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Las Vegas gets another pro-sports franchise; Soccer's coming

Las Vegas gets another pro-sports franchise; Soccer's coming . 8/11/17 (Jeff Gillan | KSNV)

Soccer's coming.

And the Aguilar family can't wait.

Twelve-year-old Yandel and his 10-year-old brother were doing warmups and...and is very excited about what was coming. The boys, along with their dad and youngest brother, came to Zappos for the big announcement.

I asked Yandel, 12, if he plans to go to a lot of games.

“Yeah,” he said, “and I'll try to join the team, too.”

The team he wants to join...became ours about an hour later to the sound of cheers, shouts, horns, and lots of enthusiasm. The president of the United Soccer League made it official: Las Vegas became the 33rd city to join the USL.

“This is now Vegas' team. This is our team collectively that we are going to make into the best professional soccer team that we can,” says franchise owner Brett Lashbrook.

Las Vegas won the USL's third expansion slot. It has signed a 15-year lease to call Cashman Field home...hitting the field next year.

It's a soccer-dream-come true for Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman...who tried before, and failed, to get major league soccer.

But that was then.

This is now.

“If I dropped dead right now I am a happy cat. This is the best day. The best day for our community,” the Mayor told me. She says it’s good not only for soccer fans but for well-worn Cashman Field and its neighborhood.

“Without question, because the developers additionally are going to go ahead with major mixed use development,” Goodman says.

In the space of just over a year...Las Vegas has hit the sports trifecta: first major league hockey, then professional football and now minor league soccer.

Among those celebrating our sports synergy - the governor.

“IT really brands a community. You can see the excitement out there and the anticipation. So, I'm looking forward to it,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nevada.

And so are soccer-loving kids, in the audience, who now get to see the pros, play.

“It's amazing. And I really want to play in it. I want to be the best in the world one day. And I love soccer,” said 11-year-old Joe Hernandez.

But the team still needs a name, and that’s where fans come in: they get to pick it.

The team unveiled six “finalists” that came from fan suggestions: Viva Vegas, LV Silver, Las Vegas FC, Las Vegas Lights, Las Vegas Action and Club Vegas. Fans can cast their vote for their favorite at VegasProSoccer.com. Voting runs until August 28, with the name being announced on August 29.

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