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Who Will Be the 20th MLS Club?

lockhart stadium 300x147 Who Will Be the 20th MLS Club?

As MLS prepares to begin its first season with 18 clubs, the recent talk on the Internet has focused on its possible 20th team.  Recent talk on this site has centered on Don Garber traveling to Miami to meet with Miami soccer fans; if you have not read The Gaffer’s article on the meeting then definitely check it out.

But Miami will be in a tough race for that 20th slot, as one familiar name and one new name seem to be their biggest competition.

The famed New York Cosmos, who have been maintaining operations in the hope of becoming an MLS franchise in 2012, made news this week by hiring a familiar name as its associated director of soccer – former U.S. national Cobi Jones.  As Jeremiah Oshan notes, this looks to be a serious move at making the jump to a top-flight professional team unlike many of their rumored moves.  Currently the owner of a uniform and development academies, the “team” still has a way to go before it is ready for MLS play, but with the names it is gathering it could only be a matter of time before Don Graber announces it as the next expansion team.

But the Cosmos may be squeezed out by a new contender whose infrastructure suggests it is ready to make the jump to MLS.  San Antonio’s new NASL team unveiled its new name and plans for its own stadium with the stated goal of entering MLS…. by 2012.  San Antonio Scorpions FC will play in the 5,400 seat STAR complex which will have the ability to expand to 18,000 if the call-up is made for the club.

Of course there are other NASL, USL PRO, and imagined clubs that are yearning for MLS status, but these three markets seem the most viable right now for expansion.  All three also have their pros and cons.  Miami is a huge media market with a long soccer history, but that history includes one failed MLS franchise so far.  The Cosmos have the name and the history, as well as the country’s largest media market, but would also share their city with an established MLS franchise.  Plus, the Cosmos have an affiliation with the old NASL, a time in history that MLS would probably not like to relive.  San Antonio is another market that demographically and geographically makes sense for MLS; the soccer supporters group the “Crocketteers” numbers in the hundreds without a club to support.  However, in addition to the Scorpions the ownership group of the San Antonio Spurs is establishing their own USL Pro franchise with plans to move up to MLS eventually.

What city do you think will get the 20th franchise and why?  Answer in the comments and in the poll.

Update: RSL Soapbox has some intriguing option for expansion as well.

108 Responses to Who Will Be the 20th MLS Club?

  1. Joe says:

    I live in New York, and I don’t think we’ve proven that we can sufficiently support one MLS team, let alone two.

    What about the Puerto Rico Islanders?

    • Orange Trooper says:

      Wow I can’t believe that the only mentions here are for a Miami team (who unfortunatley have a very small fan base) and a San Antonio Team (who will upgrade to an 18,000 seat stadium?) and a second NY team???

      No way… The Puerto Rico Islanders are by far a better choice than any of those three teams. Did anybody keep a record of the 5-3 agregate whooping PRI gave the Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League??? O yeah by the way the Champions League is the league were… ejerm… the best teams in the region play… would any indication of a better team in the region ring a bell to the MLS????

      Not only does the PRI stadium seat 12,500 as it is it is sitting right next to one of Puerto Rico’s metro stations easily capable of hosting the Islands most populated area…

      Any talks of expansion of unproven teams that do not include Puerto Rico Islanders in the mix… is completey ignorant of what good soccer is… per international standards (what soccer actually is an international sport).

  2. Charles says:

    You almost can’t argue with what The Don picks right now.
    Toronto, Seattle, Philly…soon to be Portland and Vancouver are all among the highest drawing teams in the league.

    IF San Antonio and NY are that confident….maybe they are both getting in. MLS would be fools to stop at 20.

    Lets say the anticipation is Florida and NY are going to be a toss up.
    My guess is the NY second city gamble has a home run chance, while Florida has a failure chance.

  3. Michael on Long Island says:

    I certainly hope they stop at 20. Balanced schedule is the only way to go, and we need to start building a financially viable second division.

    • unbalanced says:

      Balanced schedule is not the only way to go. It may be your preference. But no major American sports league has a balanced schedule, and they are doing quite fine without it, especially the NFL, the most successful sports league in the world.

    • Charles says:

      Michael,

      You really think someone is going to invest in the minor leagues over and above what they are doing now ? As it currently stands ? No way.

      Not happening. Your best hope is that there are a ton of players out there and all of the sudden Americans start realizing how good some of these guys are…..so much so that the fans even want to watch the minor league teams.

      Yeah, nevermind, I don’t even believe it, and I am very high on US Soccer. Some would even say higher than a kite.

      • Derek says:

        Charles you are wrong. A balanced schedule is the only way to go. People will pay attention to 2nd division when they realize there is going to be pro/rel in the future for sure. Garber needs to guarantee it and investors will pop up for D2 all over the states.

        • Charles says:

          Lets say I am wrong. Not that unrealistic that money flows in, if a bad league winner has a shot of making MLS. I would invest.

          Garber’s guarentee = owners agreeing to it and then Garber’s guarentee…..correct ?

          You don’t really think that is going to happen do you ?

        • montana lucky says:

          There isn’t going to be any pro/reg in American soccer. The ownership of clubs in MLS would never allow it. Allowing pro/reg would devalue your investment. Think of it like this, you invest 35 million in franchise, then in many cases, through down a ton of money for a stadium, all with the expectation your team is in the top-flight of American Soccer. Your are not going to allow the league to change the rules to allow lesser organizations who have not invested in the league to take your spot based on performance, all at the peril of the devaluing of your investment. MLS is a business people, a business. They are at it to make money in the long run by increasing the value of their investment. Pro/reg would not do that. The leagues that do pro/reg of been at it in many cases for 100 years, not 15. Wake up the reality of that.

          • Derek says:

            Pro/rel would increase interest and talent to the point that league value would skyrocket. The overall increase would be better than the chance of decrease for the few crappy owners. Wake up to the reality of that.

          • Dave C says:

            @ Derek: why would Pro/rel increase talent?

          • Andy says:

            MLS is a business? Yeah that seems to be the problem. Instead of having a thriving domestic league with pro/rel and soccer culture, we have this closed model single entity crap.

            Ever wonder why the traditional soccer fan has shunned MLS?

          • Logan says:

            Uh, Andy, what professional sports league do you think is NOT a business?

          • ExtraMedium says:

            @dave c:

            Pro/Reg increases talent because there’s no incentive to lose like in American sports so teams are reluctant to give up players, and are constantly looking for new players to either win a title (LA, Sounders, NYRB, TFC) or avoid The Drop (DC, CHIVAS, Philly). Do a Google Scholar search for “promotion relegation football/soccer” in order to read multiple academic papers that explain the benefits of pro/reg…Almost all studies of pro/reg have come to the conclusion that leagues that adopt them have higher quality AND make more money than closed rivals. In other words MLS would be closer to profitability if DCU and Philly had been sent down to NASL/USL. Crazy huh?

      • Derek says:

        I’m not saying he will I’m saying he should. The problem is he is an NFL executive. Pro/rel would increase interest and talent to a point that league value would skyrocket. The increase in value would be much better than the small risk for a few crappy owners. There would need to be rules about stadiums for promotion but this could easily happen.

