Loudoun United sold to Greg Baroni


Greg Baroni, a tech executive who owns three baseball teams in Maryland, has bought a controlling ownership stake in Loudoun United, a second division soccer club launched by DC United four years ago, the group announced Thursday.

Baroni’s Attain Sports and Entertainment operates the Bowie Baysox, which is the Class AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles; a new Atlantic League team in Frederick, Md.; and the college baseball team in Frederick.

The company also got the partnership rights to Segra Field, a 5,000-seat venue owned by DC United, people familiar with the deal said.

Terms were not disclosed and it is unclear how much ownership stake DC United retains in the Leesburg team.

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In a statement, Baroni said he hoped to “build on that momentum.” [D.C. United chief executive] Jason Levien and team have created. I have an incredible passion for the sport of football and I am committed to working together to improve the fan experience and continue to strengthen the relationship with the Northern Virginia community.

Loudoun United competes in the 25-team United Soccer League Championship, which is one level below MLS. Prioritizing player development over a competitive record, the team never made the playoffs and averaged about 1,500 fans last year. This season’s 34-game schedule will begin on March 11.

“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved with the club and are confident that the sale and introduction 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 sees Baroni’s business connections — he founded a consulting and private equity firm and chairs the Northern Virginia Technology Council — as a way to better monetize Segra Field. Aside from Loudoun United, the stadium is home to Old Glory DC, a pro rugby team, but doesn’t host many other events.

The NWSL’s Washington Spirit will no longer play at Segra Field, opting instead to schedule all home dates at Audi Field, a 20,000-capacity venue in the District owned by DC United.

Loudoun’s ownership change comes as MLS and USL cut ties. For player development purposes, MLS organizations have for many years had majority ownership interests or affiliations with clubs in the USL Championship or USL League One, the third division circuit.

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Last year, however, MLS largely went out on its own in developing players by launching a third division league, MLS Next Pro. DC United continues to operate Loudoun United in the USL Championship but, in the long term, it plans to launch a larger MLS Next Pro team in Baltimore in a few years.

With greater independence, Loudoun United has qualified to compete in the US Open Cup, a 109-year-old tournament, modeled after the English FA Cup, involving teams from all levels of American soccer.


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