Ghanaian and Egyptian youngsters from Right to Dream Academy are set to join the newly acquired Major League Soccer (MLS) team, San Diego FC.
Right to Dream Academy, owned by Egyptian billionaire Mansour, finalized the acquisition of the MLS club, announced by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. The ownership consortium of San Diego’s MLS club consists of Mansour and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, led by Chairman Cody Martinez.
The involvement of the Sycuan Band marks a milestone, as they become the first Native American tribe to have an ownership stake in professional soccer in the United States. The investor group also includes Manny Machado, a Major League Baseball All-Star and member of the San Diego Padres.
The founding partners of the venture encompass Brad Termini, Co-founder of Zephyr Partners; Tom Vernon, Founder of Right to Dream; and Dan Dickinson, Board Member of Right to Dream. Tom Penn, a sports executive, has been appointed as the club’s CEO.
Commissioner Garber expressed excitement about welcoming San Diego as the league’s 30th team, citing the city’s youthful energy, diversity, and soccer’s significance in residents’ lives.
“We are thrilled to welcome San Diego to Major League Soccer as our 30th team,” said Commissioner Garber. “For many years we have believed San Diego would be a terrific MLS market due to its youthful energy, great diversity and where soccer is an essential part of everyday life for so many people. Mohamed Mansour and the Sycuan Band have an incredible vision for building a club that will inspire and unite soccer fans throughout the city and region.”
Mansour, founder of the investment management firm Man Capital, also owns Right to Dream (RTD), a global soccer community known for its innovative approach to talent identification and development. RTD has produced players who excelled in MLS, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA World Cup, including several Ghanaian national team players.
The integration of Right to Dream Academy’s expertise into San Diego FC will benefit aspiring Ghanaian footballers and create coaching roles for former African football stars. Figures such as Michael Essien from Ghana and Djimi Traore from Mali, now coaches at Nordsjaelland and Right to Dream Academy, respectively, will contribute their experience and mentorship to San Diego FC.
The collaboration will also leverage the expertise of South African chief scout Jeremy Seethal and his assistant, Derek Boateng, a former Ghana international. The vision is to make an impact on African football and provide a platform for talented youngsters.
This acquisition opens doors for young players and coaches, elevating the profile of African football on the global stage.
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