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The MLS Expansion Wheel Points to… Orlando?

Orlando City 300x199 The MLS Expansion Wheel Points to... Orlando?

Photo by nickel.media

Ah the never ending fun of MLS expansion talk.  Because no league can have an odd number of teams, speculation over who will be the 20th MLS team is always a source of debate and discussion for U.S. soccer fans.  Everyone assumes that the New York Cosmos will be the newest MLS franchise and, if I was a betting man, I’d put some cash down on that idea.  However, there are still some issues to be worked out between MLS and the Cosmos ownership, including stadium location and entrance fee.

So, to keep the fans interested, MLS is visiting other cities to raise their hopes that, even if they are not #20, they could be #21 or #22 (or, dare we say #23 or #24?).  The next stop on their tour is the city of Orlando, which has a USL team already but would offer a number of major advantages.  Orlando is a huge meetings and convention city, thus ensuring visitors could help fill the stadium.  They would be the only MLS franchise in Florida and essentially the only one in the South except for the two Texas franchises.  The negative, of course, is the failure of the two previous MLS teams in Florida but that has not stopped the league from trying to take a second look at the state.

“While New York City remains the league’s focus for our 20th club, it’s important to continue evaluating future options as we continue to grow the league,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “This growth has been built on a foundation of strategic expansion strategies, construction of new urban-based stadiums and a growing passionate soccer fan base across North America.”

For those interested in convincing the league of the value of an MLS franchise in the city, Garber will first meet with Orlando’s elected leadership as well as the owners of Orlando City.  They will undoubtedly discuss expansion of the team’s grounds, support for a top-flight soccer franchise, and potential revenue from a promotion or rebranding of the current team.  Garber will also be meeting with the public and fans at Mojo Cajun Bar beginning at 12:30 (doors open at 11:30) to gauge local support.

What do you think?  Would Orlando make a good 20th or 21st MLS franchise?

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, MLS Expansion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to The MLS Expansion Wheel Points to… Orlando?

  1. Matt says:

    Don’t like this. I’d much rather see Raleigh, Charlotte or Atlanta
    fill the “MLS Southeast Void.”

    • Bentley says:

      Dont like this? Orlando City lost by one goal to Bolton and beat
      Newcastle United and has lost maybe one or two matches against any
      MLS team they played during pre-season or any other time. They have
      a better record than seattle before they joined and if anything
      else they are the most deserving of the honor. Did i mention
      they’re only in their second year of existence? The talent at that
      club is of MLS stature already. The three you mentioned might have
      more seats filled (maybe) but i dont think they really deserve it.
      Which is why they aren’t mentioned.

      • Flacotex says:

        What you mean to write is that they are in their fourth year of
        existence. Talent level is a challenge to the better teams in D2
        and also MLS preseason teams. Would they be a good candidate for
        MLS? Personally, no, I think the ownership group is reprehensible.
        But if they have the cash not much else matters. I’d rather have
        the Strikers in MLS.

        • Bentley says:

          Their first year in Orlando, and only some of the squad came from
          austin. the strikers have more history but dont have the talent.
          How is the ownership reprehensible? You know them personally?

      • Red says:

        Lay off the crack and the meth, Bentley. You’re talking s**t, boy.

  2. Deejay says:

    The factors that made the Sounders, the Timbers and the Impact slam
    dunks for going from A-league to MLS were 1) Long presence in the
    region as a soccer brand 2) Good attendance 3) Good stadium deal 4)
    Owners with money Of those four factors Orlando City doesn’t even
    reach San Jose level.

    • Bentley says:

      the long presence shouldn’t matter if the team is playing well, and
      well supported. And since it was only the clubs first year in
      Orlando, the support it has is pretty substantial since it will
      only get better. As for the stadium deal, the citrus bowl is pretty
      much their’s for the whole of their season since UCF was the only
      other team playing there, and they now have their own stadium. They
      have a great record, a real hard working team, and I think they
      would do great in MLS

      • CTBlues says:

        The Citrus Bowl is huge holds like 70k what they going to put tarps
        over 70% of the seats. It also has a fake pitch.

      • Charles says:

        Like it or not, it comes down to one thing……..$$$$$$$. That is
        the sole reason MLS wants NY, that is the sole reason Orlando would
        get a team……………………………………..You can
        convince yourself it is some romantic non-money league in Europe
        isn’t, you would be dillusional. It is ALWAYS about the money.

