow the whistle ‘cause it’s officially official: Major League Soccer (MLS) is expanding to San Diego in 2025.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement on May 18 at a news conference at Snapdragon Stadium, joined by the new team’s owners, Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour and Chairman Cody Martinez of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. The investor group also includes San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado.

SD MLS San Diego

Padres third baseman Manny Machado is part of the ownership team — he’s pictured here with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Mohamed Mansour, and Cody Martinez.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Garber said San Diego has long been on the MLS radar as an expansion city.

“We simply needed the right ownership group that really believed in this city, the sport, and our league,” the commissioner said.

Mansour, a lifelong fan of the beautiful game, said he’s thrilled to bring the team to San Diego.

“This soccer club is your soccer club — it belongs to you,” Mansour told the crowd.

He said his life as an entrepreneur has been filled with fresh starts — and this opportunity is no different.

“I love new beginnings — it’s where goals are scored, where dreams are achieved,” Mansour added.

SD MLS San Diego

Some of the leadership team behind the team at a news briefing on May 18, 2023.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Martinez said the Sycuan Tribe is proud to be “sitting at the ownership table,” bringing its visions and values for the San Diego community to this new venture.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said while many people may say San Diego isn’t a “sports town,” devoted San Diegans prove that’s not true — supporting, rallying, and beaming with pride for local teams.

“San Diego is a sports town,” the mayor said. “There are two lessons here — San Diego can do big things, and never count us out.”

SD MLS San Diego

Snapdragon Stadium will be the home of San Diego’s new MLS team.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

The expansion team will be the league’s 30th franchise and fourth in California, after the Los Angeles FC, Los Angeles Galaxy, and San Jose Earthquakes. In October 2023, the club unveiled its team name — San Diego FC — colors, and crest.

San Diego FC will play their home games at Snapdragon Stadium beginning in February 2025.

The 35,000-seat Mission Valley venue is already home to several local sports teams like SDSU Aztecs football, San Diego Wave FC, and San Diego Legion, so the field is designed for action. The venue also hosts concerts, so the MLS schedule will be folded into the mix.

SD MLS San Diego

We’re an MLS city now, SD.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Meanwhile, sports executive Tom Penn will serve as the club’s CEO. Other founding partners include Brad Termini of Zephyr Partners, and Tom Vernon, founder of soccer organization Right to Dream, which focuses on training, educating, and empowering youth players.

In November 2023, the club broke ground on its $150 million training campus on the Sycuan Reservation in El Cajon, which will also house a Right to Dream residential youth development academy, the first of its kind in the US.

Soccer fans can reserve a spot on the list for season tickets via the club’s website for $18 — a number symbolic of the 18 cities that make up San Diego County. Proceeds will be donated to the San Diego Foundation to fund more local youth soccer programs.

In our best sportscaster voice — we’ll continue to keep eyes on this major local sports news, San Diego. Our goooaaal is to be great teammates and bring you updates.

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