Soccer

Preki is advising friend, mogul Milan Mandaric

Fans congratulate Preki prior to the match between the Sacramento Republic FC and the LA Galaxy II at Bonney Field in Sacramento on Saturday, July 11, 2015.
Fans congratulate Preki prior to the match between the Sacramento Republic FC and the LA Galaxy II at Bonney Field in Sacramento on Saturday, July 11, 2015. rbenton@sacbee.com

Preki’s departure as coach of Republic FC in early July led to a rumors of his whereabouts and the creation of tongue-and-cheek twitter hashtag #WhereIsPreki.

Sports Illustrated, quoting several unnamed sources, reports the former Major League Soccer star is advising fellow Serbian-American Milan Mandaric as they bid to purchase a yet unnamed club in the United Kingdom. Preki, 52, would manage the team.

Mandaric has had ownership stakes in the past in Portsmourth, Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday.

Preki and Mandaric have had a long friendship.

Mandaric, 77, moved to the United States in the late 1960s, founded a computer company and was part of the pioneering boom that led to the creation of the Silicon Valley.

Mandaric was the first owner of the San Jose Earthquakes of the North American Soccer League. He also owned the Oakland Stompers of the NASL and the St. Louis Storm of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Preki played for the Storm from 1990-92, before moving to Everton and later playing for Portsmouth. In 1999, Preki helped facilitate Mandaric’s first investment in English football with Portsmouth.

At the time he announced he was leaving Republic FC to pursue his “lifetime dream,” Preki was linked by several publications in the United Kingdom to the open manager’s position at Leicester City.

But sources said Preki had little interest in becoming the Leicester City coach, and the position was filled by Claudio Ranieri.

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP

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