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Ron Burkle pulls out as MLS expansion team owner in Sacramento

Absolute shock news.

MLS: Press Event at The Bank D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer very quietly announced on Friday that Ron Burkle will no longer be the majority owner of Sacramento’s MLS expansion team.

The full statement from MLS:

Earlier today, Ron Burkle informed the League that based on issues with the project related to COVID-19, he has decided to not move forward with the acquisition of an MLS expansion team in Sacramento.

After working for many years to bring an MLS team to Sacramento, the League continues to believe it can be a great MLS market. In the coming days, the League will work with Mayor Darrell Steinberg to evaluate possible next steps for MLS in Sacramento.

“I want to thank Mayor Steinberg for his continued efforts to bring MLS to Sacramento,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “His commitment to the city and delivering for its passionate soccer fans should make all citizens of Sacramento proud.

“Interest in owning a club in Major League Soccer has never been higher. And I remain incredibly optimistic about finalizing expansion plans for our 30th team.”

The news is a shock, in many respects, and this promises to be just the beginning. For one thing, we don’t know if this is the end of Sacramento Republic’s quest for MLS or if it will ultimately be a blip along the way.

In addition to MLS, Burkle had been the announced owner of an NWSL expansion team for Sacramento set to launch in 2022, and it’s currently unclear what that status will be. As this is a developing story, we’ll have more coverage coming and will fill in details as we learn more.

For now, what do you think? Leave a comment below.