Five months ago, Oklahoma City learned it would be the home of a Premier Development League soccer team. On June 17, it learned a North American Soccer League team was in its future.
On Friday, the fight for professional soccer dominance in Oklahoma City continued, as Prodigal LLC announced that a United Soccer Leagues Pro team will begin play in Oklahoma City.
On Tuesday at 2 p.m., Prodigal LLC will formally announce its plans to bring a USL team to the city.
On June 17, Bob Funk Jr., the owner and president of Prodigal LLC, lost out on a two-year lease for Taft Stadium to Brad Lund, the managing partner of Sold Out Strategies.
In a majority ruling, the Oklahoma City Public Schools awarded the lease plus a renewal option to Lund, who is bringing in an NASL team to the city once Taft's renovations are completed in 2014. The NASL team will play its first game in the spring of 2015.
Upon formal approval on July 25, Oklahoma City will become the smallest market in the NASL. The NASL is the second-highest tier in the United States' soccer pyramid, with 12 teams in its league. The USL is the third-highest tier, while the PDL is the fourth-ranked tier.
When Funk was asked by the Board of Education if a USL team would be brought to Oklahoma City regardless if Prodigal LLC received the lease, Funk said yes.
Should a USL team be brought to the city, this would not be the first time Funk and Lund have squared off.
Funk currently operates the Oklahoma City Barons hockey franchise for the Edmonton Oilers. He is a former co-owner of the Oklahoma City RedHawks. Funk was also the president of Express Sports in 2008, a year before the Oklahoma City Blazers hockey team ceased operations.
Lund is the former chief executive officer with Express Sports, which owned the Blazers. During Lund's 16 seasons with the Central Hockey League franchise, the Blazers were ranked No. 1 in all of minor league attendance on five occasions.
In November 2008, Lund resigned as the CEO of Express Sports. In an article published by The Oklahoman on Jan. 2, 2009, he stated that “For the last nine months of my tenure, I wasn't happy. I didn't have the zest for the job, and I didn't always look forward to coming to the office every day.”