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Major League Soccer sets plans to expand to 30 teams


Major League Soccer expansion isn’t stopping any time soon.

On Thursday at the Board of Governors meeting in Los Angeles, league owners made a decision to expand to 30 teams in the coming years.

“Professional soccer at all levels is thriving in the United States and Canada and we believe there are many markets that could support a successful MLS club,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement.

“Expansion during the last 15 years has been enormously successful and a key driver behind the league’s continued rise, and we are pleased that some of the top business and community leaders representing great markets in North America are aggressively pursuing MLS expansion clubs,” Garber said.

As part of the immediate expansion process, there will be advanced discussions with Sacramento and St. Louis.

Sacramento and St. Louis will make formal presentations to the league’s expansion committee, and while there is no precise timetable, the goal is to have the 28th and 29th teams chosen in the coming months.

Franchises No. 28 and No. 29 will have to pay expansion fees of $200 million.

MLS currently has 24 teams, and will welcome Inter Miami FC and Nashville SC in 2020 and Austin FC in 2021.

The start dates for the to-be-awarded franchises have yet to be determined.



      • It’s such an awkward number of teams. Do we split into 3 divs and play 38 games? Do we play 28 Home/Away within the division + 6?
        Now that we’re going to be beyond 24 teams soon, it really doesn’t matter how many we have since teams won’t be playing everybody in the league (unless we do 3 divs). It’s still not a fully balanced schedule right now but at least all of the teams get to play each other.
        At this point we may as well aim for 34 split into two divs. East vs West for MLS Cup (and All-Star game?).

  1. Actually it’s a Pyramid scheme. Franchises like Union over inflate attendance numbers to appear solvent while in reality they are bleeding money year after year. 200 million goes a long way when you are constantly losing money. That’s why Garber want MLS to be a selling league. They need the revenue.

    • If all the 200 million is equally divided they get around 7.5 million that’s a lot to most of us but to a team owner it’s not much.

  2. I would have to assume St. Louis and Sacramento are front runners for 28 & 29 so does that leave cities like Phoenix, Charlotte, Indianapolis and San Antonio battling for that last spot? Although it could be that Austin kills any hope of SA getting a team


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