Oceanside to host pro soccer stadium

OCEANSIDE — Officials with San Diego’s new professional soccer team announced plans this week to build a roughly 10,000-seat stadium at El Corazon Park in Oceanside.

The playing facility for 1904 Football Club will be at the SoCal Sports Complex at the park, which provides fields for soccer, rugby and lacrosse near Oceanside Boulevard and Rancho del Oro Drive.

“Oceanside is proud to welcome 1904 FC,” Councilman Jerry Kern said at a news conference.

“El Corazon Park has quickly become a soccer destination and adding professional soccer to the mix is a very big deal for the park and the city,” Kern said. “This team will draw fans from all over the world to our corner of the globe.”

The team hopes to begin play in March in the North American Soccer League, though the circuit’s future was put in doubt by a decision by the U.S. Soccer Federation earlier this year to relegate the league from second-tier status, which it shared with the United Soccer League, to third-tier status. The NASL filed an antitrust lawsuit against the USSF last month, disputing the decision.

As of now, Major League Soccer is the country’s top league, followed by the USL and then the NASL.

Despite the uncertain future of the league, San Diego’s new expansion team has garnered the backing of several well-known African and European players, including Eden Hazard.

The club’s owners, according to the team website, are Bob Watkins, chairman of the U.S. Rugby Foundation; Alexandre Gontran, a French coach credited with developing Ba; and Vagno Chandara, a Parisian former professional player in futsal, a soccer variant.

The club plans to play at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium until the Oceanside facility opens, expected in two years.

— City News Service


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