The NASL announced today that they would be expanding to the Oklahoma City metro area with their newest club, Rayo OKC, who will begin play in 2016. The club will play their games at Yukon Miller Stadium, a high school facility just 15 minutes from downtown Oklahoma City. The team is majority owned by Raúl Martín Presa, owner of Rayo Vallecano - a La Liga club in Spain. Minority owner is Sean Jones, a Oklahoma native, who owns a few health care companies in the area. Sold Out Strategies, co-owned by Brad Lund, the original Oklahoma City FC owner, and DeBray Ayala will be the managing partner of the club.
This is the first time that a Spanish club will have invested in an American club. This will also be the first real attempt at a direct NASL vs USL rivalry within the same city. The Tampa Bay Rowdies played with VSI Tampa Bay but for only one year when VSI folded. The Cosmos play in New York City where the New York Red Bulls II play - hardly a competition since the Cosmos play NYCFC & NYRB more in Open Cup play and consider them rivals, not the reserve side.
This expansion announcement takes the league to 14 teams heading into 2016, although San Antonio probably won't be continuing, so 13 still for 2016. The league is expected to make at least one more expansion announcement before 2016. They still have yet to satisfy the USSF D2 sanctioning requirement of having a west coast team. The league will surely satisfy that condition soon.
It will be a fun ride watching what happens in Oklahoma City where there will be two teams from different leagues competing, and how the Spanish club runs its American counterpart.
Soccer On -ASC
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