Loudoun United sold to Greg Baroni


Greg Baroni, a technical executive who owns three football bases in Maryland, is taking control of ownership in Loudoun United, the second division soccer club DC United launched four years ago, the group announced Thursday.

Baroni’s Attain Sports and Entertainment runs the Bowie Baysox, which is the Baltimore Orioles’ Class AA affiliate; New Atlantic Alliance in Frederick, Md.; and Frederick’s collegiate baseball team.

The company also won operating rights to Segra Field, a 5,000-seat venue owned by DC United, a person familiar with the deal said.

Terms were not disclosed and it is unclear how much ownership DC United retained in the Leesburg team.

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In a statement, Baroni said he looks forward to “building on that moment.” [D.C. United chief executive] Jason and Levien created a team. I have a huge passion for soccer and I will continue to work to enhance the fan experience and strengthen the connection with the Northern Virginia community.

Loudoun United competes in the 25-team United States Championship, which sits one level below MLS. Prioritizing player development over a competitive record, the team never qualified for players and averaged around 1,500 fans last year. The 34-game schedule for this season will begin on March 11.

“We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished at the club and are confident that the sale and introduction of Greg Baron and Attain Sports and Sports into the ownership group will take us to new heights,” Levien said in a statement.

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DC United saw Baron’s business connections — a consulting and private equity firm he founded and chairs the Northern Virginia Technology Council — as a way to better monetize Segra Field. Outside of Loudoun United, the stadium is home to Old Glory DC, a rugby team, but not the stage for many other events.

The NWSL’s Washington Spirit will no longer play at Segra Field, opting instead to take home all days at Audi Field, a 20,000-capacity venue in the United States District of DC.

Loudoun’s ownership change comes as MLS and USL strain their relationship. For development purposes, MLS associations have for years had a major ownership stake or affiliation with clubs in the USL Championship or USL League One, the third division of the circle.

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Last year, though, MLS took a big step forward on its own initiative to nurture players by launching a third-division league, MLS Next Pro. DC United continued to operate Loudoun in the USL league but, in the long term, plans to launch an MLS Next Pro team in greater Baltimore in a few years.

With greater independence, Loudoun United became eligible to compete in the US Open Cup, a 109-year-old tournament, modeled after the English FA Cup, involving teams from all levels of American soccer.


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