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MLS- Expansion

Wednesday Kickoff: MLS looks into Baltimore, Cassano needs surgery & more

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

As D.C. United continues its quest to find a new stadium location, MLS continues its exploration into whether Baltimore is a viable market for league expansion.

The league sent out a survey to fans in the Baltimore area in an effort to gauge interest in an MLS franchise in the city. Almost a year ago, the Maryland Stadium Authority completed a viability study to determine the benefits of potentially building a soccer-specific stadium in the Westport area of the city, where a prospective MLS franchise would ultimately play.

An interesting note from the survey is that not all of the questions pointed to D.C. United as the only potential club to play in Baltimore. One of the questions asked if a fan could choose to have a club relocate to Baltimore which team would it be, listing Columbus, FC Dallas, D.C., Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls or No Preference as the options. 

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

CASSANO NEEDS HEART SURGERY

AC Milan's Antonio Cassano will reportedly undergo minor heart surgery after having stroke-like symptoms on the team's flight following a weekend match at AS Roma.

Milan released a statement saying that Cassano should be able to return to action in a few months and that he did not suffer any permanent brain damage during the incident.

REDKNAPP TO MISS EUROPA MATCH FOR SURGERY 

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp also needs to undergo a minor heart procedure to clear a blocked artery.

Redknapp, 64, will miss Spurs' Europa League match at Rubin Kazan on Thursday, and the club is expected to announce when he will return to the sidelines at some point on Wednesday. Assistants Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond will assume Redknapp's duties while he is in the hospital.

SHARP SCORES WITH HEAVY HEART

One of the more touching stories to emanate from soccer this year took place on Tuesday, when Doncaster Rovers' Billy Sharp scored a goal just days after his two-day-old baby son passed away.

After scoring in the first half of Doncaster's 3-1 loss to Middlesbrough, Sharp lifted his jersey, revealing a shirt with "That's for you, son" printed on the front. He was not cautioned for the act, like others normally would be for celebrating in a similar way.  

———————–

What do you make of the Baltimore survey? Could you see Baltimore housing an expansion team while United remained in D.C.? Do you think D.C. United will ultimately relocate? What do you make of the Cassano and Redknapp heart scares? What do you think of the Sharp story?

Share your thoughts below.

93 comments
  • Adam M.

    The survey and the relocation question are an obvious nod to DC’s difficulty getting a stadium and the survey is a not-so-obvious jab at the Cosmos or whoever else might want to start the second NY team to get their act together faster.

    Like

  • DadRyan

    Alexandria didn’t want the Redskins anywhere near them, and even if there was ANY where left to build there they certainly wouldn’t want DCU. Gotta be at Buzzard’s Point in DC.

    Like

  • Richard

    Scary stuff with Cassano… Hope he recovers and can be healthy again. Who knows if he’ll get back to his level or even make it to EURO 2012

    Like

  • bryan

    They should move it on the Alrington side of the beltway. Hell, put it out near Centreville/Dulles/Chantilly/Herndon/Reston/Sterling. There is so much land out here. It’s 25 miles from DC, but the metro is currently being built to reach out into Herndon/Reston and most of the DCU fan base is from Northern VA anyway.

    Like

  • bryan

    Exactly. They are holding out for the Redskins because Snyder wants them to come back to DC. The thing is, FedEx isn’t even that old! And it’s not even close to paid for! Further, it’s BECAUSE of the Skins that the MD Government does not want to invest their own money into a stadium. The Skins owe them so much money and haven’t paid them back for anything. It’s a mess. And like it reads above, there just isn’t any land in DC. I hope they would move the team to Northern Virginia before Baltimore.

    They should move it on the Alrington side of the beltway. Hell, put it out near Centreville/Dulles/Chantilly/Herndon/Reston/Sterling. There is so much land out here. It’s 25 miles from DC, but the metro is currently being built to reach out into Herndon/Reston and most of the DCU fan base is from Northern VA anyway.

    Like

  • bryan

    Yup. It comes out this month. US Soccer just had a Q&A with Jay about it. It took them a LONG time to get the money, but they finally got it.

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  • fischy

    Yes, I encountered that — which is kinda stoopid, actually. The team/league should want to gauge how much interest there is among current ticketholders…though, I suppose their response is a largely predictable “No”

    Like

  • Ryan in NY from NC

    AGAIN – Atlanta and Miami are both terrible sports cities – especially for a still niche sport like footy

    Like

  • bryan

    probably both. or at least leaving it up for both options. having DC, Baltimore, Philly, NY (x2) and NE teams would be awesome. All right off I-95. Would enhance the rivalries even more.

    Like

  • dgoshilla

    Its a sad pathetic state of affairs when the most successful franchise in MLS history is going to be relocated.

    Like

  • bryan

    seriously. why wasn’t NE included on the list?! out of them all, they seem the most likely to leave.

    Like

  • RafaFlores

    Baltimore City anyone? I can see it now…The Beltway Derby…City V United!!!! It’d be pretty cool to see.

    Like

  • Cairo

    After living in NC for a few years, I would personally put them ahead of any other bid in the South. They drew in the thousands for UNC women’s games when I was there, and there are alot of people in the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) who love the game. The big competition for sports fans in the summer would be…the Durham Bulls? Is the old Durham Bulls Stadium lot still undeveloped? That would be an awesome place for a Soccer Specific Stadium of 20K or so.

    Like

  • Brad

    The cinema premiere date is this coming Thursday, November 3. Going to see a screening here in Nashville.

    Like

  • hogatroge

    I wonder if Nashville could support an MLS team?

    The Predators have somehow survived and average ~16-17k in attendance despite the fact that most high schools in the area don’t even have hockey teams and it’s impossible to play the sport outdoors even in the middle of winter.

