Major League Soccer announced its plan to add a second franchise in the Los Angeles area with the formation of the Los Angeles Football Club.
The team's official site states the current plan is to begin playing as part of the 2017 season. Supporters will play a large role in determining the club's direction, highlighted at the outset by helping come up with the name, logo and kits:
With your help, over the next two years, we'll build the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). A world class MLS franchise for the fans, and for Greater Los Angeles. As an ownership group and stewards of American soccer, we will build a world-class venue and a first-class team.
The club also sent out its first tweet:
Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times notes LAFC is just the placeholder name for now:
That said, Los Angeles FC already has a star-studded leadership group in place.
Among those listed as owners are former NBA superstar and current Los Angeles Dodgers owner Magic Johnson, women's soccer pioneer Mia Hamm Garciaparra, her husband and former MLB star Nomar Garciaparra and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan.
Johnson talked about his excitement on Twitter:
In terms of other titles beyond owner, Henry Nguyen is the executive chairman, Tom Penn is the president and Peter Guber is named as a managing partner.
Nguyen talked about the league's aspirations on Thursday, according to Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated:
Cristian Nyari weighed in on the ownership group put together in Los Angeles:
One particular point of interest is whether the market can handle two MLS clubs. The Los Angeles Galaxy were founded in 1995 and were one of the league's original franchises. Now they will face renewed competition for fans after the exit of Chivas USA.
The official press release from MLS included comments from commissioner Don Garber, who stated the move was the next step toward competing on a global level.
"We are thrilled to welcome Henry Nguyen, Peter Guber, Tom Penn and their owner partners to Major League Soccer," he said. "This visionary ownership group will chart a course that will further elevate the sport in this great city and, combined with a new state-of-the-art stadium, accelerate us down the path toward becoming one of the top soccer leagues in the world."
Also noted is the fact the league is now expected to feature 22 teams by 2017 with the club from Atlanta joining at the same time. Two more expansion teams are then expected in time for the 2020 campaign.
As LAFC readily notes, there are still plenty of decisions to make before they begin competition. But the formation process is complete. Now it's about working out the details, seemingly with plenty of input from the fanbase.