Loudoun United sold to Greg Baroni


Tech executive Greg Baroni, who owns three baseball teams in Maryland, has bought a controlling stake in Loudoun United, the second-division soccer club founded by D.C. United four years ago, the groups said Thursday.

Baroni’s Attain Sports and Entertainment operates the Bowie Baysox, the Class AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles; New Atlantic League team in Frederick; and the collegiate baseball team in Frederick.

The company also acquired co-op rights to the 5,000-seat Segra Field, owned by D.C. United, a person familiar with the deal said.

The terms were not disclosed and it is unclear how much ownership interest DC United retains in the Leesburg team.

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In a statement, Baroni said he “looks forward to building on this momentum [D.C. United chief executive] Created by Jason Levien and team. I have a great passion for the sport of football and am committed to working together to enhance the fan experience and strengthen the connection with the Northern Virginia community.

Loudoun United competes in the 25-team United Soccer League Championship, one level below MLS. Prioritizing player development over competitive record, the team never made the playoffs and averaged 1,500 fans last year. The 34-game schedule for this season begins on March 11.

“We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished with the club and believe that the acquisition of Greg Baroni and Attain Sports and Entertainment into the ownership group will take us to new heights,” Levien said in a statement.

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DC United saw Baroni’s business connections — he founded consulting and private equity firms and chairs the Northern Virginia Tech Council — as a way to better monetize Segra Field. In addition to Lodoon United, the stadium is home to Old Glory DC, a rugby union team, but does not host many other events.

The NWSL’s Washington Spirit will no longer play at Segra Field, choosing instead to schedule all home dates at the county’s 20,000-seat Audi Field, owned by DC United.

Loudoun’s ownership change comes as MLS and USL downplay their relationship. For player development purposes, MLS organizations have for years been affiliated with or majority owned clubs in the USL Championship or USL League One, the third division circuit.

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Last year, MLS took its own step into player development by launching a third division league, MLS Next Pro. DC United continued to work with Loudoun United in the USL championship, but in the long term plans to start an MLS Next Pro team in Baltimore in a few years.

After gaining more independence, Loudoun United became eligible for the US Open Cup, a 109-year-old tournament, modeled after the English FA Cup, featuring teams from all levels of American football.


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