Fans fight to save USL's California Victory

Fans of San Francisco's USL-1 club, the California Victory, have launched a campaign to save the franchise after the original owner, Spanish club Alaves, withdrew its support. The California Victory Supporters Association, known as "The 1906," are selling shares at $100 a pop at ww.savethevictory.org . Meanwhile, the club is negotiating with domestic and foreign investors. "The 1906 are a very determined group of supporters who brought a great atmosphere to our games," said Victory coach Glenn Van Straatum. "They're demonstrating that we have a good core of fans with the potential to grow into a strong support base."

Alaves ended its relationship with the Victory when Dmitry Piterman, a graduate of UC Berkeley and part-time San Francisco Bay Area resident, sold his majority ownership in the Spanish club.

Players who saw time with the Victory during its inaugural 2007 season included Mike Randolph and Pat Ianni, now regulars with the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo, respectively.

The team played in San Francisco's Kezar Stadium, once home to the San Francisco 49ers.

"The 1906 supporters made the games enjoyable all season long and they grew in number," says Van Straatum. "I have no doubt that the fan base will continue to grow and we can create the kind of support you see in other USL cities like Portland, where they had more than 11,000 for their playoff game."

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