        • Dan says:

          All good comments about pro/rel. I believe any good business should have a niche. Promotion/Relegation would be that niche as no other American league has that. Think about football and basketball in this country…people absolutely love college sports(minor leagues?). I agree this should be implemented as the losing teams often have poor attendance and promoted teams have excellent attendance. It would give clubs like the San Antonio Scorpions a chance to prove themselves…and let the true soccer/futbol regions shine through!!!

    • Andy says:

      unbalanced,

      soccer should not be compared to other American sports. It should be modeled after other soccer leagues in the world. A balanced schedule is a must.

  4. I struggle to see how another NY team would benefit the MLS and soccer growth across the US. With only one major soccer league, that would make the second city with two clubs. Yes, he might tap into the big sports market in NY, but won’t he be segregating a large portion of soccer fans in general?

    I have heard Miami struggles bc of the lack of ability to get it’s own stadium near it’s fan base. If the cosmos name from NASL carries bad thoughts, what about Miami Fusion?

    Another Texas team offers a unique persective. Dallas and Houston aren’t the strongest teams in fan support, but we all know the large soccer culture in Texas. It will be tough to prove the sustainability of a club with such short notice.

    My thoughts on what should happen: we have the interest for teams to join the MLS. Why not form a league directly below MLS that would prove to be a feeder program? As teams can prove fan support, stadium additions and quality play, we can offer the chance for teams to prove themselves worthy. We don’t need to “guess” or “pay” to play in MLS. Let’s get structure in the bottom leagues with some form of structure.

    My thoughts on what will happen: Garber will see the power in the name of the Cosmos and want to get a rival to money spending red bulls. Miami will be like St. Louis and not get a bid. San Antonio will join NASL and be forced to wait till they are deemed worthy.

  5. AB says:

    I think Pittsburgh, PA is ready for a MLS team….except for the Stadium.

    • Dan says:

      With Pittsburgh building a new stadium in a prime location i’d say
      they are a contender. Fans here are crazy about their sports teams
      and MLS would only have the pirates to compete against for most of
      the season…

  6. GI Joe says:

    NY for sure! They probably don’t deserve it, but they will have it!
    Afterwards on my mind will be something like:
    Eastern Conference
    - Atlanta
    - Florida (Miami, Orlando or Tampa)
    Western Conference
    - San Diego
    - San Antonio, Phoenix or Las Vegas

    PS. I agree with Doug, that could be a way for Pro & Rel, in the sense that if a city proves on that 2.MLS that is more viable than the worse team in MLS (on the field – Winning the 2.MLS and doing good on US Open Cup, and on economical terms – Attendances, Media Exposure and Sponsoring), they could have the opportunity to come in MLS.

  7. taly says:

    The 20th MLS needs to have proven supporters like Timbers Army, Montreal Ultras or Sons of Ben.

    • shnope says:

      ECS only had 200 or so members pre-MLS. Toronto Lynx… did they even have a supporters group? Yet they are the biggest drawing MLS clubs. Having a large Sons of Ben type group is nice but by no means is it necessary or prerequisite.

  8. Julio says:

    NY2 will get # 20 and Miami # 21.

  9. Ultra says:

    Fort. Lauderdale. Strikers.

    Failing that I’d rather see MLS in Atlanta, St. Louis, San Antonio, Orlando, heck even Tampa before NYC gets a second team. It took the greatest soccer stadium in US history, PLUS Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez and JP Angel to get decent crowds for the first time in MetroStars/Red Bulls history. If MLS wanted the Cosmos in MLS, then they should’ve swallowed their pride and called the NY team that from day one. And that goes for Fort Lauderdale and Tampa too. They had 3 major NASL markets(the only ones in MLS at the time), even playing in the same stadiums as the old teams did, and they threw all the positive history and tradition right out the window. Now they’re loving the Timbers, Sounders, Whitecaps and Cosmos. They even saw the Clash take their local NASL name, move, and then let them back in!

    Frankly I find it disrespectful that Don Garber told South Florida fans “we’re not going to be the ones leading the charge to bring a team here”, but just 5 minutes before saying that, and at seemingly every other opportunity, he’s gushing about how the LEAGUE wants NYC to be the next expansion team. Not NYC, not Pele, not old Cosmos fans. The LEAGUE. Where is that kind of effort in the southeast? In the southwest even? There are 18 million people in and around NYC, they should be able to fill Red Bull Arena, not matter how long it takes people to get there. I’ve driven an hour both ways to see minor league soccer LOCALLY, and I’ve driven 4+ hours both ways to see my club on the road. Man the f*** up NYC and support the team you already HAVE.

  10. DAN says:

    1 of 3 things will happen in my opinion. 1 . MLS will stop at 20 and do PRO/REL once NASL becomes stable/or create an MLS2.
    2. MLS will stop at 32.
    3. MLS Will stop at 32 and have pro/rel. teams from mls west and d2 west will pro/rel and same with east. The schedule will balanced where west teams play west teams and east teams will play east teams. 30 game schedule.

    • Charles says:

      When do you think Option 1, which many prefer is viable ?

      Like for instance, The stadiums seem to be in the 10-12k range.
      For obvious reason….as in MLS needs more money not less…MLS is not going to have those teams promoted. Maybe demote the Sounders at the same time with a 67k stadium, filled with 40k fans ?

      Another hurdle. Revenue sharing. So they are going to share revenue with those teams ? Teams which will not make any money…as it even less than MLS teams not making any money.

      Just saying promote a minor league team of a league that isn’t very good at all, sounds great ( well it doesn’t, but it sounds like moderate money making Europe ), but realistically, you are talking at least 10-20 years, right ? by then MLS will have values on teams that will have owners, investors in US Soccer, saying, the same thing they would say now….

      You want what ??!?!

      • dan says:

        I like option 3 but at the same time it is going to be 10 to 20 years from now more likely 20. First, MLS clubs need to build its die hard supporters. 2nd We need a Strong Stable D2 league, whether it is NASL or a new MLS2. To me USL is now out of the picture with D2 and hopefully in 10-20 years out of the D3 picture. To me USL is joke and my hopes are that NASL can build a strong D2 league and it seems to me that NASL wants to build a strong relationship with MLS and with Vancouver and Montreal owners still involved in the NASL I think it has a chance to succeed.

  11. Robert Hay says:

    Two names to throw out there: San Francisco and Las Vegas. Thoughts as good new markets for clubs?

    • bradjmoore48 says:

      Vegas would be interesting. A major, authentic sports team (i.e. not XFL or Arena football) in the area could be big, and there isn’t any direct competition with NBA, NFL or MLB teams. When the recession ends, Vegas should be back to having an almost infinite amount of money.

      3 causes for concern:

      1) Obviously, I said an MLS COULD be big, but there may not be much interest either. I’m sure Vegas has soccer fans but are they willing to support a local team.

      2) Tying into 1, Vegas can attract star power, but would that be too much of a distraction, a la Galaxy with Beckham. Will bringing in a star player (i.e. Beckham, Henry, etc) attract the populace, or can the team still thrive with young, up and coming “no-name” players? Since Vegas has never had a pro sports culture, that is tough to say.

      3) Vegas would have to talk to the Qataris about these air conditioned stadiums, because I don’t suspect too many are going to go see a match in 120 degree weather. Although I bet not many in Vegas would find it sacrosanct to build an indoor stadium like others in the country and the world would.

