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New Real Salt Lake ownership group includes Philadelphia 76ers owner and a South Jersey native

In addition to 76ers owner David Blitzer, the RSL group includes Ryan Sweeney, who played high school soccer at Triton Regional in the mid-’90s

Los Angeles Galaxy v Real Salt Lake Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

The splashy headline on Real Salt Lake’s new ownership group on Thursday was that NBA legend Dwyane Wade was part of the group taking over the MLS franchise.

But a social media post Wade shared announcing his involvement also referenced the name of another owner — in addition to David Blitzer — with ties to the Philadelphia region.

Venture capitalist Ryan Sweeney — a minority owner of the Utah Jazz and a partner with Wade and Ryan Smith — grew up in Gloucester Township and graduated from Triton Regional High School in Runnemede, N.J. He was a standout on the soccer team in the mid-’90s and played in the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association senior all-star game in November 1994.

The photo Wade posted was of three Real Salt Lake jerseys hanging up with Wade’s, Smith’s and Sweeney’s names on the back.

Sweeney and David Blitzer give the new ownership group in Utah a distinctly Philadelphia flavor.

Blitzer is also a partner with Josh Harris in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Philadelphia 76ers, the Delaware Blue Coats and the New Jersey Devils, among other properties.

Blitzer, a University of Pennsylvania grad from North Jersey, is also a part or full-owner through Bolt Football Holdings of the English club Crystal Palace FC, German club FC Augsburg, Dutch club ADO Den Haag and Belgian club Waasland-Beveren.

Sweeney, who graduated from Notre Dame and Harvard Business School, has been a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel since 2009. He became a minority owner in the Utah Jazz in December 2020.

In addition to taking over the MLS club, MLS Next Pro team and academy, the new ownership group also plans to revive the Utah Royals. The RSL organization retained the rights to the Royals branding and could restart the team in NWSL as early as 2023.

The team was initially put up for sale in August 2020 after allegations of racist comments and other misconduct by former owner Dell Loy Hansen came to light. The league has controlled the sale since Jan. 8, 2021.