MLS Expansion: League to Announce Next Teams in Early 2015


Dec 2, 2014; New York, NY, USA; MLS Commissioner Don Garber during the MLS state of the league address at Univision Studios. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer commissioner, Don Garber, released a statement today regarding the process of choosing the next expansion side. Garber said the “goal is to announce the next MLS expansion market during the first six months of 2015”. When this announcement is made next year, it will be the 23rd team, one shy of Garber’s target of 24.

There are four markets in the running for this expansion side with them being Sacramento, San Antonio, Las Vegas and Minneapolis. Last month, Don Garber met with representatives from Minneapolis, Sacramento and Las Vegas to hear their pitch and what they could bring to the league should their city win the rights to an MLS team. San Antonio did not meet when the other markets did, but they are in talks with Major League Soccer as well.

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Each market has their own benefits they bring to the table for Major League Soccer. Commissioner Garber and his team will be looking for the perfect fit as he closes in on making a decision. Sacramento and San Antonio both have a soccer stadium in place. Sacramento Republic FC came into USL Pro last season and took it by storm by winning the USL Pro Championship in 2014 and putting their claim in for a MLS team. They would also come into MLS with a great fan base.

San Antonio also has a soccer stadium, and they too are coming off a championship season in the NASL. San Antonio and Sacramento look to be the favorites to land an MLS team, but you never know. Las Vegas is a big market with possibly a lot of money to be made, but the climate combined with the fact there are no other pro teams in the city may hold it back. Minneapolis is a bit of a wild card. If they get this MLS team, they would most likely be playing at the Vikings’ home stadium.

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  • Don Garber has set a goal for 24 teams to be playing in Major League Soccer. There will be 20 teams next year with two more, Atlanta and Los Angeles, coming in for the 2017 season. This leaves two more spots, at least one of which will be on of the four markets listed above. The other one is unknown. MLS seems to want Miami, provided they find a stadium site that suits Don Garber. If not Miami, it could be another one of the sites above or even a market that has not come forward yet.

    The 24th team is unknown and the 23rd is as well, but only for a little while longer. We now know this, the 23rd Major League Soccer team will be announced in the first half of 2015. One city will be filled with joy and three will be disappointed, but it is exciting to see all of these cities wanting the next MLS team. It is possible though that MLS announces more than one new expansion side in 2015.