Through AEG, Anschutz became an investor/operator of MLS with the Colorado Rapids in its inaugural season of 1996. Two years later, AEG was awarded the expansion Chicago Fire and bought the Los Angeles Galaxy. It later rescued the San Jose Earthquakes, MetroStars and D.C. United when ownership groups wanted to sell or failed to materialize.
In recent years, AEG has sold Colorado (in 2003), the MetroStars (2006), D.C. United (2007) and Chicago (2007), leaving it with only the Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo (which it moved from San Jose in 2005 and now co-owns).
"Phil Anschutz and AEG have played a key role in the development of soccer in this country over the last 15 years," said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. "Phil and his associates have been instrumental in the continued growth of MLS, in particular, and we're pleased to have his experience and leadership as a part of our bid committee."
Anschutz joins the board of directors that recently welcomed Univision CEO Joe Uva, New England Revolution and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, U.S. Soccer Foundation President Ed Foster-Simeon, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.