    • Tim says:

      In regards to #2, Seattle USL only broke 5,000 average attendance
      once and that was in their first year.

  3. F19 says:

    Orlando may very well make a good MLS city. BUT it would be a
    MASSIVE slap in the face of fans in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay,
    who’s original MLS team were totally mismanaged by the league.
    Before MLS, Fort Lauderdale/Tampa Bay were two of the most
    respected domestic soccer markets, and the boneheaded mistakes of
    MLS have tarnished the image of both. Now we have our proper teams
    back, The Fort Lauderdale Strikers and The Tampa Bay Rowdies, who
    along with the Cosmos are the only historically well supported
    soccer brands left that are not a part of MLS. Both teams are
    drawing north of 3,000 fans per game(with the Strikers closer to
    4,000), which is just as good if not better than what Seattle
    pulled in for the Sounders when they were in D2. The Strikers have
    an added advantage in that the former Florida Marlins, the only
    summertime sports competition, have moved further south to Miami,
    bastardized their brand and alienated the majority of their
    fanbase. There are a lot of sports fans in Broward/Palm Beach
    Counties who now have a summertime sports void and are ripe for the
    picking. A team in Orlando would probably do well. But Fort
    Lauderdale and Tampa Bay deserve a second, and proper chance first.
    Tampa Bay never had a proper stadium or owner. The “Miami” Fusion’s
    owner was a bum and both teams, despite moronic branding mistakes
    that put off fans, drew just as good if not better than half the
    league who got sugar daddy savior owners(New England, Dallas, KC,
    San Jose, NY etc.). MLS can easily expand to 24 teams, and frankly
    I see no reason why FTL, TB and Orlando cannot be among them. That
    would leave room to get Atlanta or St. Louis in and even force the
    stupid 2nd NY team in as well. It would be a fabulous 3-team
    rivalry.

    • CTBlues says:

      You think a second team in the Tri-state area is dumb but 3 teams
      in Flordia is a good idea?

      • Tim says:

        It solely depends on who runs them. If the 3 Florida clubs get
        fantastic owners, great stadium deals and get the community to care
        about their existence, then all 3 will join MLS. MLS needs to be
        market blind in picking clubs. Sure St. Louis cares more about
        soccer than Portland or Vancouver, but the ownership was poor and
        the stadium deal was imaginary.

    • Buckyball says:

      F19- So, you’re really saying that the smart move for MLS expansion
      is to go back to that tainted well and successively welcome aboard
      Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa Bay – because of the renowned
      soccer rivalries? It would be interesting to see if those three
      teams and Houston would dominate August play in MLS as the “death
      march” aspects of playing in high humidity, tropical summer kicked
      in. The Cosmos as the next team probably makes cold-blooded
      business sense. Using second tier league attendance as a
      forecasting tool is somewhat of a non-starter. Seattle, the shining
      star du jour of MLS, didn’t draw as well as Portland or Rochester
      in USL. If a team is perceived as “big time” in its market, they
      will come.

      • Tim says:

        Seattle did perform one of the greatest sports marketing campaigns
        ever with scarf Seattle. As I state in the above post there are 3
        basic recquirements for MLS expansion 1. Smart owners 2. A Stadium
        3. An existing or a potential strong fan base

    • Charles says:

      F19- IMHO, Orlando will not draw even close to the Sounders.
      Seattle was one of the biggest draws in the old NASL days, they
      were HEAVILY courted by MLS, but the owner at the time didn’t like
      the single entity structure. Suprised some of you guys were not
      fans back then…………………………….It was a given they
      would draw more than 20k from day 1 of the MLS announcement. Surely
      you are NOT predicting that for anything in FL ?

    • Heimdall says:

      I don’t deny MLS in Florida was messed up to begin with since the
      Fusion didn’t even play in Miami and TB played in a big stadium
      that they didn’t control the revenue and never had a chance, but if
      an ownership group with acceptable wealth from any top 50
      metropolitan market had 40 millionish for an expansion fee and at
      least a well defined plan for a revenue controlled stadium (the
      more centralized the location, the better), then the Don will
      certainly grant an audience. He’s just seeking to avoid earlier MLS
      mistakes and USL1 mistakes like St. Louis and etc…(very long
      list) and so the Don doesn’t care unless the ownership group, the
      stadium and the expansion fee passes muster.

