USL Pro Team Coming to Sacramento, Led by River Cats Co-Founder

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Mayor Johnson (left), with Warren Smith (middle) at the press conference Monday morning announcing the new USL Pro team. (Photo by Benjamin Ormsby)


Sacramento will be home to a new USL Pro soccer team, officials announced late Monday morning.

Competition won’t start until 2014, although exhibition matches to be held in 2013. A contest will be held to choose a name for the new team.

Team officials are in discussions to hold home games at Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium. The 84-year-old stadium was overhauled this year, with artificial turf and other improvements installed.

As officials note, the league chose to expand to the Sacramento-area thanks to the strength of local soccer programs. Many professional soccer players hail from the Sacramento area.

“Today is an exciting day – not only for soccer fans around our region, but also for those who believe fervently in Sacramento’s potential as a vibrant and emerging market,” said Mayor Johnson in a statement.

Currently, there are 13 teams in the USL Pro, with Sacramento being the 14th. The league was founded in 2010, with most teams hailing from the East Coast. One team, Barracuda FC, hails from the Caribbean island Antigua Barbuda.

Warren Smith, a co-founder of the Sacramento River Cats, will lead the new franchise.

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  • jmh

    about time we get some other kind of sports team here Kings are nothing more than a distraction to the city now, I’m sure everybody is tired of guessing what’s gonna happen next, just move and make everybody happy so we can focus on the New Team and move forward, we had more bad memories then good anyway.

  • SoccerJunky70

    I love that we are finally getting a Pro Soccer Team but I would much rather have a women’s team than a mens. So broken hearted about what happened to WPS. We have a huge following here in NorCal that would support a women’s team.

  • Skepticaljohn

    Think he should focus more on his 37k fine.Karma is not good.Looks like he is desperate to get any team here so he could get his stadium. I love the kings and if we can't be loyal fans maybe we need to look at ourselves .Maloofs didn't want to get screwed and were smart. Bad move and I hope the now we can focus on a stupid soccer team

  • sacra_mentomint

    This is so AWESOME! I understand the possibility would take some time, but an MLS franchise would be a huge upgrade to the sport community in the Sacto region. Sac has a huge soccer population, with diffeent ethnicities and ages actively playing. I'm excited to see the positive impact it will have on the soccer community and the economy!!