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July 24, 2013

Prodigal focuses on own efforts in OKC football feud

OKLAHOMA CITY —

As Oklahoma City's soccer landscape heads toward a future battleground for fan, media and commercial attention, Prodigal LLC can only focus on itself and making its team the best in the region, Executive Vice President John Allgood said.

Prodigal, which also owns Oklahoma City Barons hockey team, faces opposition in their hunt to grab the attention of all the local fans they identified in demographic research from Sold Out Strategies (SOS), who has its own plans to bring in a soccer team.

"We just have to worry about ourselves," Allgood said. "That requires figuring out the best system and getting the best venue possible in the city."

Last week, Prodigal announced that the expansion team they will be in charge of operating when the 2014 United Soccer Leauges PRO (USL PRO) season kicks off will have its own stadium in a few years' time. Days later, Mayor Mick Cornett revealed that discussions he had with SOS co-owner Brad Lund revealed they also have plans to build a stadium, should their wish of fielding a North American Soccer League (NASL) team in 2015 at Taft Stadium be granted.

The NASL is scheduled to hear a presentation from SOS today, and if they like it enough to approve the company's plan of adding to their eight-team league, Oklahoma City will be in a unique position nationally as one of the few places with two professional soccer teams.

But, that's not phasing Prodigal, Allgood said, as the company is focussed solely on carrying its plans forward. Although, he did mention their work would be made easier if they were the only sheriff in town.

"It's obviously better if there's one team," Allgood said.

There is also the sticky situation of a legal dispute between USL and SOS regarding their NASL team bid. SOS owns current amateur team Oklahoma City FC, which plays in a USL league. At dispute is whether or not the contract between SOS and USL prevents them from bringing in a team from a competitive league.

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