      Just my opinion

    • Logan says:

      I live in Chicago, but I’m from San Francisco. I can tell you that a soccer club in SF would fail, miserably. Being in Chicago, I now know what a real sports city is like. SF is just a bunch of uneducated fair weather fans, for all their sports. Plus, the Earthquakes are only 45 minutes away and most people in SF would not be able to tell you what league they’re in or what sport they play. In SJ’s entire history, I never ONCE saw an Earthquake’s game on in a bar in SF, nor heard a single person mention them. No team in SF. That would be a big fail.

      A team in Atlanta and one of the Carolinas would be ideal, to help populate that area with teams. A team in Minnesota also seems like a good idea. And MOVE Chivas USA to San Diego. Also relocate the Revolution before they make it too difficult to do so by actually getting a soccer specific stadium.

    • studentofatime says:

      I know this comment comes late by about four months but this question intrigued me. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of my life and now Vegas for close to three years.

      San Francisco would be interesting in that they might not be bad at selling big name teams like logan says seeing as how San Francisco 49ers sell out all games, and the San Francisco Giants sell between 80-90% of tickets every game since moving into their new stadium. San Francisco also had a team that tried to push into to professional format, but ultimately collapsed but was saved by the MLS in San Jose Earthquakes. San Francisco outside of it’s two professional teams does not draw too many fans to its universities and colleges athletics (which are a huge draw in other parts of the US). I do not think San Francisco would be a good fit at this place and time. I would also not consider it until the Earthquakes can get out of the small cramped B-rate (for professional use) Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara. That to me is because of Lew Wolff because he is trying to get a new stadium with the A’s and has thus far stagnated.

      Las Vegas, now that would be interesting. The city government and the players with the money wants a professional franchise and has come up with multiple plans for sports centers to attract a team (predominately an NBA franchise and MLB), but none of the talk has circled around soccer. There are currently no less than two competing companies with billion dollar complexes proposed.

      1) Is a proposed center on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus for a 42,000 seat football stadium (it is being called an event center because of how many setups and uses it will have). This stadium would be indoors, which is good because it would be directly under the flightlines of airplanes landing and taking off from McCarran International Airport. This would alleviate bradjmoore48′s fear of astronomical qatari heat. Look up proposed unlv football stadium.

      2) is a proposed $1.57 billion dollar sports complex for downtown Las Vegas near Fremont Street. It is a three sport stadium complex a 9,000 seat baseball stadium (36,000 for expansion), an 18,500 basketball/hockey arena, and the cherry on top a 50,000 seat stadium with plans to expand to 75,000 if needed. This stadium looks to be open aired with all of the seats covered by an overhang and games could be played at night or before noon to keep the heat down in the vegas summers. Look this project up: Las Vegas National Sports Complex.

      As far as Las Vegas fans go, the triple A baseball team sells out almost every game and the UNLV Runnin’ Rebel basketball team is huge routinely drawing 15,000 fans to an amateur sport competition. There is also no other city in the USA that has the know how to host such a wide varying events quite like vegas. There is also detractors, the football program draws horrificly and so do many other sports. Soccer has also come under the butcher’s knife for UNLV budget cuts but barely saved each time, not many talk about soccer here except for the expats of other countries living here. Baseball and Basketball are king here with Football third, it might be a hard sell for attendance even if all the amenities that owners love will be in place.

      Sorry about the long windedness of this post.

  12. Peledona says:

    Send dallas to san antonio and if colorado continues to fail at the gates, send them to miami. Give NY not Nj a team. Simplicity, if the comunity does not support teams, then ship them out. To me Columbus, colorado and dallas have struggled. Also, a team like chivas which to any non-mexican hispanic is by it’s natura a very insulting organization, this team should be sent to san diego and renamed.

    • Tom says:

      Screw you, we get OK crowds in Colorado (considering we had miserable teams until this year) and we have a really good stadium. MLS can’t leave any cities that have built stadiums.

    • Logan says:

      It’s going to be next to impossible to relocate any team that currently has a soccer specific stadium.

  13. Marc 305 says:

    In a perfect world they would let all 3 of them in and have 22 teams in the league. Unfortunately that will not happen. Although I am from Miami and I would love to have a team in Miami (not Ft. Lauderdale) I believe the next team that will enter the MLS will be the Cosmos. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for ’13 or ’14.

  14. Matt says:

    NY Cosmos would be awesome! I live in NY and support the RedBulls but would love to see Cosmos make a comeback! Building a team in Miami would be insupportable and San Antonio doubtful.. They really need to work on teh surrounding area of red bull stadium. I am a season tix holder and cant wait til they clean that area up and put some cool bars and restaurants to surround the beautiful stadium. I think its coming!

    • Doug says:

      Sorry Matt, but your comment is the reason certain parts of the country are so upset. You are a Red Bulls season ticket holder and you want another team? Just seems a bit ridiculous considering that certain parts of the country don’t have a MLS team within 6 hours, but you are wanting another team in your area and you already support the opposing team? How does that make sense?

      Charles – You make some very valid points. This is the simple question I want to ask. Do we want the MLS to be similar to the NFL or MLB that cater to the “giants?” It is great to see the packed out stadium in Seattle every game. It is much better than seeing the dismal butts in the seats at other clubs, but is that what we are going for here? I personally watch Seattle b/c I like their style of football. If a club with 10k butts in seats can match the style and build a solid team, why do they not deserve a chance? How do we guard against a league that is all about the names of the clubs and protecting those names?

      I get that we are a long ways off from having the structure that is offered in England, but we should look to advance in that direction.

  15. Flores says:

    New York Cosmos are the obvious favorite.
    Hopefully they’ll do a better job attracting crowds for both of the New York teams.

  16. WSW says:

    I don’t understand all this blogs about Miami. Miami has proven nothing.

    FC Tampa Bay had 8,000+ for home opener. while Miami’s average was 1,200.

    So I agree with Garber he is not going to risk a franchise in a questionable market. I’m glad he went down there and actually had to talk to these geeks to stop emailing him about a team.

    • Clayton says:

      Completely agree. The only people who think an MLS team in Miami is a good idea are those 60 MLS fans in Miami. The Cosmos are a no-brainer if they can get a stadium. Then I can think of a long list of cities that deserve a franchise before Miami (San Diego, Tampa, San Antonio to name a few). It’s not about how many people are in your region, it’s about how much support can your region generate for an MLS club.

      Btw Miami fans (all 60 of you), there is a reason you can’t find a wealthy investor to put a team in Miami: because it is a bad investment, or at least has shown little evidence to the contrary. The Cosmos group doesn’t seem to be having much of a problem finding capital because their plan makes sense, and good business plans attract capital.

      This site needs to put up a disclaimer stating their pro-Miami bias at the beginning of any article on MLS expansion.

  17. CrazyMike says:

    If I were dictator:

    #20 – Cosmos
    I like the thought of a Cosmos revival in MLS. An intercity rivalry for one of the biggest markets in the world could be easily supported. Various New Yorkers have bemoaned the fact that NYC does not have a true NYC club, as the Bulls are in New Jersey. The Cosmos group seems to have a legitimate staff and investor group behind it. Now all they need is a stadium in NYC proper and a team to play in it. A Cosmos revival with a smart ownership group will see MLS make waves into the ‘mainstream’ sports consciousness and bring a little bit of history and notoriety to a league that struggles for both, in much the same way as the Sounders did a couple seasons ago.

    #21 – San Antonio
    Seems like a winning formula might repeat itself – a well managed D-2 side with a cohesive expansion strategy and rabid fans in an established marketing region will make the jump from D-2 to D-1.

