SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said yesterday professional soccer will return to Silicon Valley for the 2008 season with the approval of the San Jose Earthquakes as an expansion team.
The ownership group is led by Lew Wolff and John Fisher, who own the Oakland Athletics.
The Earthquakes will join the Western Conference, Garber said during his state of the league address in Colorado ahead of tonight's All-Star Game, pitting MLS All-Stars vs. Celtic FC at Commerce City, Colo. Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston of the Revolution were added to the All-Star team as inactive players. Neither player will be at tonight's game.
David Beckham is scheduled to watch the game in the commissioner's box. Beckham's MLS debut is scheduled for Saturday in the Los Angeles Galaxy's friendly against Chelsea, though an ankle injury restricted his practice Monday and could keep him on the sideline.
The Earthquakes still need approval from the San Jose City Council for plans to build a privately financed soccer stadium near Mineta San Jose International Airport. The stadium is scheduled to seat 20,000 and open in 2010.
The Earthquakes won two MLS Cup titles before relocating to Houston in 2005 after plans for financing a new stadium in San Jose fell through. The Houston team, now known as the Houston Dynamo, won the MLS Cup title last year.
The San Jose Earthquakes will be MLS's 14th team and the third in California alongside Chivas USA and the Galaxy.
Wolff said the Earthquakes will play home games in temporary stadiums for the first two seasons. The locations will be announced soon, Wolff said in a statement.
In other news, MLS awarded Toronto next year's All-Star Game.