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The Daily Dirt, January 24: Expansion jockeying

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Who will be teams 25-28 in MLS?

Crystal Palace FC v FC Cincinnati Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

With the MLS deadline for expansion bids coming up next week, cities are jockeying for position for teams 25-28. This morning, I’ll have Ashley Mahoney of the Charlotte Post and Queen City Football Chronicle on Soccer Down Here Daily to talk about her city’s efforts on the stadium front.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the other cities in the mix:

  • Cincinnati: The rise of FC Cincinnati in USL has the city firmly in the mix for one of the four MLS expansion clubs. They recently announced that they have sold over 9,000 season tickets for the 2017 USL season.
  • Sacramento: Another USL success story, the Republic have sold out all but two of their games in club history. They have approval for stadium plans if their bid is successful. Sacramento is all but a lock for MLS.
  • Detroit: While their bid has the big pockets of Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Tom Gores (Detroit Pistons) behind it, they have struggled to build momentum.
  • Nashville: This group seems more focused on the second round of expansion for teams 27-28 as they are still putting all of their pieces together. Well respected local businessman John Ingram is heading up the bid. They are exploring partnership opportunities with Vanderbilt University for a stadium.
  • North Carolina: The rebranding of the Carolina Railhawks into North Carolina FC was one of the first steps by owner Steve Malik towards a MLS bid. 100% private funding gives them a big step up on other bids.
  • St. Louis: Stadium difficulties could seriously hamper this bid that was once seen as promising. The departure of the Rams make St. Louis attractive to MLS, but they have to find a place to play.
  • San Antonio: They have been very quiet, but the ownership group of the San Antonio Spurs bought the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions and their stadium to make a run at MLS. They have lots of clout in their market.
  • Tampa Bay: Bill Edwards, owner of the Rowdies, has been very aggressive in chasing after MLS since he announced his intentions. They have a unique stadium option in Al Lang Stadium, a former baseball stadium on the waterfront in St. Petersburg.
  • San Diego: The recent announcement by the Chargers that they are headed to Los Angeles has opened up a door of opportunity for the city. They are exploring stadium opportunities with San Diego State University. They are moving very quickly to catch up.

Domestic

Questions about Kevin Molino in Orlando (Orlando Sentinel) and the Lions close in on a deal for Jonathan Spector (Orlando Sentinel)

Josh Saunders and Mix Diskerud absent from NYCFC training camp (Empire of Soccer)

San Jose give up on Darwin Quintero, shift focus to other targets (ESPN)

A look at five of the MLS expansion markets (Orange and Blue Press)

St. Louis stadium hopes hinge on Board of Aldermen and courts (STL Today)

Charlotte’s City Council prepares for a Friday vote on its MLS stadium proposal (Charlotte Business Journal)

International

Christian Pulisic signs an extension at Borussia Dortmund (Stars and Stripes FC)

Caribbean nations planning to break from CONCACAF? (Daily Mail)

Local

Savannah Jordan from Fayetteville signs with Glasgow City FC rather than the Portland Thorns (Oregon Live)

Georgia announces their women’s soccer spring schedule (Bulldawg Illustrated)

Georgia Soccer adding a futsal program for its youth clubs (Soccer Down Here)