Collin Martin, the only out gay male professional athlete in the U.S. big 4, has found a new home in sunny San Diego, Calif.

The talented midfielder signed with the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club, an expansion franchise in the USL Championship league.

Starting next month, the Loyal will play at Torero Stadium, under a three-year agreement with the University of San Diego, with its home opener on March 7 against Las Vegas Lights FC.

Martin, 25, was acquired from Minnesota after being loaned out to Hartford last season, and was Outsports Male Hero of the Year in 2018. The head of the San Diego team said he is thrilled to have him aboard.

“Collin is a versatile player who can help our club in many different ways,” tweeted Landon Donovan, executive vice president San Diego Loyal Soccer Club and an MLS legend in his own right. “He has experience in the MLS and USL & is a gifted midfielder who can make impactful plays at both ends of the field. We’re fortunate to welcome a player of his quality into our family.”

Originally a member of D.C. United, Martin has 41 appearances in Major League Soccer in his career, including 26 over the past three seasons with Minnesota, according to USL During his season with the Championship’s Hartford Athletic, he made seven appearances and recorded nine key passes. Martin averaged 50.1 passes per 90 minutes with the Athletic, with an accuracy rate of 86.5 percent.

“When forming our roster, we wanted to build a team of players that would rival any in the USL Championship,” Donovan told USL, in announcing Martin’s signing along with two other USL players. “The additions of Charlie Adams, Morgan Hackworth and Collin show our commitment to bringing San Diego a team that will be competitive from the first game of the season.”

KFMB-TV called Martin a creative midfielder and noted he was the only high school junior to train with the U.S. Men’s U-20 squad in January 2012, having previously represented the United States at the U-14, U-15, and U-17 levels.

Best wishes to Martin in his new home, and our hope remains he won’t remain the only out male professional athlete in the U.S. Big 4 sports of football, baseball, basketball and soccer.

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