A new Orange County NASL team playing out of Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium is in the works for the spring 2018 season, with local entrepreneur Pete Capriotti slated to be the club’s majority owner and league board representative.
Capriotti is the owner of Cotti Foods, which operates 177 Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Pieology restaurants nationwide.
“On behalf of our Board of Governors, it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Pete Capriotti and soccer fans in Orange County to the NASL,” said Interim Commissioner Rishi Sehgal. “We’re thrilled that such a fantastic market will join the league and we have been impressed with Pete’s vision, passion for soccer, and overall business leadership. The club will be an exciting addition to the league.”
As noted, the new team has signed a letter of intent to play its games at Titan Stadium, a 10,000-seat, natural-grass facility located on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. The soccer-specific stadium, which has a successful history of hosting professional clubs and top international friendlies, features seating that is close to the field, allowing fans to sit right on top of the action.
“Soccer has always been a family affair in our house — we all love it,” Capriotti said. “I’m a big fan and supporter of local, grassroots soccer and that’s what this club will represent. It will unite a base of soccer fans who are passionate about the quality of play and experiencing something fun and entertaining. We’re going to find talented players and help develop their careers, while building a championship team that the fans can be proud of.”
The club is currently considering several names in advance of its public launch in June 2017.
The addition of a Orange County team has pluses and minuses for the NASL. On the plus side, it adds another West Coast team to the NASL roster, joining San Francisco. On the minus side, there is a USL team in the area, with Orange County SC off to a strong start this season after an offseason rebranding. While Orange County SC plays this season in a temporary stadium, next season will see the team’s move to a permanent stadium at Orange County Great Park. But with a population of 3.14 million or so, there’s probably room in Orange County for multiple pro soccer teams.
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