May 17, 2023 - Sports

America's growing soccer landscape

Illustration of a giant soccer ball with North America overlaid

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

The U.S. professional soccer landscape is poised to get a lot bigger after major news broke on Tuesday in both the men's and women's game.

Major League Soccer expansion: San Diego will be home to the league's long-awaited 30th club, The Sunday Times reports. Egyptian billionaire and U.K. Conservative Party senior treasurer Mohamed Mansour is set to pay a record $500 million for the expansion rights.

  • The team will reportedly begin play in 2025 and share the recently opened Snapdragon Stadium with San Diego State's football team and the National Women's Soccer League's San Diego Wave.
  • Mansour is expected to co-own the club with the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, a Native American tribe believed to have lived in the San Diego area for thousands of years.

New women's league: The United Soccer League announced plans to launch a potential NWSL rival next August called the USL Super League.

  • The USL, which already operates leagues across various levels of the sport, hopes to obtain Division I status for the Super League. That would put it on par with the 11-year-old NWSL and create a true major league for the USL's 65-team pre-professional W League to feed into.
  • Eight founding markets were announced, with plans to add up to four more before launch: Charlotte; Phoenix; Tampa; Dallas/Fort Worth; Washington, D.C.; Lexington, Kentucky; Spokane, Washington; Tucson, Arizona.
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