Soccer Franchise Notes: James Harden Buys Stake In Dynamo, Dash
ESPN.com's Jeff Carlisle noted Rockets G James Harden has "purchased a stake in the investment group that controls" the Dynamo, NWSL Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium. Harden, who will have a reported 5% stake, "joins an ownership group that includes" Majority Owner Gabriel Brener, Oscar De La Hoya, Astros investor Ben Guill and Oregon-based investor Jake Silverstein. All are "expected to remain in the Dynamo/Dash/BBVA Stadium investor group" (ESPN.com, 7/18). ESPN's Jason Fitz noted Harden’s investment gives “even more name recognition to MLS, and especially to NWSL.” ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Jr. said it is “probably a good business opportunity for him as these are on the come up." Golic: "It does also play well PR-wise for the Houston guy to say, ‘Hey, I’m really about it’” (“Golic & Wingo,” ESPN Radio, 7/19).
BACK IN THE BIG APPLE: THE ATHLETIC's Pablo Maurer noted former NYCFC F David Villa "seems slated for a return" to the N.Y. area as a minority investor in a Queens-based USL expansion club. Sources said that the team will "almost certainly be called Queensboro FC," and it is "seeking to take the field" in '21. An official announcement "could come as soon as September." Sources said that while planning is in "advanced stages, it is still anything but official." The USL "has not yet awarded the prospective ownership group a franchise" (THEATHLETIC.com, 7/18).
MOVING UP: In San Diego, Mark Ziegler noted area club 1904 FC last week announced it has "joined the National Independent Soccer Association, a new league that recently received third-division sanctioning from U.S. Soccer and plans to have its inaugural games in September." But the "bigger news" is where 1904 FC will play: 70,561-seat SDCCU Stadium (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/17).