Philadelphia 76ers minority owners Erick Thohir and Jason Levien are expanding to another sport, reaching agreement to become co-owners of DC United in Major League Soccer, according to NBA sources familiar with the move.
Sources told ESPN.com that Thohir and Levien are poised, pending MLS approval, to become partners next week with longtime DC United owner Will Chang, who also serves on the board of Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants.
DC United has won the MLS Cup a record four times (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004). CEO Kevin Payne, sources say, will continue to run the club's day-to-day operations.
Sources say Thohir, an Indonesian media magnate who ranks as the first Asian owner in NBA history, and Levien, who worked as an NBA player agent before a stint in the Sacramento Kings' front office that preceded his involvement with the Sixers, will make the construction of a new soccer-specific stadium for DC United their top priority.
Currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference, DC United has played at RFK Stadium since the league's inception in 1996 and has long craved a more suitably sized home ground.