    #22 – San Diego
    The numbers from the World Cup don’t lie – this is a legitimate market that is waiting to be tapped. As far as I know, however, there is no management and investor group in place, no stadium, and no established D-2 team. This one might have to wait.

    #23 – Tampa Bay or Miami
    It seems like this group is a ways off from making the transition. They have no ownership group with a cohesive plan to make a go at MLS and no investors to make it happen, there are two undersupported D-2 franchises – one or both of which will probably fold if an MLS team is introduced in the area – and finding a properly sized stadium in an accessible metropolitan area has been a historical problem. The South needs a team though, and this might be their best chance. Shout out to Atlanta, too, who may be able to steal this one in a coup.

    #24 – Phoenix or Vegas
    Both are viable markets, with Phoenix the ‘proven’ choice for sports and Vegas as the ‘glamor’ choice. There’s not much substance behind either of them right now other than forum chatter and getting a state of the art stadium with a/c (like what Qatar has proposed but will probably not deliver) will be the big sticking points, at least if MLS keeps its current summer heavy schedule. Vegas has the star power and had a group of investors a few years ago, but they invested in Columbus instead, much to my chagrin as a Sin City native. Maybe if Columbus attendance continues to falter, we’ll see the Crew move to Vegas, as the Las Vegas Sports and Entertainment Group still has a lot of weight in that organization and Phoenix will be free to be the final expansion team.

    Other possibilities – San Fransicso, Indy, Florida 2, Atlanta, Carolina, Detroit, PR Islanders

    League development will stop for a bit at 20 teams with 2 even conferences and a balanced schedule, then when the next four or so teams are ready to expand, they’ll do it quickly and switch to a semi-balanced two conference system where a home-away series is played in conference with just one game against each of the non-conference teams, splitting home and away visits. The playoffs will continue to be conference based. Expansion past 24 is possible, but may require abandoning a balanced or semi-balanced schedule.

    Projected 2020 MLS
    West: LA, LA 2 (Rebranded Chivas w/ separate stadium), San Jose, Salt Lake, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Colorado, Montreal, Phoenix, San Diego, Vegas (Refranchised Columbus)
    East: Chicago, DC, NE, Kansas, NYRB, Philly, Toronto, Dallas, Houston, Cosmos, San Antonio, Miami

    • Dan says:

      your not moving Columbus. 1st Columbus is 1 of only 3 teams in the Midwest 2nd Columbus has its own stadium might i remind you the very first SSS in MLS. 3rd Columbus has been middle of the pack in Attendance. And Finally Columbus has one of the best supporters group in MLS with the Nordecke.
      Plus Clark Hunt has said over and over again the Crew will stay in Columbus at least til 2050.
      If anyone is moving it is New England, DC, and Chivas.

      • Doug says:

        Why is nobody mentioning Atlanta? Georgia, especially the Atlanta market, offer MLS a great venue. The team has the backing financially.

        Why can’t anybody answer the question as to why the US Soccer system hasn’t decided to create a unified system. We have NASL, USL and MLS. I understand it is all about money and power, but it is ridiculous. MLS uses college and PDL of USL to develop players, NASL are all clubs tired of USL and are hoping to get a shot at MLS, and USL has the support structure of PDL and some great franchises that offer MLS value (aka Portland, Vancouver, Seattle all came from USL).

        In my opinion, it is all a big money grab until a system is setup to support true growth. Adding a team in Miami or bringing back the Cosmos… Why does it matter if we can’t unify the system. Garber is a NFL style guy. They believe in playoffs and league control. Garber isn’t worried about the “growth of soccer” in the states as much as he is about making money. For that reason, the Cosmos will get the bid.

        It offers a rival to NYRB in a major sports market. Adding Miami or even San Antonio, doesn’t bring any hype to MLS execs.

      • bradjmoore48 says:

        Have to agree. I don’t think NE will move unless the Kraft family gives up ownership. Unless something miraculous happens with the DC gov’t (not holding my breath), I think you can bet on DC moving to Baltimore. While Chivas does decently attendance wise, ground-sharing isn’t profitable for them, so they might move to another part of the Southwest, like San Diego, Phoenix or Vegas.

        I’m sure this was an small oversight, but CrazyMike – Montreal in the Western Conference? lol

  18. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Sorry HOW is the NFL the most successful league in the world?
    Do you have numbers and info to back this up?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Premier League is the most popular league in the world, but NFL generates the most amount of revenue worldwide.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  19. Doug says:

    NFL is success b/c of the structure behind TV contracts that aren’t the same overseas. Not even considering the fact that the US tends to spend more on sports than most. Take into consideration the teams per league (NFL 32 to EPL 20), TV contracts and the joke playoff system and you will arrive at the reason behind the NFL taking in so much revenue. These are all things Garber has learned in his time with the NFL. Hence the reason he doesn’t want to move to a pro/rel system, understand the need for player development and strong reason behind the playoff system.

    I think most true soccer fans love the European system b/c it seems more pure than the states. Do we really want our domestic league to take the shape of the NFL, NBA or MLB? I mean think how ridiculous it would be to have a playoff system in the EPL. As the standings are right now, that would mean Sunderland, Bolton, or Newcastle would have a chance at the league title. In the NFL playoffs, you have Seattle Seahawks with a chance to win the Super Bowl with a LOSING record in the NFL regular season. WHY? B/c all the NFL execs know that playoffs make millions of dollars. It isn’t about the game. The biggest lie American sports execs sell is the “pureness of the game”.

    I would rather see 40 pro teams across the US with 10-40k in each stadium than a top flight with 20 teams built with 50k in each stadium and a stupid playoff system.

    Last ridiculous rant… NFL, MLB, NBA fans stop calling yourselves the world champs.

    • Mark says:

      “NFL, NBA or MLB? I mean think how ridiculous it would be to have a playoff system in the EPL. As the standings are right now, that would mean Sunderland, Bolton, or Newcastle would have a chance at the league title.”

      and what would be the problem with that?

      or would you rather have man utd or chelsea win every year, because that’s so exciting

    • Sancho says:

      The funny thing is that English soccer league single-table format was influences by AMERICAN BASEBALL! The great tournament in England was the all-playoff FA Cup. Teams were dissatisfied, and looked for a more regular system. They’ve found in America. Playoffs in US Professional Sport landscape came with both the success of the World Series and the growth of the leagues (that forced unbalanced schedules).

      The biggest problem I see in MLS playoffs is that it should be a three-game series, not a home-and-away. It’s simple. The best team in regular season gets two home games, the first to five points wins. If there is no team with 5 points at the end of the series, the one with best goal differential in the series advances. If the tie persists, the team with the best regular season record goes through.

      In a 10-team playoff format, with two conferences withou divisions, would be like this:

      WildCard round (1 game): #5@ #4
      Conference Semis (3 games): WC winner v. #1; #3 v. #2
      Conference Final (3 games)
      MLS Cup (1 game)

      Total: 8 games.

  20. Mike says:

    I think it is ridiculous that in a country as large as the United States we are even considering giving states more than one team, or with Texas, three teams if San Antonio were to get called up. Florida is one of the states with the highest concentration of soccer fans and players, and it is asinine that we are not even considering giving a team to Miami. Back when the Miami team was a failed program the population of the city was only within the hundreds of thousands, and now it is well above one million people, most of whom watch soccer and are becoming increasingly dissapointed with the Dolphins, their main sports franchise. States, much less cities, (New York) should not receive new teams at all until a second division is set up with a relegation/promotion system like the systems in England.

