Landon Donovan's 2nd-tier San Diego Loyal to cease operations after 2023 season

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Loyal, led by former U.S. star Landon Donovan, will cease operations after their fourth season in the United Soccer League’s second-tier League Championship.

Owner Andrew Vassiliadis made the announcement Thursday, citing the inability to find locations for a stadium, training facility and academy. The team has played at Torero Stadium, a 6,000-seat venue on the campus of the University of San Diego.

Vassiliadis said he didn't envision his team moving to another location.

First-tier Major League Soccer said in May that San Diego will become its 30th team when the league expands in 2025.

Donovan, 41, coached the team from when it started play in 2020 through last year, then became its full-time executive vice president of soccer operations.

“Having a modern, commercially viable stadium solution is vital to our clubs’ long-term success and is a pillar of the USL’s growth strategy,” USL deputy CEO Justin Papadakis said in a statement. “Despite collectively pursuing multiple potential options with SD Loyal’s leadership in the San Diego area, an appropriate stadium solution has not materialized.”


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