With the news about St. Louis’ expansion plans dropping last night, they have vaulted into the lead for MLS expansion teams. Let’s refresh the timeline for what’s next concerning MLS adding more teams:
- 2017: Atlanta and Minnesota will join the league to make 22 teams in total.
- 2018: LAFC is slated to join the league. It was presumed that Miami would join them, but no additional progress has been made on securing additional investment and the full stadium site.
Beyond that, the league has set a target of 28 teams, which means that four more clubs will be added in the coming years. Here’s some of the contenders for those four spots (assuming Miami gets it together for either #24 or one of #25-28):
- St. Louis: Has to be considered a major contender with the announcement of their plans.
- Sacramento: The USL’s Republic are all but assured of the jump to MLS. They have a stadium plan in place that was recently approved by the city council.
- Cincinnati: The new USL club made quite a splash in 2016, averaging 17,296 fans per league game at Nippert Stadium. Don Garber will be visiting the city on November 29. Cincinnati could be making a case that they are ready to join in 2018 with LAFC if Miami is not.
Other contenders at varying levels of readiness include San Diego, Tampa Bay, San Antonio, Detroit, Nashville, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Phoenix, and Austin. Keep up with the rumors at the excellent site Midfield Press.
Give us your predictions on the next cities to join MLS in the comments.
St. Louis group unveils impressive plans for MLS expansion club (ESPN)
MLS teams chase Frank Lampard (NBC Sports)
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Sunil Gulati has a tough decision on his hands (SI)
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Steven Gerrard to Inter Milan? (Independent)
Gwinnett grads power North Georgia to a historic season (Gwinnett Daily Post)
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