San Diego Loyal SC plays its final season in USL Championship
San Diego Loyal SC is playing its fourth and final season in the USL Championship this year, the club announced Thursday.
What's happening: Without a "viable near- and long-term stadium solution in the market," the second-division pro soccer club's franchise rights will be transferred after 2023, the league said in a statement.
- The Loyal, co-founded by U.S. men's national team legend Landon Donovan, currently play at University of San Diego's 6,000-capacity Torero Stadium.
Driving the news: The club's owner Andrew Vassiliadis announced the news in an emotional video on X, formerly Twitter, asking fans to "celebrate and not mourn" the team in its last games.
- It comes three months after the launch of San Diego's Major League Soccer team, which will play at Snapdragon Stadium starting in 2025.
The big picture: Despite the support that filled Torero Stadium on game days, the Loyal joins a list of about a dozen failed pro soccer clubs in San Diego.
- The decision reflects a national trend of economic hardship and instability in U.S. soccer that impacts fans and players.
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