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San Diego awarded MLS franchise after reported $500 million fee

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From Man City's showdown with Chelsea to key battles in the relegation scrap, Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards preview all of the action in Matchweek 37 of the 2022-23 Premier League season.

Major League Soccer has awarded an expansion franchise to San Diego, the league announced Thursday, after the ownership group paid a staggering $500 million fee to start a club in Southern California.

The club will be owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour as well as the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation, an ethnic group indigenous to San Diego County.

The Athletic reports that Mansour also has a stake in Danish club Nordsjaelland as well as ownership of the famous Right To Dream Academy in Ghana. The same report says Mansour’s son was part of a failed bid to buy Chelsea.

[ MORE: Major League Soccer 2023 schedule ]

The club will play in 2025 at Snapdragon Stadium on the campus of San Diego State, a 35,000-plus seat venue it’ll share with NWSL club San Diego Wave.

Former LAFC owner Tom Penn will run the club as CEO, and San Diego Padres star Manny Machado is being touted as a minority investor.

San Diego has a USL Championship club in Landon Donovan-owned San Diego Loyal. Loyal plays on the campus of the University of San Diego in 6,000-seat Torero Stadium and has made the playoffs in two of its three seasons.

Follow @NicholasMendola