  4. JRW0116@gmail.com says:

    I would still love to see an Atlanta team. An
    Atlanta-Charlotte-Tennesee or Florida rivalry would be top notch.
    Add in a rebranding of the Silverbacks, a couple seasons to form
    traditions and for teams to gain chemistry and stability, and the
    Southeast could be gold. The hardest competition for soccer in the
    South is college football whose fans are steeped in local pride,
    rivalry hatred, and tradition. Coincidentally, these are the same
    attributes that make soccer so appealing to millions around the
    globe. If the MLS could tap into these local sentiments, the league
    would prosper in the South.

    • CTBlues says:

      To bad our professional sports teams in the country aren’t tied to
      colleges similar to teams in other parts of the world.

      • Charles says:

        Its “too” bad and I agree. Did you see the connection that the
        Sounders and Univ of WA have going ? It is starting to look like
        their own farm system. After a while the NCAA is really NOT going
        to like it. You train them in the school year, we will train them
        for free in the summers and they will join the Sounders under the
        Home Grown rule if they are worthy.

    • BamaMan says:

      SEC school men’s soccer programs could do as BYU have done and
      break away from the NCAA soccer system and participate instead in
      the US Soccer Pyramid. That might be the single best way for soccer
      to grow in the South.

      • Jose says:

        Excellent Idea!!! If developed right I could easily see 100,000
        seat stadiums full of Gator, Tide, Dawg and Vol fans rooting their
        team on in Pro Soccer with the same intensity they do for other
        sports!

    • Ben says:

      I totally agree, The Deep South need a team and I am not talking
      about Florida here, Soccer and the EPL is really popular there, a
      team in Columbia SC would be my choice, my other choice would be
      St-Louis, why nobody mentionned that city? The birthplace of Soccer
      in the US.

  5. Peter C says:

    F19: “The “Miami” Fusion’s… drew just as good if not better than
    half the league who got sugar daddy savior owners(New England,
    Dallas, KC, San Jose, NY etc.). Not true. In it’s 4 years in a 12
    team MLS, Miami finished 11th, 12th, 12th and 9th in attendance.

  6. Sal Paradise says:

    Don Garber has always shown a willingness to go out and visit with
    people in any prospective city, no matter how hopeless. Of the
    factors listed by Deejay for ranking candidate cities, Orlando
    probably doesn’t rate very high. But the single most important
    factor has always been the financial ability of the local owners.
    Somebody walks into MLS headquarters with the expansion fee and a
    fat wallet to back it up, they will find themselves owning a shiny
    new Major league Soccer team. It could be Orlando. It could be
    Atlanta. That said, does anybody know anything about the people
    behind the Orlando bid? Do they have the financial cajones to pull
    this off? The one point from Robert Hay that I would take exception
    to is that the New York Cosmo crowd is in the lead for getting the
    20th (and possible NYC) team. I have a hard time believing that the
    Cosmos collection of clowns, has-beens, hustlers, and con artists
    is in the lead for anything except a good laugh.

  7. Mike says:

    Orlando has a soccer tradition!! MLS ALL Star Game, The Annual
    Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Host City for the World Cup, Soccer
    Venue for the 96 Olympics. Not enough for you?? How about 58
    million annual visitors including a large percentage from UK Brazil
    and Argentina. The Citrus Bowl has already been approved for a
    $175-million renovation and an MLS team would not have to share it
    with anybody. There are more people within 100 miles of Orlando
    than any city in the US outside of LA, Chicago, New York SF, Dallas
    and Houston. There is currently only one Major league team in this
    market and it’s Unlikely NFL, NHL, or MLB will move here do to
    proximity of existing franchises in Tampa and Jacksonville. So the
    MLS would only have to share this rapidly growing sports market
    with the NBA and Arena Football. Not mention with the possible
    exception of Vegas no city on the entire planet knows how to market
    itself like Orlando. Atalanta is a great city, but Orlando is an
    international brand. Marketing is exactly what the MLS needs. I
    would dare say Orlando would have a following in the UK and South
    America and friendlies with European or South American clubs would
    be major travel events that draw large numbers of International
    Visitors would put the spotlight on MLS Talent! Mix in the local
    marketing muscle of Disney, Universal and Hard Rock Cafe and you
    have an International class team…. And deep pocket owners who
    would see this program through wouldn’t hurt either… And the long
    rumored trade of Dwight Howard to Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo

    • Red says:

      Orlando an international brand? WTF??? And the soccer tradition you
      speak of in Orlando are nothing but one offs that have blown away
      from any hurricanes that have passed by. Buddy, you either need to
      lay off of the drugs or check yourself into a mental institute.
      ‘Cuz you are full of it.

