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MLS to announce Minnesota expansion on Wednesday


Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports


The day has finally come: Minnesota is ready to be granted a spot in Major League Soccer.

MLS announced Monday that the league will hold a press conference in Minnesota on Wednesday with commissioner Don Garber and Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire scheduled to be in attendance. The event will to take place at Target Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins, who are partners with the soccer franchise.

Monday’s announcement comes just one week after the league confirmed that there had been “advanced discussions” with the Minnesota United ownership group.

Minnesota United, which was founded in 2010, currently plays in the NASL and won the league’s championship in 2011.

MLS has previously set a target of 24 teams by the end of the decade, and with Minnesota securing the 23rd slot, that leaves one remaining slot up for grabs in the near future. Miami, Sacramento and San Antonio are all in contention for that 24th slot.

With 20 teams currently in play, Minnesota will join Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami as teams with announced expansion plans.

What do you think of the upcoming announcement? How will Minnesota fare as an MLS market?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Wondering if FIFA top honcho Sepp Blatter is fuming about the continued talk of MLS expansion when he has been on record about not wanting the US (predominantly US) league from expanding beyond 19-20 teams?

    What is the largest # of teams in a division one league in any nation? Can’t imagine there is one above 22 or so teams.

    • I seriously doubt Sepp ever fumes about anything regarding US professional soccer, it is probably of very little concern to him, its a minor league in the global market

  2. Sac will get a slot sooner rather than later whether it is franchise 24 or 25. The MLS is not going to turn away the $100m franchise fee from a group that has all their ducks in a row- backing from the city, investments from the Kings and 49ers, a fan-base ready to go that has proved itself with the Republic not to mention the Kings and minor league baseball. Even if Miami is a go 25 is not that big of a problem, some scheduling imbalance that can be worked out.

  3. I’m impressed with these comments folks. Mostly from a general loathing of internet commenting – which is usually misplaced anger, senseless bashing, and inane sarcasm. Something like 30 comments in and no references to igloos, penguins, or mosquitos!

    As a born and bred MN guy and lifelong soccer player/coach, I’m thrilled MN is getting a team. It’s going to get dicey though as public funding for a stadium will be insanely contentious. That said, it if can be privately funded (or mostly), this team will be remarkable. MN loves its soccer and the end of downtown where they’re building is hot. I could see this becoming a gem of a franchise for MLS.

    • Nate, I hope you are right. I have always believed in the MSP market since the Kicks were the last NASL to have a profitable season–their next to last year in Bloomington. I just hope you can get that stadium done. To roughly quote the LAFC guy: ‘you either have a stadium deal or you don’t; there is no closing in on a deal’ or something like that. As someone who grew up in the upper Midwest, I am glad to see a team come together there.

  4. I really wonder how this affects the NASL or what they think of this. Having briefly worked at an NASL club, and knowing how badly they want to compete with MLS (instead of partnering like USL), I can’t help but think that they must be fuming. Hopefully this opens up some eyes at NASL HQ.

  5. Sacramento is a guaranteed sell out, every game, a la Portland. Shocking that MLS would turn this down, Minnesota is much more uncertain

    • I believe that DC United has the exclusive right to use “United” within MLS. And I prefer to think of the word as “traditional” rather than “lame”.

      • Says a guy with a “traditional” “snail mail” name of Postmaster.

    • There’s nothing wrong with Minnesota United. I’m a firm believer in continuity. Unless your team is named the Cheeze Wiz or Burn, once teams pick names, they should keep them. They’ve been around for a few years and it’s a solid name. Let them keep building their brand.

      • They did that after Dr. McGuire bought the club in 2012. Before they were the Stars they were the Thunder. MNUFC has one of the best crests in the country and it sounds like they will be able to keep everything, name, logo, colors and font

  6. So the league expands, now the playoffs will expand because every owner will want to have an above average team. Before you know it you have a meaningless regular season so here come the cheer leaders and hip hop music during the games to keep fans entertained.

    Every league had a few dominant teams to establish itself (Yankees, Packers, Giants, Steelers, Cowboys, Celtics, Lakers). With an obsession of parity MLS will never garner the attention of a casual sports fan.

    • Before you know it you have a meaningless regular season

      It’s already meaningless. You’d be hard pressed to find any fanfare for Seattle winning the Supporters Shield last year.

    • Pablito do you need a hug ?

      Old School…I celebrated along with all of Seattle. I don’t even care about the SS much.

      • They were in the best club in MLS last season, but we all know LA is pushed as “champions”. Celebration or not (since I’m not even a Seattle fan), it’s out of sight out of mind.

        Not a new issue, but still an issue. The regular season is irrelevant.

