LAFC

Reports: Sacramento set to announce MLS expansion team early next week

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USATSI

Reports: Sacramento set to announce MLS expansion team early next week

Major League Soccer's 29th team reportedly will be in Sacramento. 

MLS will announce Monday that it is awarding its next expansion team to Sacramento in a downtown press conference, The Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday citing "sources with direct knowledge of the deal." KCRA-TV and KOVR-TV later confirmed The Bee's reporting.

The Bee reported the club will play as Sacramento Republic FC, and KOVR-TV reported that they officially will join the league in 2022. Republic FC, which has played in the second tier of American soccer in the United Soccer League, tweeted a pair of statements Tuesday and said the team will share "more information in the days ahead."

The Sacramento City Council unanimously approved a non-binding term sheet in April that calls for Republic FC to build a $252 million stadium on undeveloped land in the downtown railyards and for the city to provide a $33 million incentive package. The package included $2.4 million in tax rebates and waived building permit fees, as well as $27 million from a future increased property tax to reimburse Republic FC for building infrastructure near the stadium.

Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg, according to The Bee, will propose the City Council modify the agreement to make the $27 million a loan to be paid back with interest by the Sacramento investor group, which is now led by Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle after he agreed to acquire a controlling interest in Republic FC in January. 

The MLS board of governors voted unanimously in April to expand the league from 27 to 30 teams, inviting investor groups in St. Louis and Sacramento to submit bids. MLS awarded St. Louis its 28th franchise in August, and The Bee reported Sacramento's investor group has been in negotiations with MLS since late April. 

Sacramento will join three other teams -- and potential rivals -- in California: the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy and top-of-the-table LAFC. Republic FC would become the fifth team ever to play in the state, as C.D. Guadalajara-associated Chivas USA folded in 2014.