  8. ATL, ASAP. Atlanta Chiefs FC.

    • JRW0116@gmail.com says:

      Yes Atlanta Chiefs! Resurgence Atlanta FC would be a great name for
      an Atlanta club, drawing on some of the history of the city. The
      crest could have a phoenix just like the city seal. Honestly
      though, no respect to Willie B, anything besides a gorilla mascot
      and crest would be an improvement.

  9. The original Tom says:

    Orlando would be a great location for the final.
    ___________________ This debate about Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa,
    Orlando makes wish for pro/rel style system, with the teams in this
    region fighting for dominance on the pitch and not just in the
    business offices. Oh well, maybe one day, far, far into the future.

  10. Robert says:

    WOW, big surprise that MLS is poaching another lower division team.
    Executives continue to pound the drum that the country is not ready
    for Pro/Rel but yet they continue to poach successful teams from
    lower divisions.

    • Heimdall says:

      Nah, when Rawlins started the Aztex, he got fed up owning a second
      tier team that was playing in a high school soccer field. So he
      pulled the plug and ended the team in his city of residence,
      shifted the license to Orlando where he had someone wealthy willing
      to partner up with him if he would move the team. They open up shop
      and state that they want Orlando City in MLS in 3-5 years, but
      earlier at Austin, Rawlins did not have MLS aspirations. As much as
      I like what Orlando City is doing, this is not MLS doing any
      poaching, it is another sign of an ownership group from the USL
      actively looking to get into MLS.

  11. Jose says:

    Pro/Rel system lets do it!!! Makes the sport more exciting! Welcome
    to the MLS Orlando, New England/ Vancouver… Enjoy your Road trips
    to play Antigua Barracuda FC !! Everybody wins!! Owners will Spend
    more to avoid relegation or vice versa gain promotion to MLS more
    stars in the league!

    • Red says:

      Yeah, just look at what’s happened to many clubs who’ve overspent.
      They’ve all went bankrupt. gone into administration, etc. Pro/rel
      won’t help soccer in the United States. It will destroy it. Take
      your wet dreams elsewheres, idiot.

      • Roger Pro/Rel says:

        I know it is tough to get a definitive answer when it comes to why
        the old NASL folded. However, If you carefully watch “Once in a
        lifetime” , the conclusion I got at the end, was that an “all
        powerfull” central office, giving HUGE contracts to some of their
        friends, could be blamed as one, if not the main reason of their
        debacle. Now……couldn’t that be used to built a very strong case
        against “single entity”, if not for the huge contracts part, for
        the centralization on the decision making? On a “soccer system” (
        open market & pro/rel), a club makes bad decitions, club goes
        down. On a centralized system, like MLS and the old NASL, central
        office makes bad decitions and the whole thing goes
        down!…………..or, stagnates on an irrelevant existance, making
        us lose time we could use trying to achieve our true club soccer
        potential. Using the old NASL failure to justify “single entity”
        and the no implementation of a true pro/rel pyramid, and the
        incentive for the creation of clubs nation-wide that it will
        incentivate is absurd. Another trick that is aging quick is the
        “young leage” one, we just have to look at the J-league to see that
        if you have a clear vision and smart planing, a league can grow a
        lot quicker and stronger than ours MLS have. Promotion and
        relegation and single entity are closely related and oposit issues.
        Single entity, the people that implemented it ( with zero
        consideration of the fans, an important point which is allways
        ignored ), and the interests behing that people, is the only real
        hurdle for promotion and relegation on US club soccer. Everything
        else is smoke on our faces. Our soccer system have been infiltrated
        by people with too many links to the “american sports elite” ,
        mainly the NFL ( I think I can not be more raw , right? ). Our true
        club soccer potential is not on their best interests. If we do not
        take the USSF back, we are in for a LONG wait. 17 years is no
        little time, it is a lot! Question is, are we willing to patiently
        wait? Or are our fans going to WAKE UP?!

