San Diego Loyal ready for season debut Saturday

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Loyal, the city’s newest professional soccer team, kicks off their inaugural season this weekend at Torero stadium when they host the Las Vegas Lights.

“We’re stoked to just get back on the field and play in games that actually mean something,” said goalkeeper Jake Fenlason.

After five weeks of pre-season matches that saw the team go undefeated, the Loyal take the field Saturday as the newest member of the USL Championship led by Landon Donovan, considered one of the greatest U.S. men’s soccer players of all time.

“Just seeing who was running it, who the ownership group was, I knew that we we’re going to put out a good team right away and even if I wasn’t going to be involved, I was going to be a fan,” said Fenlason.

Fenlason is among 26 guys on the roster which features players of all levels including MLS, USL and college.

“We have some familiar faces that we know,” said midfielder Carlos Alvarez. “We played against each other or played with each other growing up and we’re very excited to be back playing together and we’re going to show the people very very good soccer.”

“We’re a very diverse group, a lot of people from all over the world and all over the country and then on top of that we have hometown guys,” said Fenlason, who played soccer at Rancho Bernardo High School. “We have four or five guys from here so that’s special, very very special.”

Describing themselves as dynamic, fast paced and fun, the Loyal plan to put on a show for fans.

“All the work we’ve put in and giving a victory to our fans, to the first fans we’re going to see this weekend and just show them we appreciate everything they do and everything they do for the community,” said Alvarez. “We’re just going to give as much as we can back.”

Doors at Toreros stadium open at 5:30 p.m. with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

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