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July 19, 2013

Soccer war rumbles in OKC as plans clash

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

There is only one other city in the United States where a similar system sustains: Los Angeles, where the Galaxy and Chivas USA compete as MLS rivals and the Blues ply their trade in USL PRO. In 2015, New York will be only the second U.S. city to support two MLS teams.

How a two team system would work in Oklahoma City, Cornett said, is for the companies to decide.

"It's the companies that make that decision," Cornett said. "I'm not a referee here. It's not for me to decide what's in the best interest of the city."

One thing is certain: SOS's NASL team will have a place to play in two years' time. Oklahoma City Public Schools awarded SOS a two year lease on Taft Field earlier this year, giving the company a leg up in the battle for soccer supremacy since, at the moment, Prodigal have no place to play their team. There is no date for construction to begin on their planned 7,000-seater stadium, and alternative possibilities to pass the time appear to be anything but endless.

"What I have heard is they are looking at several sites, but I don't know any more," Cornett said.

There is yet another twist in the tale, and it's one that could leave even the top experts of the American soccer landscape scratching their heads. Oklahoma City FC is the current semi-professional and amateur team that began playing in the Premier Development League (PDL) just this year. The PDL belongs to USL, and the team is owned by SOS.

They play at Star Field on the Oklahoma City University campus, and their contract to stage matches here appropriately eliminates a venue option for Prodigal's USL team.

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