    • Dan says:

      If Miami can Support a team then just prove it. Support your D2 team. Right now Tampa has you guys beat and if you don’t watch out Orlando might have you guys beat.

  21. ExtraMedium says:

    Wildcard. California’s Central Coast (Monterey County, San Benito County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz County, and Ventura County). Population of about 2M with a 17,500 stadium at UCSB and a stadium at Cal State SLO that’s being expanded to 22,500. Those two schools have set multiple college soccer attendace records.

    http://www.ncaa.com/news/soccer-men/2011-01-19/ucsb-breaks-ncaa-attendance-record

    UCSB + Cal State SLO = 8886. Thats almost as high as FCD!

  22. Steve says:

    I truely believe the best choice for the MLS 20th franschise would in Atlanta. This is a market primed for professional soccer. The MLS needs to be in all regions of the country to be complete and it wishes to be taken seriouly as a national league. Atlanta is the crown jewel of the south. They is a supporter group in place B.O.S.S. making the case for Atlanta. I realize that the stadium is an issue, but this can be quickly resolved with expansion of the KSU SOCCER STADIUM in Kennesaw, GA. This would make for a very simliar sitution as the LA Galaxy have at Cal State, Dominguez Hills with Home Deport Center. I also believe their are several potenial investors and cooperate sponsors. Can you imagine the “Atlanta Legion” with a jersey sponsor of Coca Cola. The league has to stop being taken in by the Cosmos hype machine and do what is truly best for the league and the game. And what is best is Atlanta.

  23. Steve says:

    I truely believe the best choice for the MLS 20th franschise would in Atlanta. This is a market primed for professional soccer. The MLS needs to be in all regions of the country to be complete and it wishes to be taken seriouly as a national league. Atlanta is the crown jewel of the south. They is a supporter group in place B.O.S.S. making the case for Atlanta. I realize that the stadium is an issue, but this can be quickly resolved with expansion of the KSU SOCCER STADIUM in Kennesaw, GA. This would make for a very simliar sitution as the LA Galaxy have at Cal State, Dominguez Hills with Home Deport Center. You can even consider expansion Silverbacks Park to a capicity of 18,000 to 20,000. I also believe their are several potenial investors and cooperate sponsors. Can you imagine the “Atlanta Legion” with a jersey sponsor of Coca Cola. The league has to stop being taken in by the Cosmos hype machine and do what is truly best for the league and the game. And what is best is Atlanta. Perhaps Mr. Beckham should also consider this as the prime location for his future ownership interests.

  24. Sancho says:

    Playing Garber, this would be my 20-team league structure:

    Conference to Be Named 1:
    East – NYRB, NY2, DC, PHI, NE
    West – VAN, POR, SEA, COL, RSL

    Conference to Be Named 2:
    East – MON, TOR, CHI, COL, KC
    West – LAG, CHV, SJ, DYN, FCD

    16 games within the division; 10 games against the other divison from the same conference; 6 games against the division with the same name from the other division. Total: 32 games.

    All divisional champions go to playoffs, get a bye. The best 4 teams within the Conference play at Wild Card round (1 game). Than: Conference semis (3-game series), conference finals (1 game), MLS Cup (1 game). Total: 6 games.

    Grand total: 38.

  25. Dan says:

    Shot in the dark but wouldn’t a team on Long Island/Queens be a good idea? Creates rivalry with the red bulls and more importantly it draws thousands of fans that have no interest in driving into New Jersey. Long Island has huge diversity bringing fans from almost every corner of the world and it would it would be comparable or even identical to the Rangers and Islanders rivalry which is considered by many to be one of the best rivalries in American sports largely because of the proximity and also because they play in the same division. I truly believe an “in state” rivalry in New York can contribute well to a growing league and a growing sport in our country. What are your thoughts on that?

  26. Steve says:

    In my opinion the league really doesn’t need a second team in New York, maybe later. League really needs to consider getting a foot hold in the Southeast. That’s why a Atlanta with Arthur Blankl as owner makes the most sense. Also the league needs to shutdown expansion after the 22nd franchise is awarded. Therefore I would love to see the following:

    #20 Atlanta in 2014. (could play in the Georgia dome till new stadium is built for the MLS and the Falcons.)
    #21 Orlando in 2016. (play in either a new stadium or refurnished Citrus Bowl Stadium.)
    #22 New York City in 2016. (this gives time to the Red Bulls to built it’s base and built a stadium in Queens or Brooklyn.)

  27. Dan says:

    I completely agree, maybe not yet but someday down the road. I mentioned Long Island thinking the club would garner attention from residents of Suffolk county, Nassau county, Queens, and Brooklyn, while then the red bulls should have an already well established fan base from people in both NYC and NJ. I do also believe in spreading teams all over the states, but the population of NY cannot be ignored. All a team in New York needs is well marketing, rivalry, and a winning culture. Most NY fans of all sports sadly come out in numbers only if the team is successful. If this sport is truly growing attendance won’t be a problem especially when the Long Island Youth Soccer League is one of the largest in the country, the interest is there and it should be exploited sometime in the near future.

  28. Andy says:

    Not sure if anyone has suggested this before – I’ve tried to read everything above but there’s loads of it – but my idea for promotion and relegation in MLS would be to have divisions as they do in other major US sports – where you play the teams in your own division more than those in the other divisions, but still play everyone – but do them vertically, rather than horizontally.

    For example, have MLS Premier on top, then MLS Eastern and MLS Western underneath. Each has 8 teams in it playing those in the same division twice, and those in the other 2 divisions once. That gives a total of 30 regular season games. You can fiddle with the scheduling if you need more than that. So the 24 teams (assuming it gets to that) who have paid their franchise money still get to play all the other teams and profit sharing continues regardless of division, but you have 2 tiers.

    The one way I would like to include NASL and other teams is in MLS Cup. Personally I think the championship should go to the team with the best regular season record. If we get to 24 teams give 12 MLS berths within MLS, then have 4 more for non-MLS teams. It would effectively cover both the US Open Cup and MLS Cup in being a national knockout competition although some might not like USOC being usurped like that.

  29. Sami Dikmessalim says:

    I really believe that Atlanta should have a MLS team. Georgia and Florida alone are some of the best states when it comes to youth soccer. the top two U18 clubs in the nation at the moment are from Georgia. Atlanta would be a great place to have a MLS team and it will give the youth of Atlanta hopes of becoming pro one day. As a youth soccer player myself I know my chance of playing pro soccer is a lot lower than players that live in cities with an MLS team. Atlanta has some of the greatest fan bases of soccer and with a good team we can definitely become one of the great teams in MLS.

