MLS, city leaders tout pro soccer in SD – The San Diego Union-Tribune

American soccer star Landon Donovan remembers his professional career in the United States nearly being over before it had barely begun.

Donovan was a rookie in 2001 playing for San Jose of Major League Soccer, and the rumors were that if the Earthquakes, who were averaging a league-low 9,000 fans per game, didn’t beat the L.A. Galaxy in the championship game, the franchise would fold.

The Earthquakes won the title, stayed alive and still exist all these years later, though two other teams, Miami and Tampa, went to the graveyard after that season to leave MLS with 10 teams.

“They were probably on the ninth of their nine lives,” Donovan said.

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