OC Soccer Club and LA Galaxy vie for stadium

Orange County Soccer Club will face LA Galaxy II, LA Galaxy’s reserve team, on September 10, not only to fight for a playoff spot, but also for their home stadium in Irvine.

OC Soccer Club’s contract with the City of Irvine for the use of the Great Park Championship Stadium is up for renewal in November. But the city council will consider on September 13 to contract it exclusively with LA Galaxy II.

“We love the stadium… We made memories here; we have won a trophy here and community groups have benefited from our presence here. And we want to keep playing there,” OC Soccer Club spokesman Chad Romiti told The Epoch Times.

The seats at Great Park Championship Stadium in Irvine, Calif., on May 14, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

LA Galaxy officials promise to replace any lost revenue for the city if they terminate their contract with the Orange County Club, and also pledge to run more youth camps and clinics for the community.

A LA Galaxy spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Since the stadium opened to the public in 2017, the Orange County Soccer Club has been hosting games and community events including fireworks nights, youth camps, and more.

LA Galaxy are OC Soccer Club’s closest rivals and the two teams have always had a healthy rivalry, Romiti said.

“Obviously we’re upset with what’s going on with LA Galaxy ownership and their attempt to get us kicked out of the stadium,” Romiti said. “But we have no quarrels with LA Galaxy II players and technical staff or Galaxy fans, many of whom have been very supportive throughout this process.”

The city is considering a new direction after community groups, which can currently use the stadium 80 days a year, complained about their difficulty getting days to play in the stadium.

If the city allows LA Galaxy to use the stadium, it will open up more days for community groups to use it, according to a report from city staff.

The city is also considering a third option next week: not leasing the stadium to professional soccer teams and replacing the turf with artificial turf, which would cost the city $1.5 million, but would reduce the costs of maintenance.

Julianne Foster