    • you listed NFL teams and its a league that is more about parity through its structure than any on earth, including MLS. NFL has a hard cap.

      hahaha you listed Celtics and Lakers as dominate NBA teams

      I dont think you have any clue what you are talking about

  7. This is fantastic news for some of their players. They may finally get the chance to fulfill their dreams of playing in the MLS. Sure, they may lack the physical attributes required to play at that level, but they make up for it with their superior soccer-smarts. Look at Miguel Ibarra. He has never played in the MLS and somehow keeps getting called up to the USMNT even though he clearly lacks physical ability. I give him credit for the mental side of his games because he brings it, but he comes up way too short for me with his physical abilities.

      • As someone pointed out elsewhere, the SEC in NCAA has the LSU Tigers playing against the Missouri Tigers and against the Auburn Tigers…and I don’t think tigers are even endemic to that portion of the country. So it’s a little unusual but it’s not unheard of to have teams within a league share mascots/colors. It also makes sense for MN to keep United given the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and St Paul coming together to support one team.

    • why? MN United is a good org, their stadium deal looks to be really solid, and its a region that MLS needs more coverage in and it will be well supported.

      • Agree. The Minneapolis area has a great soccer community and a history of producing top players. It is also host to what is probably the best and biggest international youth tournament in the country so I imagine it will have a lot of international supporters.

    • Why? do you have reasons or is it just because you say so? Is it because even with the star power of David Beckham Miami can’t get the stuff together? Is that why it should have been them? Should it have been Sacramento because they are a smaller market than Minneapolis?

  8. MLS has previously set a target of 24 teams by the end of the decade

    I don’t anticipate them sticking to this and expect them to exceed that number. By how much remains a mystery but my money is MLS reaching 26 clubs (Sacramento, Miami and ??).

      • This is what I anticipate, and this is from picking the pieces between Garber, MNUFC, and the media.

        Minnesota United FC: 23rd by 2018 or 2019
        Miami Beckham United: 24th by 2020

        Then Garber will re-assess and will state the following: “28 teams by 2018” and Sacramento will have to wait for the next wave of expansion.

        Sacramento Republic FC: 2021-2028
        San Antonio: 2021-2028
        Canadian team: 2021-2028
        ???: 2021-2028

        But who the hell knows.

      • Sounds about right. The only thing I’d disagree with is how quickly the new wave of clubs will be added. I anticipate it in a much quicker window.

      • San Antonio, born and bred. I would love San Antonio to get a team but I think it’s a long shot for the short term.

    • The Don actually said they were going to come out with a plan very soon.

      Seems like 30ish is the number of teams in US leagues end up at. Most likely not just chances. Most likely the national TV money is maximized per franchise at that point.

      Soccer could do that easily.

      • Probably could do 40 within the next 15-20 years, then you can have two divisions and pro/rel. Then Eurosnobs will have to watch it.

      • I actually think 40 is where MLS will finally end up at. It’ll probably take another 10-15 years but these franchises are just too affordable and the upside is too large. At that point a lot of people will press for promotion/relegation…and I don’t think they’ll get it, I think what we’ll actually see is East/West and teams playing home-and-aways against their regional opponents. Heck, the I-5 could probably support 15 MLS teams on its lonesome…right now. MLS will be acutely aware that any market they don’t grab, NASL will…and a 32-team league will just not adequately cover all the markets that soccer can support, or even close.

        Keep in mind MLS is not just servicing the US, it’s also servicing Canada.

    • I think his trip immediately after the Minnesota announcement to Miami to allay fears among s. floridians that team Beckham might not happen. It would be stupid for Garber to not also follow up a trip to Sacramento, especially given their financing and support. As for what sort of arguments/rhetoric should be used to explain going over 24, I think Garber should distinguish between US teams and Canadian teams and the fact that many domestic leagues have gone up to 22 teams and MLS wouldn’t be doing anything unusual. 22 domestic + 3 international guests.

      • Rather than a trip to allay fan’s fears, It’s probably more along the lines of an ultimatum to light a fire:
        “We’d love to have your beautiful city on board. In fact… I have Miami next in line, but of course….. MLS is an up and comer in high demand right now with very attractive people courting us…. your city’s inclusion hinges on a stadium that plays to the advantages a city like MIami presents. If we can’t make that happen fast, I’m letting you know I may have to put Miami on hold for a while in favor of a very attractive club with a stadium deal and enormous passionate fanbase in place that’s knocking on our door.”

      • I sure hope you are right. I feel like a Miami bid that is luke warm received in Miami would be a fail before it started.

        I’m hoping this trip is a disguised, “I wanted to tell you in person that i’m putting your bid on hold until the next round to buy you more time.”

      • Doesn’t matter. Sports is a business and Miami is the gateway to Latin America. True, Miami Beckham United probably wouldn’t sell out 75% of their games (not that most of MLS is doing this already anyway, so it’s already a moot point) but they would offer a huge opportunity to bring the game to an untapped market with as much potential as Miami. You really don’t know how passionate people are here in Miami. Build a winner, and the people will come. More importantly, build a winner and people will buy anything with the club logo on it.

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