18 July, 2010

No MLS in San Diego

A few of us here at TSI caught a column in the San Diego Union Tribune, claiming that there should be an MLS team in San Diego. Soccer is immensely popular in San Diego with our large Mexican-American population and San Diego has had great success in producing professional players. Union Tribune sports columnist Nick Canepa quotes Anthony Fernandez, one of the organizers of the recent match between Portsmouth and Club America in San Diego, as saying that the only thing standing between San Diego and the next MLS expansion team is the $30 million "franchise fee."

Now, Fernandez also calls Portsmouth an "English Premier team," apparently not realizing they were relegated and are a Championship Division team. That speaks to his credibility.

The online Voice of San Diego called the quotes in Canepa's column "Mostly True." This label actually is high praise coming from Voice of San Diego, who pride themselves in calling out bluffs in their award-winning "Fact Check" column. "Mostly True" is the second-best verdict available. The detail that prevented the statement from being "Absolutely True" was the fact that MLS doesn't just require a $30 million buy-in fee, but also requires either plans for a soccer specific stadium or the team owner also owns the stadium (as is the case with Bob Kraft and the New England Revolution, for example, who play at expansive Gillette Stadium in Foxboro because Kraft owns it). So even if there was an owner willing to shell out $30 million for an MLS team in San Diego, that wouldn't be enough since there is no appropriate stadium.

By the way, Club America won, 2-1, with Memo Ochoa in goal, the guy who everyone thought would be Mexico's starter in the World Cup. Israel Martinez set up Enrique Esqueda's 14th minute goal with a back heel pass to put CA up 1-0. Two very short minutes later, Israel Martinez volleyed in a cross from Daniel Montenegro to put CA up 2-0. Tom Kilvey added a consolation goal for Portsmouth in the 50th minute by getting his own rebound off Ochoa's save.

And, hey, Nick Canepa: only 9800 fans attended, even though Club America has the highest attendance in all of Mexico and are arguably the most popular team.

1 comment:

  1. The franchise fee is up to the area of ~$40mil now. That was what Portland had to drop as did Vancouver.


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