  30. Dennyboy says:

    The MLS should sort out the plans for the New York market first and not necessarily at the expense of some great expansion proposals from other areas such as Orlando, Minnesota, and San Antonio. I live in Kearny, NJ, Soccertown, USA. I can walk to Redbull Arena (North America’s football palace) from my house and have been raised around the sport my entire life. I also attend matches regularly in Harrison.The reason that is relevant is because people from this area are passionate about the game and for some reason haven’t completely taken to the Redbulls. Some supporters didn’t care for the rebrand when Redbull took over and still wear Metrostars gear, others, well it’s hard to say, maybe MLS quality which to the contrary is improving every season. One reason could be the most popular clubs as far as support in the area are either Manchester United, Celtic, Barca, Real Madrid, Portivo, Benfica, Sporting or Rangers which is the ever present problem MLS faces, American based supporters supporting foreign clubs, but I guess that is a seperate issue. The reason I’m giving my opinion is because I’m a Redbulls supporter who is also old enough to have supported the Cosmos, and feel that a NY/NJ rivalry would benefit the league as a whole. I remember fondly travelling to Giants Stadium and witnessing the exploits of Pele, Beckenbauer,Chinaglia, Messing, and Alberto in front of HUGE crowds in the Meadowlands. The Cosmos left a legacy behind that soccer fans in this area still recall and would no doubt challenge RBNY. This can only be great for the MLS if the New York area could be home to the HudsonDerby and provide some of the passion that the Cascadia region provides, just in the east. The Cosmos are an ambitous group and Garber seems to like the idea of a revived NY Cosmos. To say that MLS doesn’t want to relive the old NASL is not entirely accurate. That plan has worked pretty well with the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, and Vancouver Whitecaps. If the league is going to accept the NASL’s legacy, what more would do that than the rebirth of the most iconic club in North American history, the New York Cosmos. To be fair to Redbull, I would like to add that before they showed up the club was a joke. Since the arrival of Mr. Soler and Mr.Backe and ownership investing in one of the most beautiful football venues in the world, in spite of its size, Redbull NY fc has raised the bar for the MLS, past, present, and future and hopefully one day soon will, with their cross river rivals the NY Cosmos, propel MLS to new heights and take its rightful place next to the other so called major sports in North America. Then we can argue with Timbers ,Sounders, and Whitecaps supporters about who has the most heated derby on the continent.

  31. Jimmy Dee says:

    CHARLESTON BATTERY!!!! WHY DOESN’T ANYONE EVER MENTION THE CHARLESTON BATTERY!!!! BLACKBAUD STADIUM CAN BE EXPANDED< GIVE THE MLS A PRESENCE SOUTH OF DC AND THE 3 LION PUB IS AWESOME!!!!

  32. Bruce Arena says:

    I would love MLS in New York City, could hang out on Christopher Street with the boys. The Village is awesome!

  33. willame says:

    san diego, yes!

  34. “Deportivo de Presidio FC”

    San Francisco, 2014

  35. Evan says:

    I would think that all 3 of them would be good ideas. San Antonio could e rivals with Fc Dallas or Houston. New York Cosmos with Red Bulls. Miami probably could survive. Try Detroit or San Diego. Also, Puerto Rico Islanders. Put a couple more teams in Canada try nova scotia,Windsor,Hamilton.

  36. Solid article about the viability of new potential MLS franchise opportunities:
    http://www.soccerwithswagger.com/mls-expansion-teams-whos-next/

  37. The NY Cosmos have been my favorite team since the 70′s, We’ve never seen a major league soccer team like them in N america and perhaos never will. The new cosmos though will be a winner and a huge success when they are entered as a MLS franchise. They will be a marketing giant for the MLS on a comparable scale like the cowboys are to the NFL, the yankees are to MLB and the red wings are to the NHL. There are five cities that yes, will be able to bring in a MLS franchise and be successful.
    1. A true team from NYC as in the cosmos. A city of 8.3 million people with a metro area of 16 million makes having 2 NYC area teams a rather easy choice for Mr Garber. This is a no brainer, just make sure they play in the city and not in NJ and they will have a rabbid fan base and not a so-so fan base like the red bulls who play in NJ and have changed their professional team name from metro stars to red bulls which both alienated many fans. I myself am from NY and I don’t consider the red bulls a true ny franchise and Im not a supporter of the red bulls which is NYC only pro soccer franchise at the moment, but good luck to them.
    2. San Diego is a great market, there are only 2 professional sports teams in that market and it’s the 6th largest city in the US. It is a very educated city, very expensive city but still very sports hungry and an MLS team would be a huge success as San Diego is soccer crazy. Moving Chivas to San Diego would not be good as Chivas was formed to cater to the LA mexican/latino market and all of there fans and to rival LA Galaxy, San Diego is not looking for a hand me down team, a new team and a fresh start would be the best solution for San Diego.
    3. Phoenix which is the 5th largest city in the US population wise. Another great sports city that could easily support and flourish With an MLS franchise. I could see Chivas moving to Phoenix and it being a viable alternative or adding a brand new MLS franchise. Soccer is meant to be played outdoors and everything in Phoenix is done outdoors besides professional basketball and hockey which seems an off fit in the desert. It’s sunny year round and that city would have miscellaneous fans who would just enjoy going out socially attending games and may not even be true soccer fans in additon to all of the true soccer fans in Phoenix and its metro area.
    4. Minneapolis/St paul. Another great city with an educated fan base that would do wonders with an MLS franchise. This city needs a soccer team, too many soccer fans and too big of a soccer base not to have one. I’m not trying to alienate baseball fans, but let’s face it. Baseball is extremely boring as compared to all the other major US sports, Football alot of action, Basketball end to end, Hockey the puck hardly ever stops and same with Soccer. I think you’d have alot of sports fans in general who’d prefer to watch soccer over baseball in the summertime in minneapolis and that franchise would be a strong team, market and franchise!!
    Before I name the 5th market, there a few reasons why I feel Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, San Antonio, Las Vegas and Raleigh/Durham will be unsuccessful. First off Atlanta and Detroit. Both good sports markets, but both cities have very little diversity within the actual city limits of each respective city. These cities are better football and basketball cities, and there baseball fans are mostly suburban. Now sure there will be some fans that are from the city itself but not as many as the suburbs. These 2 are unfortunate losers for an MLS franchise even with big metro area populations.
    Miami is another great sports city, good year round weather, all 4 professional sports leagues represented but an ever increasing caribbbean latino population which has always been shown to support major league baseball first which by the way is the other summertime sport in the US. No surprise Miami flopped in it’s only go-round in the MLS. Miami great for baseball, bad for soccer for now. Maybe another look in 5 to 10 years as the population increases in the suburbs.
    San Antonio, although a big city population, no suburbs or population outside the city. A big portion of population in San Antonio is Military which is very transient, being moved every year by the government for wars or training. This market is a good 10-15 years away from being viable in the MLS. Look how bad attendance was for when the NFL played games there a few years back, they never sold out at all.
    Las Vegas, yes glamour city, fun city. But most people go to vegas to gamble, hit the bars or relax at the pools. Casinos biggest business is on the weekends (besides holidays) when professional sports teams play and many local residents work weekends if they work for the casionos or bars or restaurants that cater to the tourists. Theres a reason no professional sports teams are based in Las Vegas as attendance would be so inconsistent they’d flop within 2 years even with huge financial backing. Yes college kids can attend their university sports along with their families but after 4 years where do they go, do they all stay in vegas, unfortunately for vegas, no.
    Raleigh/Durham although a good college sports town, and good college soccer towns, don’t have the overall population base needed to thrive in the MLS, as most average americans are not soccer fans. Although yes Green Bay is not a big city or market by any means, but Football is king in the US and that is why green bay thrives and they’ve been around forever in the hugely successful NFL.
    I believe San Francisco will eventuallly get a team as northern cali is a great soccer market in the US. MLS and San Jose please get the earthquakes into a better stadium or venue as to add to the fan base and build that team up. but my number five MLS franchise is.
    5. St Louis, always been a strong sports city, always supported soccer and just missed out on an MLS franchise previously. The MLS would be smart to bring a team here and build from here.
    Two cities that I believe for the good of the MLS should be moved are Columbus and Chivas of Los Angeles. columbus has alwasy struggled with attendance and even though they won the MLS championship a few seasons ago with much less competition, they struggle as ohio state dominates that city, and columbus plays a very distant second to ohio st in fan support and attendance. Chivas of Los angeles just hasnt thrived the way it was originally intented to in the large lation market of LA, compared to the fans that come out and support the mexican national team when they play in southern california such as the glod cup final played in pasadena which was about 90% pro mexico. Chivas’s name only appeals to mexican fans and Chivas will continue to be second tier in that city. Perhaps a move to phoenix would be in the teams best interest where they would not have to compete with the galaxy for fans.
    I have no comment about playoff format or relegation, as this is the US, not england or europe or south america. American sports teams and leagues have always flourished with a playoff format and non relagation.

