While we’ve heard occasional rumors that NWSL could be headed to San Jose at some point over the past few years, a new report claims interest for an expansion team remains tangible.
A potential ownership group that includes Uber executive Jennifer Vescio and unnamed former U.S. Women’s National Team players was revealed in a report Friday by The Athletic. The report does not indicate how far along any plans may be at this stage, or when they would target a start date for a team on the field, but the report says the group is willing to buy NWSL expansion rights above original value from a group in Sacramento currently holding them, alongside another prospective group in Oakland. The Athletic reports and SB Nation confirmed from a source that the Sacramento group is not interested in selling those expansion rights.
The report also indicated the potential San Jose club would seek to use Earthquakes Stadium as a venue. The San Jose Earthquakes declined to comment on the matter when asked by SB Nation.
With the NWSL set to begin their ninth season in 2021, the league’s footprint in California could change drastically. So far, there’s been no team in the NWSL in California so far, but Los Angeles expansion club Angel City FC is officially in and scheduled to begin play in 2022. In an arrangement that could be similar to the one mooted for San Jose, Angel City has a distinct ownership group from LAFC, but they will play at LAFC’s stadium.
There is also the matter of Sacramento. They have been rumored to be another NWSL expansion market for more than a year, but have yet to officially announce the deal. Sources tell SB Nation the plan remains on track for Sacramento, and if that does come to fruition, would NWSL then allow another team in California? Of course, Sacramento and San Jose are already set to have their own MLS teams, and the markets are certainly distinct.
At this point, a San Jose to NWSL venture sounds possible, but we’ve heard that more than once the past several years. We’ll keep an eye on things and let you know if there are developments to this story.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.