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Arizona United founder sells majority stake to high-profile local investors

Arizona United SC owner Kyle Eng has sold his majority share of the team to a group led by Berke Bakay, CEO of Kona Grill.

Steve Aibel/

Arizona United majority owner Kyle Eng on Wednesday sold his majority share of the team to a group of investors led by Kona Grill CEO Berke Bakay, and Eng resigned as co-chairman of the team effective immediately.
The group has named David Farca as club president. Farca, President of the Board of Directors to the Arizona-Mexico Commission, is also the president of ToH Design Studio and CEO of International Business Group.
Eng is hopeful that Farca and the other new investors will take the groundwork that has been laid and build a great soccer culture.

"I'm not really a soccer guy, it was never my first love," Eng said. "David is a guy who knows his soccer and is someone that can grow this brand and possibly help take this to the next level."

Eng founded the team in 2014, purchasing the USL franchise rights vacated just days previously by the short-lived club Phoenix FC.

Bakay will also increase the soccer acumen of the group,  and stated in the club release, "Soccer has always been in my blood. My interest and involvement in the soccer world has been positively influenced by one of my uncles serving as the Vice-Chairman of the famed Galatasaray club in Istanbul."

The rest of the group is as follows:

  • Mark Detmer, Managing Director of JLL
  • Tim Riester, Founder and CEO of RIESTER Advertising
  • Dave Stearns, Co-Founder and CEO of Connect Wireless
  • Jim Scussel, Co-Founder of Four Peaks Brewing Company
  • Richard Hauser, President and Owner of Capital Real Estate, Inc.
  • Brandon McCarthy, professional baseball pitcher

Co-Chairman Brett Johnson, along with Ballertronix, the group led by Grammy Award winner Diplo and entertainment lawyer David Rappaport, as well as other limited partners brought in at the end of last season and the beginning of this season, will remain as part of the new ownership group.