Washington Spirit sale closes, Kang is controlling owner

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Spirit announced that the sale of the National Women’s Soccer League team to Michele Kang has closed and she is officially the controlling owner.

The completion of the sale, which was announced in February, formally closes a lengthy battle over the team.

Kang acquired the interests of co-owners Bill Lynch and Steve Baldwin to form a new ownership group. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

“Our players are the best of the best on and off the field. They deserve nothing less than a club that sets and achieves the high standards befitting these elite professional athletes,” Kang said in a statement on Wednesday. “We dream big dreams here. Our ambition is to not only be the best women’s soccer team in the world but the best sports team, period.”

Fans of the Spirit called on Baldwin to relinquish control after coach Richie Burke was fired for violating the league’s anti-harassment policy in September. The Spirit’s players also released a collective statement calling on Baldwin to sell and throwing support behind Kang.

Baldwin, then the controlling owner, announced last October he was selling his share of the team. But he initially rebuffed Kang’s offer.

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