    • Michaol Lucka:

      I agree with you on most points of your comment/article although it was a bit long winded, this tiopic should not be taken lightly and two sentences will not cover it. NYC can and will support another franchise and bringing in the Cosmos which would be a true NYC team will be a a great addition and will probably end up being more popular than the red bulls.
      I also say well written, even though parts were from your point of view and some out there may disagree. I’d only like to add that Tampa Bay will also be a great market for a MLS franchise. Florida will eventually have to be included in the MLS, too many fans in tampa/st pete area and they have a very large and strong support now in this area for their team currently. I do hope also the MLS governing bodies look into columbus and chivas, these types of teams drag down the rest of the MLS at a point when the MLS has some momentum but can’t afford to be dragged down compared to popularity of other sports leagues in the US.

      • Fahroud Azizz:

        I agree with Tampa Bay, they would have been my 6th strongest choice for a new MLS franchise but I was only including 5 for the comment. Yea definately with Columbus and Chivas, clearly the 2 poorest choices and franchises for the MLS.

      • Steve says:

        You goda be kidding about Tampa. Hell is going to freeze over before the MLS returns to Tampa or Miami. Orlando is Flordia’s chance at getting an MLS again.

        • No chance at orlando. Way too small of a market and MLS is clearly the smallest of all the major sports leagues in the US, Orlando is a recipe for disaster and they’d fold after a few years. Thats why the MLS will not consider orlando at this time

          • The Gaffer says:

            MLS is considering Orlando. Based on their attendances for USL games, they show great promise and could be a perfect fit as a MLS club in the future. It’s a big market that can also tap in to Tampa and South Florida. Fans from those areas would definitely drive to Orlando for big games.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Steve says:

            You really don’t get it. They don’t want and will not repeat the the distakes of Tampa Bay, and also Miami is considered to big a risk, unless someone with deep deep deep pockets wants to take the chance, which is very unlikely. If your combine the attendance avg. of both NASL D-2 clubs in Tampa Bay and Ft. Lauderdale it equals approx. what they have done in USL Pro D-3 Orlando City. This has gotten the attention of the MLS. So, figure it out, once they leave your done, therefore except the fact, Orlando is Florida’s only hope. There are no second chances in the MLS.

  38. You obviously don’t get it Steve. Read my comment first, it does not include any team from Florida originally. I really don’t care about florida or orlando or tampa. I made my prediction of the 5 cities that would make the best MLS franchises, and none were from Florida. And “gaffer” they are not considering Orlando seriously at this point, Thats like saying they are considering youngstown or charleston. The MLS Is a business and will consider all business offers. If a business offer for expansion say from charlotte, buffalo, cleveland, indianapolis, tampa or orlando comes in, sure they will look at all offers. These are only offers. They will only consider the big market offers for expansion to parts of the country that are not represented and tampa/st pete is a much bigger market than orlando. or to huge markets that are under exposed such as Ny and Chicago.
    But nonetheless neither of these teams are on my 5 best prospects for expansion by the MLS. Remember the MLS is a business, and you need to follow a successful business model. Orlando is one of the smaller markets in the NBA and NHL respectively, the MLS does not do well in small markets ala columbus and its poor attendance and too much competition from Ohio State university.

  39. Steve says:

    Michaol Lucka, I totally agree with you, Florida doesn’t matter, it fact no others matters, but the 20th club. If all goes to plan, NY2 (New York Cosmos) will be that 20th. Hell, the league office is so heart set on NY2 they haven’t even opened for applications from other cities for this round of expansion. Perhaps, will be hear an annoucement at MLS Cup in November. I beleive, then we won’t hear another word about expansion again till David Beckham exercises this expansion ownership clause around sometime in 2014. Then the real sweepstakes will really begin, since he has already gone on record that he is interested in San Diego, Atlanta, Miami and maybe even St. Louis. It could become very very interesting at this time.

  40. Jason says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on promotion/relegation in the MLS. In fact the global momentum seems to be shifting away from this model as soccer’s popularity and financial success continues to grow. Team owners in Europe and South America rarely have the money to both build new stadiums and sign the top players at the same time, meaning that they have to risk relegation and the loss of tens of millions of dollars in the process of trying to improve their competitiveness. This is not an attractive aspect for potential investors. Teams are preferring to sign big money transfers to stay relevant, rather than risk relegation by patiently developing young players for the future. River Plate’s relegation in the Argentine league is causing people to reconsider the old model in light of today’s modern sport. The MLS seems to be ahead of the curve in this regard.

  41. Zack says:

    When will St. Louis get a soccer team!?!

  42. Michaol Lucka, I totally agree with you, Florida doesn’t matter, it fact no others matters, but the 20th club.

  43. ELP says:

    Well, I don’t disagree with any of you, but I will say that I think El Paso, Texas would be an excellent site for a Major league soccer team with over 3 million people in the El Paso/Juarez M.X. metroplex. We would have no problem filling up a stadium every night, everyone here loves soccer! We just want to cheer for our own team. Plus, there is so much talent in this area, especially in MX and all over the world for that matter but, especially the Latin world who would love to live in the U.S. making U.S. dollars and feel the comfort of being in a region where many people speak Spanish. I wish I had the money or could find someone with the money and the foresight to see what I see here. If we build it they will come! I know it!

  44. Chris says:

    First of all miami should get an mls expansion for the 20th or 21st pick . Miami is a great city and there stadium is a great, big , and historic stadium. That could be expanded and has a lot of history to it (it used to host miami fusion, it host alot of fifa internationally friendlies) like 6 a year all at lockhart stadium . Just two weeks ago it hosted Honduras vs Venezuela and it was packed . It also hosted barcelona vs chivas de guadalajara and once again it was a packed full house and a great game that saw awsome goals . So the miami area has proved once again that it does have what it takes to have an mls team . And even in the ft. lauderdale Strikers games the attendence has increased highly from last year to this year . Last year is was about 1,150 to now about 4,900 TO ABOUT 6,000 . And also if miami does get an mls team in the next 2 to 3 years the team could play at Lockhart that is pretty big (20,400) for MLS . Lockhart could get exp-anded to 30,000 to 35,000 etc. If mls comes to miami it could play at lockhart it doesn’t matter if lockhart is in Fort Lauderdale cause a drive from miami to lockhart is only 30 minutes . MLS Expansion to Miami For 20th or 21st Cause they SURELY DESERVE IT .

