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Who's Next? Why Not USC?

One of D1 men's lax fans' favorite topics for speculation is always "who's next?" Which schools--and, especially, which Power 5 conference schools, are likeliest to add the sport. People talk about Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech, ACC members with thriving club programs. People look wistfully at East Lansing, Raleigh, and Durham, NH, formerly home to solid D1 programs. People look longingly at the five Pac-12 schools that currently sponsor D1 women's lacrosse.

It wasn't common for Southern California to come up early in those conversations. The reason: the dreaded "facilities issue." Not so much game facilities, but practice facilities.

That may have all changed today, when MLS expansion team Los Angeles Football Club announced plans to build a privately financed, 22,000-seat stadium across the street from the USC campus, on the site of the old and decrepit L.A. Memorial Sports Arena. Under the agreement between the Coliseum Commission and the university, USC has what amounts to a veto power over anything involving the Sports Arena, and is in position to extract major concessions from LAFC--like, for example, rent-free use for the Trojans' women's lacrosse and women's soccer programs. And while you're at it, Pat Haden, why not negotiate a similar package for men's lacrosse and men's soccer?

If this works out, then the Trojans have a state-of-the-art game facility, and when the University Village project is completed, there are two practice fields on the north side of campus (McAllister Field, the current home of soccer and lacrosse, and a new field on 32nd Street west of Hoover).

Facilities problem solved. Now all it takes is money and will--and money is never an issue for USC athletics.

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