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Monday, January 8, 2007

Sale Of DC United

Today, DC United was sold for a league record $33 million to the first minority owned management team in US soccer history. The team was formerly operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group, and will now be managed by DC United Holdings. In the MLS, teams are owned by the league, but operated by autonomous entities.

The new management team is comprised of Mr. Victor McFarlane, a property developer from San Francisco, Mr. William Chang, also of San Francisco and one of the owners of the baseball Giants, Mr. Brian Davis, and Mr. Chrisitian Laettner. The latter two were stars on Duke University's 1991 and 1992 NCAA championship teams. Davis is a native of the DC area, and attended Bladensburg High School. Laettner had a stellar NBA career, along with a few years here in Washington. According to Mr. McFarlane, three others will join the management team: Discovery Communications founder Mr. John Hendricks, Black Entertainment Television talk show host Mr. Carlos Watson, along with California real estate developer Mr. Allen Warren.

During a heavily attended and politicized press conference, Mr. McFarlane had the following to say:

"Soccer is the No. 1 sport for people of color all around the world, but not here in the U.S. -- yet," MacFarlane said. "We want to be part of the change that is now on the horizon. We would love to help make soccer the sport that African-Americans and other children of color first look to for recreation and entertainment."

Mr. Kevin Payne will remain the President, and run the daily operations for the team. He has been in this capacity since the inception of DC United in 1996. United is the most successful franchise in MLS history, and during the last 15 years, no other DC sports franchise has eclipsed its record of four championships.

Steve Goff's Washington Post article about the deal.

Best of luck and good wishes to Mr. McFarlane and his associates. Ole', ole', ole', ole'...

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