(City News Service)- The Loyal are in fifth in the USL Championship’s Western Conference and are in playoff contention. The announcement follows the club’s most successful season, with a run to the Western Conference quarterfinals.

”For those of you who’ve gotten to know me, spent some time talking to me, you know how much this hurts for me to say,” said Andrew Vassiliadis, Loyal Chairman, in an emotional video message announcing the team’s final season on Thursday. ”I love our city, I’m born and raised here and I’ll always be loyal to San Diego.”

In May, when Major League Soccer announced the expansion of the league to San Diego, Vassiliadis said the team wasn’t ”going anywhere.” However, in the past six months, he and SD Loyal President Ricardo Campos looked for viable options to keep the team, academy and training facilities afloat, before coming to the conclusion the team will close up shop at the end of the season.

The Loyal will join a long list of now defunct San Diego soccer teams, including the Flash, Pumitas, Gauchos, Top Guns, Nomads, an indoor and outdoor iteration of the Sockers and Jaws and the Toros.

USMNT legend Landon Donovan was previously head coach of the Loyal, and was named executive vice president of soccer operations in December 2022. That same month, SD Loyal entered a goodwill partnership with Lincoln City F.C. of Lincolnshire, England.

Ten games remain in the Loyal’s season, including four at home and the final home game on Oct. 7 against the Oakland Roots — the team which knocked the Loyal out of the playoffs in 2022.

”So I have an ask. As we head into this last two months of the season, I ask that you continue to fight with the club, I ask that you come celebrate and not mourn what we have done over the last four years,” Vassiliadis said. ”I ask that you come join us at Torero [Stadium] for our final four home games and represent your community — come together as friends and family and cheer us on as we push once again to make it to the playoffs, and who knows what happens after that.”

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