Just days after Chivas USA ceased operations following a tumultuous 10 years in operation, MLS added a new team to its roster, the Los Angeles Football Club, or Los Angeles FC because this is America and football’s sort of already taken, so, you know…
Semantics aside, the new club is set to debut in 2017 and it has an interesting — and large — group of owners, including basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Johnson isn’t new to sports ownership. The former Los Angeles Laker is also one of the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This will be Johnson’s first foray into professional soccer, however. He’ll be joined by plenty of experts in the game, including (via MLSsoccer.com):
- Mia Hamm Garciaparra, U.S. women’s soccer great
- Ruben Gnanalingam, co-owner of the English Premier League’s Queens Park Rangers
- Vincent Tan, owner of the Football League Championship’s Cardiff City and FK Sarajevo of the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Larry Berg, co-owner of AS Roma
- Bennett Rosenthal, co-owner of AS Roma
All of the above, plus the likes of Nomar Garciaparra, former MLB star; Rick Welts, President and COO of the Golden State Warriors NBA team; as well as Allen Shapiro, Chad Hurley, Kirk Lacob, Mark Leschly, Mike Mahan, Irwin Raij, Paul Schaeffer, Brandon Schneider, Jason Sugarman, Tony Robbins and Harry Tsao, will join managing partners Henry Nguyen, Peter Guber and Tom Penn on the new venture.
“Today is day one and time for us to focus on developing a world-class stadium for the club to play in and for fans to enjoy,” Managing General Partner of IDG Ventures Vietnam Nguyen said during a Thursday afternoon news conference. “We believe this team can become one of the most outstanding clubs in Major League Soccer and a globally-recognized brand.”
Who’s looking forward to an LA Galaxy-LAFC derby?
MLS Commissioner Don Garber is!
“Los Angeles is a diverse, vibrant market with millions of soccer fans, and we look forward to an intense rivalry between the Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club,” he said.