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Montreal stepping up MLS expansion efforts

The Montreal publication La Presse is reporting that (soon to be former) Liverpool owner George Gillet is joining forces with the Saputo family, owners of the USL Montreal Impact, to push for an MLS expansion team in Montreal.

The story goes on to say the group believes it could land an expansion team by 2009, which seems extremely unlikely given the fact that Philadelphia is set to join in 2010. If Montreal is to move ahead of the likes of favorite St. Louis and contenders Atlanta and Miami, it would take a bid of record proportions, but even that may not allow a second Canadian team to join MLS in the immediate future.

Ultimately money does talk and having Gillet, who owns the NHL’s Montreal Canadians, join forces with the Saputos give the Montreal expansion bid major financial muscle. Will that be enough to allow Montreal to join the expansion line?

What do you think of this story? Think having a second Canadian team before so many other American markets is a good move? Is it a bad move? Do you just want an excuse to visit the Gentlemen’s clubs in Montreal? Share your thoughts below?


  1. I wonder how many ppl would show up to Montreal if they actually had to pay? Unlike say how they “pack” them in for a USL match. FREE!

  2. personally, i think there are too many quality US cities in play to award another canadian city.

    one of the founding tenets of MLS is the furthering of US soccer, not canadian soccer.

    i hear all the excuses in the world from the canadians why they can’t, but if they want canadian sides so bad, and canada is such a vibrant soccer nation, they should start their own league.

    i can’t see the league moving past 20 teams within a decade, and possibly ever. do we really want 10-15% of our league in canada?

  3. The Canadian rivalries begin this summer. May 27th Montreal and Toronto go at it to start the CONCACAF qualifying for the Champions League:

    CSA Club Qualifying Tournament Schedule

    27 May: Impact de Montreal vs. Toronto FC at MontrĂ©al’s Stade Saputo

    17 June: Impact de Montreal vs. Vancouver Whitecaps at Stade Saputo

    25 June: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Impact de Montreal at Vancouver’s Swangard Stadium

    1 July: Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps at Toronto’s BMO Field

    9 July: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC at Swangard Stadium

    22 July: Toronto FC vs. Impact de Montreal at BMO Field

  4. John. Only when the teams actually play, with full prices and for a few seasons, will we see what actually holds water. That is the point.

    The Montreal Manic drew like gangabusters, then after some issues they drew nothing.

    Montreals current fanbase may not be the same fanbase, or as consistently loyal if they get an MLS team. That’s all. In th eworld of big business these things have to be taken into account. Stuff I do everyday. Same for TV contracts.

    A good TV contratc beats a solid franchise.

    Sounds nuts, but in MLS’s state it is reality. Both would be great, but if you can get 10 mill more a year on the next contract becuase you have a team in a big TV market/region that you didn’t have before, guess hwo you choose.

    I’m not trying to be a smart guy here, but I do this for a living. Bigger deals than MLS.

    There is emotion and reality. Reality always wins with big business. Esepecially one still strivning for profitability. You either understand the dynamics or you don’t. The way it is.

  5. Enzo, I said it looks promising, but there are no guarantees. TFC was supposed to get zero fans because of poor USL attendance.

    You can’t guarantee the same support for Montreal with full tix prices, less comps, etc, etc.

    I am neither for or against anyone. I just wanted to point out some of the issues, as it is clear many do not have the slightest clue about them.

  6. The KC deal is not final yet. Close, but not final.

    Still need state approval and there are agitators litigating and holding it up.

  7. I don’t understand all of these people talking about endless expansion.

    I’m having a real hard time understanding how the league can absorb all of the expansion that’s already in place. There simply is NOT enough talent to spread so thin.

    We should stop expansion for a while. If they want to move a team, fine, but no more expansion. Also, whatever happened to the statement made by MLS that indicated no more expansion after 16 teams?

    This crazy rate of expansion is exactly what happened right before the NASL folded.

    If there is simply too much demand and there has to be expansion, like someone suggested here, (sorry I can’t remember their name) we should start a second division. The quality will be on that level anyway with so many teams. The question is, would that really be much different than the USL?

    I say we stop and consolidate the league right where we are now. People have to be patient. The league’s survival is the most important thing right now. I also think we need to stop allowing sub par playing facilities. No more artificial turf! This is completely selling out. I don’t care how pretty a stadium is if the playing surface is going to be artificial surface. I would also like to see the league work toward ending football lines on the field.


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