San Diego gets pro soccer: the NASL – The San Diego Union-Tribune

High-level professional soccer is coming to San Diego, after all.

The North American Soccer League, designated as a second-division league by U.S. Soccer, is expected to announce a San Diego expansion franchise that will begin play in 2018, first at USD’s Torero Stadium and later at a 10,000-seat venue it plans to build at an undisclosed location in North County.

The club’s majority owner is European star Demba Ba, and the investment group includes three of his former teammates: Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard, French international Yohan Cabaye and Senegalese goal-scoring machine Moussa Sow. Ba left open the door of playing for the team he owns after his contract with China’s Shanghai Shenhua expires next summer.

“When I came and saw the city and looked at the football, I thought: ‘This is right on point, this is the right spot,’” Ba said. “American soccer is growing, and I know that Americans, if they put their head into something, they’re going to be successful.