Major League Soccer today announced that Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) will become the latest soccer franchise to join the league in 2017.
Chivas USA were removed from MLS on Monday, and the new Los Angeles-based club that was promised has now been revealed.
Cardiff City’s controversial owner Vincent Tan is part of a 22-person ownership group led by Vietnamese-American entrepreneur Henry Nguyen, sports and entertainment leader Peter Guber, and sports veteran Tom Penn.
Ruben Gnanalingam, co-owner of Premier League club Queens Park Rangers, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, former Los Angeles Lakers star, are also involved.
— LAFC (@LAFC) October 30, 2014
The club will build a world-class soccer-specific stadium for the team, and will announce the club’s full identity and coaching staff at a later date.
LA Galaxy are probably the biggest MLS club in terms of its worldwide fanbase, and a new LA-based side will guarantee another intense city rivalry for the league, as New York City FC will battle with New York Red Bulls from next season.
“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,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said at today’s press conference.
“The Los Angeles market has millions of soccer supporters, and we know that this new team can fulfill the promise of success on the field and provide a great experience for our fans,” he added.
Atlanta Football Club will also join the league in 2017 as MLS continues to grow at an alarming rate.
New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club will start playing from March, and another two franchises are set to join in 2020, with David Beckham’s Miami franchise still expected to be one of them despite ongoing stadium issues.
This season saw the highest average attendance figures across the league ever, and the incredible speed that Major League Soccer is developing at is not set to slow down anytime soon.