      • Bartleby says:

        Red, so if you had 2 leagues that both had 20 teams all playing in
        SSS you wouldn’t want pro/rel between them? At what point would you
        say yes to pro/rel? Saying something will never work is not an
        argument.

        • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

          Promotion and Relegation will happen when we, the fans unite,
          organize and fight for it instead of wishing that our local club
          gets “selected” by the self proclaimed” owners” of the game.

  12. Daniel says:

    I live in Orlando, have recently purchased season tickets and fully
    support Orlando City’s bid for the MLS. The team does an amazing
    job marketing itself. The owners and crucial team members have been
    *everywhere* selling the team and people are starting to pay
    attention. When they started, I was a skeptic but interested in how
    the story would progress as lots of minor league teams start here
    and leave here within 2 years. Orlando City has completely reversed
    my initial doubts. They already treat their fans to a major league
    soccer experience. There hasn’t been a day when you felt you were
    watching a second rate product. OC has always promised a top flight
    soccer experience and between the fans’ enthusiasm and the club
    keeping their promises that has been delivered. On a side note,
    Orlando City have recently bought my daughter’s youth
    league/academy creating a European type structure up to U-23 that
    resides under the Orlando City umbrella. The new academy structure
    begins next week. Long term this could be a very good investment as
    the way MLS allocates players would give Orlando City a huge
    advantage with local prospects. None of these things take away from
    or add to the debate about Miami or Tampa. Those markets failed for
    lots of reasons but the hype the Orlando City has generated has
    come from ground zero and completely on their own merits. It is
    quite exciting to see and be part of the efforts to make this
    happen.

    • Heimdall says:

      Hey Daniel, it sounds like you’re having a ton of fun and that
      Orlando City puts a good show for its fans. Don’t forget to bring
      your friends along so that they can see what they’re missing.

  13. Why Bring Back the Chiefs? says:

    Go to http://www.terminusfooty.com and see the Atlanta Chiefs Links
    section for a thorough argument in favor of bringing back the
    Chiefs. The same section includes tips on helping to make it
    happen. ATL, ASAP. ATLANTA CHIEFS FC.

  14. Punkrockpete says:

    I feel that both the Ft Lauderdale Strikers and the Tampa Bay
    Rowdies deserve to be in the MLS. Both teams were super successful
    in the NASL and both are drawing over 3000 fans per game in the new
    NASL.

  15. Red says:

    Yeah, just what MLS needs. A tacky city in the heart of a state
    where pro sports teams go to die, where recession sensetive tourism
    is the main industry, where there’s been hardly any history of
    soccer, pro or otherwise, to fall back on, and where a DIII team
    played only one season in an oversized pointyball stadium owned by
    the city. Orlando, the number one market for MLS to be in. F**k
    no!!!

    • FSU Fiji says:

      ed, you need to get out more often. Daniel (above) did invite me to
      a game at the beginning of last season and now I am a season ticket
      holder. I also have tickets to the Rowdies. The difference between
      the two FOs and the way the two metros treat the teams are night
      and day. The Citrus bowl may be too big for MLS but the staff are
      great and accommodating for the supporters groups tailgates (unlike
      2010′s Tampa gang). But the CB is not an issue, the SSS that OCSC
      hopes to build maybe one though. The city and county have tourist
      tax money that must be spent and must be spent on a narrow range of
      items. Stadiums are one of the items. The city has land reclaimed
      from other projects downtown. The Don’s visit just showed those in
      charge that it was not a pipe dream and that looking into what it
      would take to get a team in the MLS is a worthwhile endeavor. The
      city still has a AAA bond rating (better than the USA). Within 24
      months we’ll have our SunRail going which will connect the counties
      north and south of Orlando with a metro style rail. I’ll be able to
      take the train from Winter Haven to the games. Orlando has the
      second largest university in the country, the new Lake Nona medical
      city (a $665M project), a $13.4 billion tech industry employing
      53,000 and the 7th largest research park in the country. Also,
      Three million international tourist last year so yeah international
      brand-name. There were reps from Planet Hollywood, Univision,
      Legoland and others were at the supporters meeting as financial
      supporters. You need to wake up.

  16. Arnold says:

    Team 20: NYC2 (Cosmos) Team 21: Atlanta Team 22: Orlando City Team
    23: St. Louis Team 24: Las Vegas CAP IT AT 24 and……… For
    goodness sakes move Chivas to San Diego and another of the
    struggling clubs to Baltimore!

