San Diego Loyal Starts Roster for Inaugural USL Championship Season
On the men’s side of the game, America’s super soccer star is Landon Donovan. Former MLS and National team player, Donovan’s dream since hanging up his pro cleats has been a professional soccer team in San Diego … and the long awaited dream is a reality with kick-off fast approaching. Now, as the manager of the USL Championship side San Diego Loyal SC, he has signed his first player.
San Diego Loyal has signed MLS veteran and San Diego Native Salvatore Zizzo Jr. as the club’s first player for its Inaugural USL Championship season.
The native of America’s Finest City offers over eleven years of professional experience including 174 MLS appearances and a 2018 MLS Cup title.
San Diego Loyal Soccer Club announced today the signing of Defender Salvatore “Sal” Zizzo Jr., pending league and federation approval.
Zizzo is the first player to be signed by the Club in franchise history.
Zizzo’s first regular season home match is scheduled to take place in early March 2020 at Torero Stadium.
“From the moment we started the process of building a team, we wanted to sign players who would be loyal to our soil and bleed San Diego through and through,” said SD Loyal EVP of Soccer Operations and First Team Manager, Landon Donovan.
Nobody embodies those values more than Sal.Landon Donovan, SD Loyal EVP of Soccer Operations and First Team Manager
“We couldn’t be more excited for our first signing to be a San Diegan who cares about this community deeply,” said Donovan.
Zizzo brings more than eleven years of professional soccer experience to SD Loyal. After a stellar college career at UCLA where he was selected as Pac-10 Freshman Player of the Year, he represented the U.S. in the 2007 U-20 World Cup.
In 2007, he signed with the German Bundesliga club Hannover 96 for a three-year contract.
Zizzo returned stateside in 2010 and began what was an accomplished and successful MLS career with Chivas USA, Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls and most recently Atlanta United.
During his MLS career, Zizzo was a part of the MLS Cup Champion Atlanta United in 2018 and also honored with the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2015 while playing for the New York Red Bulls.
“When Landon Donovan called and told me about the opportunity, I didn’t hesitate; it was worth returning to the game,” said Defender Salvatore Zizzo Jr.
“San Diego is a big city with a ton of soccer talent. When you grow up playing soccer here, you learn at a young age how to take the game as far as you want,” said Zizzo. “And, being so close to Mexico also gives a bit of creativity and flair to the game.”
Playing professionally in my hometown is something I’ve always wanted to do.Salvatore Zizzo Jr.
“I’m excited to grow and play in the city that I know so well,” said Zizzo.
Born in San Diego and an alumni of Patrick Henry High School, Zizzo is extremely proud of the Italian heritage he shares with so many San Diegans including the well-recognized Busalacchi family, known for owning several beloved restaurants in the heart of Little Italy. Zizzo will reside in Chula Vista with his wife and three daughters.
SD Loyal Player Stats:
Salvatore Zizzo Jr. (Sal Zizzo)
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Get ready for fun fan gear!
Did you know: San Diego Loyal is the newest member of the USL Championship? The Club will play at Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego. The Club is led by Chairman Andrew Vassiliadis, who is the youngest principal owner in USL Championship. It was founded and led on the business-side by experienced soccer executive Warren Smith, a co-founder and former president of Sacramento Republic FC. Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Donovan is one of the most decorated soccer players in the U.S. and he leads the technical side as both EVP and Manager.
Source: Press Release