  45. Miami Fan says:

    I think what Chris says is all true and I wanted to say also that miami is probably the best city to get a mls team in Florida because Fctampa bay attendence sucks there attendence doesn’t pass the 2,000′s . There stadium is not even a soccer stadium it’s a BASEBALL stadium . And the other florida team which is Orlando that’s plays in the USL Pro which is even
    a lower division level has a lower and worse attendence and thyere stadium is a football stadium (Citrus Bowl) and it’s not even Grass it’s TURF which most people hate turf . GRASS is used for soccer not turf that’s more like american football (NFL) .

  46. Corey says:

    Orlando is big right now and the MLS does not have a South Team, OCSC(Orlando City Soccer-USLPro) are playing for the cub this sat (Sept 3, 2011) last playoff game was 8,300 people now it might go up to 10k. They have beaten 3 MLS teams this year (in their first year and 15-3-6 record) and Orlando is the #! Tourist destination and hub for international people and only has one Pro team (Orlando Magic-NBA) who have always been in the top spot for playoffs and finals in the NBA. The Support,Team, and Fans are in place all we need is the Green Light.

  47. Jose says:

    What about a Atlanta team such as the Athletes because the southeast doesn’t have any teams but PRI is a good choice

  48. Mike W. says:

    Rochester Rhinos.deserve a shot with its 1.1 million people. Toss
    in Buffalo’s 1.2 million 65 miles to the West and Syracuse 800
    thousand 70 miles to the East is has a potential fan base of 3.1
    million.

  49. Gabriel says:

    Atlanta. Need to fill the loss of the Thrashers

  50. Richard says:

    Judging by MLS success in Cascadia, Austin seems like the natural
    next market. I don’t know much about the team that’s there now, but
    the city has the same lively counterculture that makes Seattle and
    Portland fans so passionate. Sprinkle in a huge Latin American
    population, and you can’t go wrong.

  51. Jimmy Jones says:

    Anchorage Ass Blasters! Nobody knows about this team, yet, but will
    compete with Seattle and Vancouver. Plus since MLS plays in the
    summer, teams will love to play there. There are plans to build a
    soccer specific stadium – Ass Blaster Park. Plus they have a
    committment from the Fairbanks Ice Farts (minor league team) to
    support growth.

  52. Jimmy Jones says:

    Anchorage – Yellow Ice FC. MLS will love Alaska in the Summer. The
    Fairbanks Flem could be a support team. Many other clubs like Homer
    Homos, Juneau Jock Itch and Cordoba Crotch SC.

  53. Matt says:

    The San Antonio Scorpions are drawing almost 10K fans per game.
    They are looking at revising the plans for the new stadium
    immediately. I think we have our answer right here. They are
    drawing double the NACL team with the 2nd highest attendance so far
    this season. If they go to MLS, they should easily be able to
    double that number per game. I won’t go to an NASL game, but I
    would get season tix for MLS.

  54. jose v barbza says:

    the san antonio scorpions should be the next team joining Mls we
    are a big strong soccer fans. just yesterday in a scorpions game we
    were more that 10.000 fans in a second division .can you imagine
    this tem inthe Mls ..we are reafy for Mls in san antonio tx

  55. PhoenixMLS says:

    Phoenix AZ is ready for some soccer

  56. Pele says:

    MLS in 2014 should look like this and stay like this for a few
    years: 1 New York Cosmos (let them play at Citi Field until their
    soccer stadium is ready) 2 Orlando City (better option than Chivas
    USA) 3 Los Angeles Galaxy 4 Seattle Sounders 5 New York Red Bulls 6
    Chicago Fire 7 Toronto FC 8 Impact de Montreal 9 Portland Timbers
    10 Houston Dynamo 11 Vancouver Whitecaps 12 FC Dallas 13
    Philadelphia Union 14 New England Revolution (Nickerson Field
    should be a good home) 15 Columbus Crew 16 Sporting Kansas City 17
    DC United 18 Real Salt Lake 19 Colorado Rapids 20 San Jose
    Earthquakes Future expansion possibilities: 1 San Antonio 2 Tampa
    Bay Rowdies 3 Atlanta Silverbacks 4 Fort Lauderdale Strikers

  57. anonymous says:

    I am not sure you have gone to the right bars…the comments about San Francisco are stupid and I’m sorry my friends you are the un educated one. Sports do live in San Francisco…don’t put us natives in the same category as those hippie liberals who come from other places and give my city a bad rep. There are plenty of us who care about sports and we do go to bars to support the earthquakes…as a matter of fact since they were the clash maybe you are just hanging out with the “uneducated” folk you speak off and a soccer team here in the city would be amazing…there are plenty of us who have been asking for one…who do you think goes to the earthquakes games not just sj people…we do make the drive and we do support…you live in Chicago now so you really should not be speaking for San Francisco. Thank you.

  58. Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

    Charles ,you take the fans out of the equation, which is very much the MLS mentality.
    Pro/Rel will only happen when the fans in all the markets that are “left-out” organice and fight, the NFL guys that are wrap all around MLS will never ever ever go for promotion and relegation voluntarily.

    Haven’t you think that maybe (only maybe), all of those NFL people are involve in US soccer in order to stop it from pursuing its true potential?

    The weak point of the “big 4″, is that they are monopolies. They all have a small number of teams in comparison to the size of our nation. Therefore, they leave a HUGE area uncover, literally thousands of cities with no teams at all.

    Promotion and relegation is the right strategy because it will take all those markets that they neglect. Our game will conquer the nation from the bottom up, not from the top!

    To create a system that is a copy of the NFL, and renounce to take advantage their weakness makes me think: These guys are either very stupid, or very smart.
    When you see so many NFL people on the US soccer structure, that makes you go hhhmmm?????

  59. Dave in Raleigh says:

    NASL is financially viable. Carolina, Minnesota, Puerto Rico and Montreal are all doing very well financially. Three starters for the Railhawks in 2010 are starting in the MLS in 11 (Paladini, Woolard, Heinemann) and one is getting solid minutes.

  60. Dave in Raleigh says:

    Miami NASL team seems to struggle….why would the MLS call?

  61. The Gaffer says:

    In what way are they struggling??

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  62. Dave in Raleigh says:

    “FC Miami” plays in Ft. Lauderdale as the strikers, doesn’t draw well, seems to have a very low budget, and can’t retain quality players. They also have had poor results for 3 years. Miami is in no condition for a MLS team.

  63. Mike E says:

    I’m not sure Loubrel Stadium (PR Islanders home) is expandable. It only seats 12,500.

  64. Giggs1976 says:

    Dallas screwed up building a stadium too far from half of its fan base (i.e. Arlington/Forth Worth area). Does MLS really expect the paying fan to drive 1-2 hours through crap Dallas County traffic to see a game played in f’n Frisco? No chance. MLS went for the white suburbia that is Frisco.

  65. Giggs1976 says:

    Atlanta fans are very fickle and only seem to care about UGA and NASCAR. They can’t even sell out Turner Field in the October when the Braves make the playoffs. That said, I think the stadium the Silverbacks play at is being renovated to add more seating. The plan is to max out at 15k but I think if they get a MLS bid they’ll have to add another 5k minimum. I do believe this region of the US needs to be represented by MLS and considering the Florida clubs failed miserably, then why not give Atlanta a shot?

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