Tomorrow, Ajax America will announce that they are considering investing in either the San Jose Earthquakes or the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer here in the US. Ajax is interested only in a supporting investment position, so both teams are still looking for lead investors. Having Ajax as part owners of the Earthquakes would be particularly sweet for me, as Ajax has been my favorite non-US club team for many years. I’ve even seen them play in Amsterdam Arena against NAC Breda.
The most likely alternative for the Earthquakes is to be sold to Televisa (owners of Mexican powerhouse Club America) and moved to Houston next year. That plan has a lot of problems, though, because they still haven’t found a stadium where they could definitely play. Though the preferred location, even if just temporary, would be the Astrodome, a different investment group has first dibs and is already negotiating to turn the decrepit, old Astrodome into a retail complex. The next best solution is the University of Houston stadium, but that would require a lot of investment to be suitable. Even then, they would have to play on artificial turf.
Hopefully, the Earthquakes current owners, AEG, will do the right thing and sell the team to the local investment team that Soccer Silicon Valley has been working with and to Ajax America.
[via Soccer Silicon Valley email newsletter]
Here’s a photo of the Ajax vs. NAC Breda match I attended a few years ago. Ajax are in red and white. John O’ Brien, an American who now plays for ADO Den Haag, started in midfield for Ajax. Earnie Stewart, an American with a Dutch mother, started for NAC.