  17. TruthAbez says:

    MOVE CHIVAS USA TO OC CALIFORNIA OR SAN DIEGO OR LAS VEGAS OR
    PHEONIX OR NEW MEXICO…AND GIVE TEAM #20 TO ORLANDO…I WAS IN
    ORLANDO RECENTLY..ALL I GOTTA SAY IS THAT IT DESERVES A TEAM…THE
    ONLY REASON WHY GARBER PUSHES TEAM 20 TO BE NYC2 IS TO ATTRACT
    BIGGER NAMES TO COME PLAY SINCE BIG NAMES ONLY LIKE TO COME TO LA
    OR NY…..THAT WAS THE PLAN WITH CHIVAS BUT LOOK AT IT….SO MOVE
    CHIVAS FURTHER SOUTH IN CALIFORNIA OR TO LAS VEGAS OR PHEONIX OR
    NEW MEXICO AND GIVE TEAM 20 TO ORLANDO..AFTER THIS…NYC CAN GET A
    TEAM IN THE USL AND THEN SEE IF IT CAN DRAW SUPPORT…BUT
    PLEASE..WE ARE TOO BIG OF A COUNTRY TO HAVE TWO TEAMS IN ONE
    CITY…I THINK THE BEST WAY TO GO IS TO EXPAND TO 24 TEAMS…. 12
    EAST…12 WEST..EACH TEAM PLAYS THE OPPOSITE CONFERENCE ONCE AND
    THE TEAMS IN THEIR CONFERENCE TWICE FOR A TOTAL OF 34 GAMES….
    TEAM 21 SHOULD BE FC EDMUNTON/VICTORIA… TEAM 22 SHOULD BE
    MIAMI/ATLANTA/ST LOUIS….TEAM 23 LAS VEGAS…TEAM 24
    DETROIT….TRUE AMERICAN CITIES….

  18. Tom says:

    Omaha NE. would be a great location for the 20th team… We already
    have a brand new stadium that was built for the college world
    series and the Omaha’s downtown area is use to the mass of folks
    for these type of sporting events. Folks in Nebraska flock to
    sports teams,we had the UFL’s only team that sold out every game.
    Nebraska has a massive soccer base and youth leagues. Creighton
    University is also right up the street and they have a great soccer
    fan base. Omaha!!!!!! MLS!!!!!!

  19. Bartleby says:

    Tom,, there are actually about 20+ cities that could support a D1
    (MLS) team.

  20. Brenton says:

    Out of all the cities in North America, only one is a European and
    South American melting pot which would stimulate a large fan-base
    of the team. MIAMI! Yes, it did not work before but there are
    reasons for that. 1. The team did not play in Miami, it played in
    Ft. Lauderdale and only wealthy college preps hangout in
    Lauderdale. Not much culture there at all. 2. The team had no
    “name” draw. No David Beckham, Landon Donovan or Thierry Henry. 3.
    The entire MLS as a whole did not have nearly the fan base that it
    has now. Heck, most people didn’t even know professional soccer
    existed in the USA. So, with David Beckham begin given the
    opportunity to start a franchise at a much reduced rate and having
    both him and his wife stating that they love being in Miami…it
    seems very realistic that upon Beckham’s retirement he would spawn
    an MLS team in Miami that would have his name attached to and he
    would bring over a friend or two from either the European market or
    South American market. Maybe both. Which would extremely stimulate
    the fan growth in South Florida…and all of the MLS for that
    matter. My money is on Miami.

  21. Rowdies Fan says:

    We ALL love to dream that our favorite NASL team will one day go to
    Major League Soccer. I’m a Tampa Bay Rowdies fan and season ticket
    holder….and I also share the dream. But, the bottom line (as
    stated way above here)….it’s all about money….dollars &
    cents. –and so we all continue with our hopes & dreams for the
    future of our teams to join the MLS. GO ROWDIES!

