May 14, 2024 - Sports

San Diego FC is building momentum — and its roster

Illustration of a board room table made from a soccer field.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

One year after San Diego FC was announced as an MLS expansion club, excitement is building as its roster begins to take shape.

Why it matters: The team, which will play at Snapdragon Stadium, is looking for a marquee player — and coach — ahead of its 2025 debut.

Catch up quick: Last May, the MLS added San Diego as the league's 30th team in a record $500 million deal.

  • The team is owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. Padres third baseman Manny Machado is also part of the investor group.

Driving the news: The club is in "advanced talks" with highly-decorated, Spanish defender Sergio Ramos who has won the 2010 World Cup, back-to-back Euros, and multiple Champions League and La Liga titles, The Athletic reported Monday.

  • The club is also looking to sign Mexican international Hirving "Chucky" Lozano, per The Athletic.
  • In a statement to Axios, San Diego FC said it does not comment on players, staff or personnel not officially signed by the club.

Flashback: When the team unveiled its name and brand last year, CEO Tom Penn told ESPN they're interested in "foundational players that are gonna be with us for the formative years of a club."

State of play: San Diego stayed local in signing its first player, 17-year-old goalkeeper Duran Ferree, then added Danish veterans Jeppe Tverskov and Marcus Ingvartsen.

  • The roster will continue to grow with more signings and an MLS expansion draft later this year.

Zoom out: Off the pitch, the club is growing its reputation through free community events in all 18 cities in the county through its Chrome Ball Tour.

  • The celebrations host soccer tournaments and feature local artists, live music, food trucks and merch for sale.

What's next: The next stop on the tour is at Vista Magnet Middle School on May 25.

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