Zillo had announced his retirement earlier this year. The draw of playing for his hometown team under Landon Donovan, however, was too appealing to pass up for Zizzo.
Zizzo said, “When Landon [Donovan] called and told me about the opportunity, I didn’t hesitate; it was worth returning to the game,”
Zizzo, a true San Diego native son, grew up in San Diego. He played for Hot Spurs USA and Patrick Henry High School before leaving for Westwood and playing his college soccer at UCLA.
In 2007, he left UCLA for Germany. He signed his first professional contract with Hannover, then returned home to America after a few years abroad. Following stints with Chivas USA, the Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City and RBNY, he closed out his MLS career as an MLS Champion with Atlanta United.
“We couldn’t be more excited for our first signing to be a San Diegan who cares about this community deeply.”
Landon Donovan, SD Loyal EVP of Soccer Operations and First Team Manager, said, “From the moment we started the process of building a team, we wanted to sign players who would be loyal to our soil and bleed San Diego through and through,” said SD Loyal EVP of Soccer Operations and First Team Manager, Landon Donovan. “Nobody embodies those values more than Sal. We couldn’t be more excited for our first signing to be a San Diegan who cares about this community deeply.”
Zizzo: Passionate about bringing professional soccer to San Diego
In an Instagram post leading up to San Diego’s “Soccer City” vote, Zizzo expressed his passion for bringing top-tier professional soccer to San Diego.
He told San Diegans, “My name is Sal Zizzo, and I have been a professional soccer player for the past 11 years. I was born and raised in San Diego and it will always be home to me.”
“I’ve seen firsthand how these fan bases have taken over a city”
“Throughout my career in the MLS, I’ve had many great experiences on teams that have completely changed a city for the better. … People began to support a professional soccer team alongside the city’s other professional sports. … I’ve seen firsthand how these fan bases have taken over a city and how a team becomes all anyone can talk about.”
“People who have never watched a soccer game have become season ticket holders”
“Soccer can bring people together and create bonds that weren’t previously there. People who have never watched a soccer game have become season ticket holders and fans for life.”
San Diego Loyal Soccer Club Keeps Their Word
In every interview I have had with Landon Donovan, Warren Smith, and the SD Loyal team, I’m told the same goal: SD Loyal wants to have a roster of Native San Diegans. With the signing of 32-year-old Zizzo, Loyal has kept their word.
Zizzo will reside in Chula Vista with his wife and three daughters
And now for something fun…
If you want a hint about the type of entertaining, fun-loving guy San Diego is getting, do yourself a favor. Sit back with your favorite beverage, set YouTube to full screen, and bask in the glory of The Benny Feilhaber Show (Benny has a keyboardist you’re going to want to see):
Stay tuned to SoccerNation for all of the latest SD Loyal news.