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Report: Don Garber in St. Paul as MLS looks to clear up expansion timeline


Photo by Brad Rempel/ USA Today Sports


Atlanta United is set to join MLS in 2017, but it remains unclear which team, if any, will join it in making an arrival to the league in two years’ time.

Sports Illustrated reported Monday that MLS Commissioner Don Garber is in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the league continues to push for a more clear expansion picture. MLS is reportedly looking to bring Atlanta United in with a fellow debuting club – much like this season’s addition of Orlando City and New York City FC – but who that is remains to be seen.

As things stand, that club will not be the recently-named Los Angeles Football Club, as the team announced last week that it will not debut before 2018.

One potential option remains Minnesota United, but the club would likely need to have some sort of progress regarding a potential stadium. Preferring to enter the league in 2017, Minnesota United would reportedly have potential temporary options in the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium and the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field.

Minnesota United is also reportedly nearing a deal for its own stadium on a 10-acre area in St. Paul’s Midway area. Garber is reportedly in town this week to assess the situation ahead of potentially lending the potential deal approval.

Citing the league’s continued goal of 24 teams by 2020, Sports Illustrated reported that the league could also make major moves if David Beckham’s Miami project continues to stall. In that scenario, the league could turn interest to Sacramento, while St. Louis and San Antonio remain more of a longshot.


What do you think of the report? How do you see the MLS expansion timeline coming together? Will any team fellow expansion club join Atlanta United in arriving in 2017?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. 24 MLS teams. I would prefer

    But i cap it at 26.

    That way 50 games a year. Home/away. Move to say February to November. Get rid of the playoffs. Or okay just make those in December.

  2. San Diego please. 8th biggest city in the country and consistently ranks top five in usmnt TV ratings. Also, one of the largest AO chapters.

  3. As a resident of St. Louis, literally the only reason I supported the downtown stadium for the Rams (sort of–definitely not in the way it went down, though) was the outside shot we’d get an MLS team. Hope we’re still in good shape should a team fold a few years down the line, although I’m not sure many potential ownership groups would want to compete with the Cardinals*

    *I’m sure we could swing supporting it, and supporting it well–our USL team is supported to the point where nearly every game is near capacity.

    • I agree with you on the stadium. The only problem is that we don’t have an ownership group with the deep pockets that are necessary for an expansion team.

      Best case scenario, however, would be to go to the plan from 05/06-ish that had Union Station being torn down and a SSS built there.

    • Stan Kronke is not getting another MLS team. A new MLS team is not going to be a renter in Kronke’s turf NFL Field.

      St Louis desirves better, I think your best shot will be if the Rams move out then MLS swoops in and does it right. I’m sure a deep pocket owner would want to jump on that situation. Not too dissimilar to how the Sounders picked up a lot of fans following the Sonics departure.

  4. Sac republic would be great. Imagine la galaxy, san jose, la fc, and sac republic duking it out in the west. Would make for some pretty compelling stuff. Sac republic already has the team, fo, fan base, stadium, and local govt support… it looks like Garber is actively AGAINST the addition of sac republic.

  5. You had me until you went crazy with the Cosmos stuff. Up to that moment, I was feelin’ ya. That’s when you went from prognasticator to crazy…

  6. 2017- Atlanta United FC
    2017- Sacramento Republic FC (Temp digs until 2019/20)
    2018- Minnesota United FC (Temp digs until 2019/20)
    2018- Miami (new stadium)
    2019- LAFC with Ronaldo + new stadium
    2020+- New York Cosmos..?

  7. Sacramento was the most straightforward plan, and was basically guaranteed to draw 25-30,000 fans. They’ve gotten 22,000+ for USL!

    And yet MLS goes with all the complicated, convoluted, risky options instead.

    MLS decision-making is truly bizarre…

    • MLS decision-making may seem bizarre from a fan’s perspective, but then again, fans usually know very little about what a league needs to consider when making major decisions such as expansion. There’s more to it than just attendance.

      • tru, Sacto Republic in MLS would basically be RSL with 6k more fans (24k or so). From a TV rating perspective, it probably doesn’t help mls much…unless, of course, they end up signing Neymar and Chicharito.

    • The promotion part is already there. MLS is snagging every market with owners willing to invest.

      What the zealots really mean now is cap at 20 teams and demote anyone over 21st.
      For example, demote Orlando drawing more than the Sounders did their first year


      • Not necessarily. MLS could have 40 teams split into two divisions. This country can eventually support at least 40 teams but a 40 team league is not really workable plus spreading the talent pool that thin weakens the overall level of play. But MLS and MLS2 of 30 teams each with pro/rel (say 2 or 3 teams going each direction each year) makes sense, doesn’t weaken the league, and is good for the growth of the game.

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