  22. TV says:

    I think the MLS should do more internationally… Like, do a “US
    Open Champions League” and invite teams from all over the world for
    a two-week, single-elimination tournament. Sign up a Liverpool and
    a Wigan, AC Milan, Dortmund, the Boca Juniors, America,
    Internacional, the Yokohama F. Marinos and teams from China and
    Japan playing against the best of the MLS in our home stadiums.
    Maybe make the event every two years. Pick 8 MLS teams, and 8 from
    the rest of the world. Allow those MLS teams to loan players from
    the rest of the MLS. It could spark interest — whereas the
    Concacaf champions league is never going to capture the imagination
    of America as much as an Arsenal-Red Bulls game or a Chelsea-LA
    Galaxy final. And, yes, I know there’s a huge talent gap, but the
    MLS teams would be playing at home and the European teams wouldn’t
    care about the result. The MLS should also drop out of the Concacaf
    champions league and invite the Mexican and central American teams
    to play tournaments on US soil or go screw themselves. The last
    round of MLS expansion could hardly have been more successful. I
    think the MLS needs to find competent management in places like
    Atlanta and Miami. Miami is too big and has too many hispanics for
    this not to be potentially lucrative. I’m a bit less keen on
    northern florida or a 2nd team in New York — the Red Bulls aren’t
    drawing that many fans. Puerto Rico

    • Charles says:

      Respectfully disagree. The last thing US Soccer needs is MORE
      casual fans coming to watch teams from 8 time zones
      away…………………………………………… I believe
      that tools wearing Chelsea jerseys on Friday casual day, kill
      potential fan’s interest faster than you can say, “frontrunner”. As
      you can see, I can hardly wait for the Sounder’s friendly in a few
      weeks….sorry to be missing
      it….really……………………………………If fans don’t
      want to watch soccer in this country….cool. Why would I care? I
      don’t own a team, but bringing in teams the tools want to see in
      place of caring about soccer in this country is boring, disruptive,
      and a waste of time for those of us that actually do care.

  23. Kevin says:

    Orlando should jump over New York, They beat Newcastle isn’t that
    enough for the MLS to want them in as the 20th team?

  24. Kevin says:

    5 new teams should be New York Cosmos, Orlando FC, Austin Aztecs,
    AC St Louis and Atlanta Chiefs. Once they are ready for 24 teams

    • Charles says:

      We are all ready for 24 teams and I think that US soccer is ready
      too, but the pieces have to fall in place. Like any league in the
      world they have to have a stadium that suits first division. All of
      those places seem like they would succeed to me , but I am not the
      one taking any financial risk. The market ( guys building $200
      million stadiums ) is going to decide.

  25. Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

    by wishing that our local team gets selected and become the new
    expansion franchise, we give the self proclaimed owners of the game
    a power that they do not deserve………….. Ours is call the
    game of the people, it is OUR GAME! NOT THEIRS!……..until we
    don’t realize that truth, we don’t deserve to have a real club
    soccer experience.

  26. Jamvis says:

    I dont believe Florida is a good sports state in general. The
    constantly have problems with baseball attendance, the Heat barely
    sell out there Arena with the likes of Lebron and Wade. The west
    coast to me remains the best option. How about Phoenix or even
    Boise, look how well soccer has done in Seattle and Portland.

  27. SBGT92 says:

    There are two reasons a city gets an expansion franchise. Ownership
    stability, and a Soccer Specific Stadium. Among the least important
    reasons listed (and it’s been mentioned in this thread multiple
    times) are: – How good their current minor league team is doing. No
    USL or NASL team promoted to MLS keeps it’s current rosters intact.
    It absolutely doesn’t matter that you’re having a great season,
    Orlando fans. Not even a little bit. – Whether their city
    “deserves” a team. Help me understand why that’s relevant if you
    don’t have an owner that is willing to assume the responsibility
    and risk that ownership has. – Attendance of current USL or NASL
    teams. There are a number of examples of teams with mediocre
    attendance in the minor leagues (i.e. Toronto, Seattle) that are
    now setting records in MLS. It’s a completely irrelevant stat. If
    you don’t understand this, then you are simply living a dream. In
    the spirit of full disclosure, I’m an Atlanta Silverbacks fan. I
    have a great time with my kids when we go to games (about four a
    year) and we have great fans. But until Arthur Blank (or someone
    with his cache) steps up and gets us a team (and an SSS) then we’ll
    still be playing in the NASL for the foreseeable future, no matter
    how good our team is, how deserving we are, or how many people come
    to our games.

  28. Mike says:

    Orlando would be a great choice, it could be advertised to European and South Americans as another tourist day out and gather great support from abroad.

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