Good morning all.
As you read recently on SBI, Major League Soccer is preparing to announce Philadelphia as the league’s 16th franchise and, with that in mind, I thought it was a good time to take a look at Philly and what the city will be bringing to the MLS table.
Here is my story on Philadelphia expansion for ESPN.com. I found it very interesting that there are so many long-time MLS fans in the city, fans who rooted for either D.C. United or the Red Bulls/MetroStars who are ready to root for Philly’s new team. Add that to the instant rivalries created by D.C. and New York and these are elements that will help a Philly team be a success right away.
Those of you who have read SBI for a while know that I have backed Philly as an expansion city for a while now and I’m still convinced that it will be a big hit. After working on this piece I am even more convinced.
League officials are putting the finishing touches on the announcement, though I am told the league’s Board of Governors has yet to put its stamp on it. Could this lead to a delay? Sure, but just like the Seattle expansion news (which you read first on SBI and which wound up being delayed by almost two months), Philadelphia expansion is happening. In a league where simple trades wind up getting delayed by a week because of red tape, it isn’t a surprise to see such a major announcement getting stuck in the MLS mud.
Here is a question. What will you be looking forward to the most about a Philadelphia expansion franchise? Visiting a new stadium? Enjoying a new rivalry? Having an excuse to travel near Atlantic City? A chance to have some quality cheesesteaks?
Share your thoughts below.