The push for an MLS expansion franchise in San Diego has a prominent new backer, as Landon Donovan has joined FS Investors.
The former soccer star announced on Friday that he was joining FS Investors, the firm that is pushing to bring an MLS expansion team to San Diego. Donovan, a resident of San Diego, announced his decision in a statement on his Facebook page.
“I am excited to announce that I am taking the next step in my career and will become a Partner, Owner and Investor with FS Investors, the group attempting to bring Major League Soccer to San Diego,” he said. “I moved to San Diego a year ago and I’ve fallen in love with the city. I am honored and invigorated to be part of this movement as I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to give back to the soccer world that has meant so much to me.
“My goal is to leave a legacy that endures long past my playing days. Accordingly, my first task with the MLS to SD group (in addition to helping secure an MLS franchise) will be to develop a world class youth academy system that will positively affect the lives of young male and female soccer players. Our youth are the future of the sport and I can’t wait to get started!”
FS Investors’ proposal calls for a new stadium to constructed as part of the SoccerCity development. The facility would be joined in the development, which is being pitched for the current Qualcomm Stadium site, by several amenities, including residential units, lodging, park space, and more.
San Diego was one of 12 cities to be represented in MLS expansion bids that were submitted at the end of January. The MLS is expected to add four teams from that mix, with two beginning play by 2020 and another pair joining the league at a later date. San Diego submitted its bid in a public event on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum on Monday, January 30, and Donovan was on hand for the proceedings.