Neymar and Guillermo Ochoa in San Diego FC? Cornerstones of Hugo Sanchez’s MLS Initiative

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    A couple of days ago, it was revealed that San Diego F.C. is set to join Major League Soccer in the near future.

    San Diego FC Logo Image Credits WIkipedia
    San Diego FC Logo, Image Credits- WIkipedia

    This expansion team aims to appoint Mexican Hugo Sánchez as its technical director and secure goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa as its inaugural captain.

    1. How old is Hugo Sanchez now?


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    Who is Hugo Sánchez?

    It’s noteworthy that Hugo Sánchez hasn’t managed a football team since the 2012 season, and “Memo” Ochoa won’t be with Salernitana in Italy next season. Consequently, discussions about a potential deal with San Diego FC, set to debut in MLS in 2025, have commenced.

    Meanwhile, according to POSTA Deportes, Neymar is also a target for San Diego FC. The Brazilian is currently in rehabilitation following a cruciate ligament tear last October during a World Cup 2026 qualifier between Uruguay and Brazil. He’s under contract with Al-Hilal until June 30, 2025, but speculation about his return to Brazil has surged recently. There’s a growing interest in Neymar returning to his roots, with Santos potentially being his destination in the near future.

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    Hugo Sanchez Image Credits ESPN
    Los Angeles, CA – April 7, 2014 – Kesspro Studios: Hugo Sanchez during the World Cup Promo Shoot (Photo by Eddie Perlas / ESPN Images)

    UOL reported that after the match between Santos and Palmeiras in the final of the Paulista Championship, Neymar went to the locker room to address all the squad members, promising them his return to Santos in 2025.

    Furthermore, ‘Beting’ suggests that Neymar’s aspirations go beyond just playing for his childhood club; he also desires ownership. “The new MLS club for 2025, San Diego FC, owned by Egyptian-Englishman Sir Mohamed Mansour and Padres baseball player Manny Machado, is considering this scenario: Hugo Sanchez as coach and Guillermo Ochoa as the inaugural captain,” the journalist shared on social media.

    Hugo Sanchez, The Television Commentator

    Hugo Sánchez enjoyed a remarkable tenure as a television commentator for Televisa from 2000 to 2006. He played a prominent role in covering World Cups, Liga MX football finals, and became a central figure on ‘La Jugada’.

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    Throughout his tenure as a sports analyst, he consistently expressed interest in potential roles with Real Madrid, Pumas, or Cruz Azul, never shying away from putting his name forward for consideration.

    Who are San Diego FC?

    San Diego FC is the newest franchise set to join Major League Soccer for the 2025 season. The team’s identity was revealed by the organization’s owners on October 20. Owned by British-Egyptian businessman Mohamed Mansour, with San Diego Padres star Manny Machado among its investors, San Diego FC will become the 15th franchise in MLS’s Western Conference..

    Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Round of 16 – Brazil v South Korea – Stadium 974, Doha, Qatar – December 5, 2022 Brazil’s Neymar after qualifying for the quarter finals REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

    As of now, the club has confirmed three signings: American goalkeeper Duran Ferree, along with two Danish players from Nordsjaelland, Marcus Ingvartsen and Jeppe Tverskov. Their home matches will be played at Snapdragon Stadium, a versatile venue constructed in 2022.

    San Diego’s history with professional soccer dates back to the short-lived San Diego Toros, an NASL team that relocated from Los Angeles in 1968 but only played for a single season. Another NASL team, the San Diego Jaws, emerged in 1976 from the former Baltimore Comets but lasted only one year before relocating to Las Vegas.

    licensed image 2 1
    ARLINGTON, TX – MARCH 24: Guillermo Ochoa #13 of Mexico giving directions during the CONCACAF Nations League Final between Mexico and USMNT at AT&T Stadium on March 24, 2024 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

    The franchise returned in 1978 under the name Sockers, playing outdoor matches at Jack Murphy Stadium, which they shared with the NFL’s San Diego Chargers and MLB’s San Diego Padres. Despite low attendance, the Sockers survived the NASL’s folding by transitioning to the Major Indoor Soccer League, where they clinched eight championships in nine seasons.

    The team later moved to the Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1993 but folded in 1997. However, the name was resurrected for two subsequent indoor teams—one from 2001 to 2004 and another that began playing in 2009. Additionally, other outdoor teams like the San Diego Flash and San Diego 1904 FC made brief appearances in the lower divisions of American soccer during the 2000s and 2010s before ceasing operations.

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