    They also recently set a record for most attendance at a soccer game in Tennessee (USMNT vs. Paraguay) despite the fact that it was a loss and the game was played in bad weather.

    Just a bit of conjecture, though.

    Like

  • Modibo

    I took the survey.
    The survey first asked how interested the respondent is in MLS; then it proceeded to ask how often you’ve gone to games in “local” markets – DC, Philly, NY, and college. The point about Philly and NY is they want to see if Baltimore fans are either happy going to DC, or hate DC enough to go to Philly or NYC for their MLS fix. (No on both counts for me.)

    As for the question about relocation, I’m not sure there’s serious interest in Columbus or Dallas moving, but I think like Black Tide said, it’s supposed to provide a counterfactual for the DC move, again to test if Baltimore fans could accept a rebranded DC.

    And REBRANDING was specified in each case where a possible DC United move was mentioned. So I don’t think we’re going to see a “DC/Baltimore United” or anything of that ilk.

    Remember, Baltimore already went through co-branding with Crystal Palace, and it flopped on the marketing side (and when rushed into the NASL, on the field as well but that’s another story). MLS has hopefully drawn some lessons from the marketing of CPB, which – shamefully – didn’t even have “Baltimore” in its name until its last year of existence; this survey shows that maybe they have.

    Like

  • Modibo

    Neither Philly nor NYC is going to move. That was about whether Baltimore fans already have an interest/allegiance in nearby teams other than DC. They could have just asked: how much do you hate DC vs. Philly and NYC?

    Like

  • Modibo

    Oh, yeah, I would have definitely ticked off “buy season tickets,” too, if the option were offered. Or, better yet, “buy season tickets for my whole family.”

    Like

  • biff

    I see my comment mentioning the Jay Demerit story was was deleted, I guess because I linked to the trailer for the movie. I will say that the trailer piqued my interest. I definitely want to see the movie.

    Like

  • Brian D

    As a Philly fan, I’d love to see the South get a team- imagine the “Union Army” tifo we could do!

    Like

  • Brian D

    As a Philly fan, I’d love to see the South get a team- imagine the “Union Army” tifo we could do!

    Like

  • adub

    i wouldnt mind seeing you get punched in the face. FCD is a founding member of MLS anyone who wants to move them are a bunch of a holes

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  • Matt

    So Doug is an arrogant dink and the guy who posted as “Dougisadouche” gets a free pass?

    Like

  • Matt

    Just guessing, but the survey of the different cities is probably just to provide a baseline for whether Baltimore respondents like/don’t like DC United as compared to a random MLS club.

    Perhaps MLS wants to know if there is a particular bias in Baltimore for or against getting DCU specifically.

    Like

  • Yep

    Yes. By starting his initial post with a derogatory comment aimed at either the author, SBI’s community, or both, then following it up with douchey, know-it-all comments, Doug was asking to be put in check.

    It was an article about a guy scoring and giving some love to his dead son.

    Like

  • Colin

    If they were to start up a Baltimore team, just move the revs and rename them to the Baltimore Bays and get that organization involved. Bays is already a household name among soccer players in Baltimore (me being one of them), so if they could get the Bays organization on board they’d instantly have a history, a strong academy and a base of fans. Not to mention the DC – Baltimore rivalry would be great. Plenty of DC and Baltimore fans would make the hour drive either way for the games.

    Like

  • anikan

    Sorry but the southeast is American football country. Until any city in the southeast can show that they can support soccer for more than a couple years, the MLS should stay away.

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  • Doug

    The author said that Sharp “was not cautioned for the act, like others normally would be for celebrating in a similar way.” That is incorrect. Nobody who celebrates as Sharp did would be cautioned. I never made fun of Sharp, said that he should have been cautioned, or otherwise. His success in the face of such a tragedy is absolutely a wonderful story, and as a father my heart goes out to him as he still tries to cope with his loss.

    Like

  • Johnny Ramone

    As an RBNY fan, nothing would make me happier than than to see the team of the 90s, DC, move to Baltimore.

    Like

  • MJC-DC

    Ravens and DC fans typically hate eachother and those teams hardly every play a meaningful game. Imagine if you had a team in Baltimore and DC that both played in the Eastern Conference.

    Like

  • MJC-DC

    If I were a RBNY fan I think my happiness might be dictated by this:

    (1) Win some silverware
    (2) Everything else

    Like

  • VADCUfan

    So is DCU, but I doubt you care as much about whether DCU moves or not than you do about FCD. Likewise if I were given the choice of which to move, there is no way in hell I’d pick FCD over DCU. That said no one should have to lose their team.

    Like

  • VADCUfan

    Yeah, it’s unfortunate that you feel that way. I personally am happy that the Pink Cows still exist and continue to exist. Further, if they do move there is a significant population of MLS fans that will not be able to enjoy live soccer at the highest level in North America anymore. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, even supporters of the trophy-less Pink Cows.

    Like

  • nic d "the TX 2 Stepper"

    DAN people come from all over the metro to get to Frisco. IT IS THE STUPIDEST PLACE TO HAVE A SSS!

    I drive 1 hour to go to games. If they were still in Southlake I would drive 10 minutes. If they were in Dallas I would drive 35 minutes. All of those times are better than driving an hour. Thus, I go to less and less games.

    07 – 6 games
    08 – 5 games
    09 – 4 games
    10 – 2 games
    11 – 2 games

    I don’t have money/time to waste. More things are pulling my dollars with in my 30 mile radius. I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE.

    Like

  • VADCUfan

    In other words keep the rivalry focused on the beautiful game, because everything else is not worth the vitriol.

    Like

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