The race to be the 20th MLS club is heating up

By FRANCO PANIZO

It is no secret that MLS wants a second team in the New York area, and the chances of that happening appear more likely than ever. MLS officials publicly discussed proposed plans earlier this week to have a soccer-specific stadium constructed for the 20th team in the league in the New York City borough of Queens in the coming years.

As strong as the MLS push is for a second New York team has become, that hasn’t discouraged at least one other city from continuing their quest to grab that precious 20th MLS expansion slot.

USL Pro club Orlando City SC also had meetings with local media earlier this week to discuss the construction of their own potential soccer-specific stadium, with team president Phil Rawlins going over a detailed economic impact study that Orlando City had hired a research firm to do. More importantly, Rawlins expressed the need for local officials to act fast so as to become the 20th or 21st team in MLS and avoid missing out on receiving one of the two southeast franchises the league is set to add in the coming years. Rawlins even went as far as saying that MLS officials, a group that visited Orlando in March, have basically promised the team an MLS franchise so long as a stadium is built.

That, however, does not coincide with what MLS president Mark Abbott said to reporters this week in Manhattan when talking about the proposed 25,000-seat, $300 million New York stadium and the plans to begin construction for it at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park by 2014.

“This is our priority in terms of our next expansion, which will be our 20th team,” said Abbott. “We haven’t made a determination about the timeline for expansion beyond that.”

Whether Rawlins is privy to information the public does not yet know about expansion or if he was just trying to put pressure on officials to get a plan for a SSS complete, his comments are sure to raise a few eyebrows. MLS has said in the past that they do not intend on stopping at 20 teams in the league, but they have been adamant about taking a break after adding the next expansion club so as to have some stability within the league.

New York is obviously the favorite to land the expansion team given the size of the market, the rivalry the team would instantly create with the New Jersey-based New York Red Bulls, the star power they could draw in order to tap into the huge soccer fanbase in NYC, and the eyeballs they would attract from all across the world.

But there are still hurdles for a potential second New York team to overcome and while MLS wants to name an ownership group in 2013, getting a deal in place for stadium construction to begin a year later is anything but certain.

Orlando City have their own issues to deal with, namely zeroing in on the land they want to build their proposed 20,000-seat, $96.5 million stadium on (there are two rumored sites) and getting permission to do so.

Working in Orlando’s favor is Major League Soccer’s need for a presence in the Southeast, and the lack of another strong expansion candidate in the region.

There are a number of cities that have also been linked to potential bids for an MLS team, from St. Louis to San Diego, but at the moment two things are clear. A second New York team is the preference of MLS for team 20, and Orlando has emerged as a a leading contender if the bid for a second New York team falls short.

——–

What do you think of these developments? Do you see New York and Orlando both getting teams within the next few years? What do you think of New York being the favorite to land the 20th MLS club? Prefer to see that spot go to a team in the southeast?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, USL Pro. Bookmark the permalink.

126 Responses to The race to be the 20th MLS club is heating up

  1. Monty says:

    I’m all for Orlando having a team because that puts more pressure on us in Atlanta to get the ball rolling for a team here.

  2. Leroy Jenkins says:

    rooting for Orlando. Theyve built something good so far, think it could be #1 event in Orlando after disney

  3. The Big O says:

    Florida is an AWFUL sports state. They’d sell out for 2 or 3 games and then be stuck in sports hell forever. Give it to Atlanta or Puerto Rico.

  4. Daniel says:

    My predictions for next expansion teams:

    1. NYC
    2. Orlando
    3. Atlanta
    4. San Antonio
    5. San Diego

    • Ceez says:

      I would rather see St. Louis get in on the action instead of San Diego although that may create conference imbalance. SoCal already has the Galaxy and Chivas, who should probably be relocated anyway. Maybe Chivas would be better suited to be relocated to San Diego.

      • Leonardo says:

        San Diego needs a team. They have the Flash, but that’s not enough. They have a great American Outlaws chapter there and a big soccer fan base. I like that Chivas relocation idea or its own team. I’d move there next year if they do that.

      • bryan says:

        Yeah I think Chivas should move to San Diego and re-brand. Right now soccer fans in San Diego go to Xolos games. Lots of Americans on that team so it’s easy to like them.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          Xolos are definitely easy to like. The Americans on the team and the fact that a newly promoted underdog (pun intended) is doing so well. The fact that San Diegans are targeted and reached out to by the team while not a peep is heard from MLS. Buses from SD run right to the stadium in TJ, There is a HUGE soccer market there being completely ignored and untapped, and an opportunity missed… San Diego had the largest viewership of World Cup in the nationFrankly, I’m shocked ownership of Chivas doesn’t take advantage of the chance to move to a market they’d be able to succeed… while also undercutting one of their Mexican League rivals.

          Orlando? Has proven to be a bust with every other sport. Much better cities in FL and other parts of the country- St Louis included.

          • bryan says:

            Exactly. I agree 100% about San Diego. I’m moving to San Diego next month and plan to go to many Xolos games.

            As for Orlando, I’m with you, but I think it’s pretty clear MLS is going to make it happen. And I think it’ll be before those other cities based on what they have already put together.

      • Datrufth says:

        Funny how everyone says San Diego needs a team when nobody is from there.

        San Diego fans are just like miami fans. Fair weather fans. If the team is losing there will be nobody in the seats. Why do you think the Clippers left and the Chargers want to move to LA ???

        • whoop-whoop says:

          Strike oooooone: I’m from there.

          Striiiike 2: Chargers fans are and always have been supportive in numbers. Chargers moving threats have everything to do w/ not wanting a publicly funded a stadium deal, nothing to do with fan support.

          Strike thaaaareeeee: You’re really going to pull the Clippers card from decades ago? Sterling was and is an LA guy who bought the team w/ the intention of moving it there. The team had more support in SD than it had in LA. Seems 30 something years later, they may finally be onto something.

  5. Vic says:

    There’s benefits and drawbacks of having a team in NY. However, anyone that thinks they will be big spending like the Cosmos is wrong. Most likely Red Bulls will spend much more than the NY team. I see the NY team spending similiar to Chicago or Seattle. A few DP’s making a few hundred thousand over the cap but nothing extravagant.

    • Charles says:

      I have always thought that is why they don’t draw in NY. Places like Seattle, loved the Sounders. NY loved always winning with huge names. Take away the big names, take away the guarenteed winning and you get 35,000 less people showing up.

      Now everyone is excited about the Cosmos coming back…this is still a parity league. Will people care when they are 8th best and fight like the rest of the league ?

      • Marcus says:

        One of the main reasons they don’t draw, I believe, that it takes quite a long time for most people living in NYC to get to Harrison (Unless you’re rich and live in Manhattan).

        If you were to drive from NYC, Long Island, or Westchester County, the only way to get to NJ is to cross the limited amount of bridges/tunnels, which have eternal traffic jams during any time a game would be played.

        If you were to take mass transit, it is quite a long trip for anyone who doesn’t live in Manhattan. Let’s say you lived in the middle of Queens. It takes almost 2 hours to get there. The same time for the middle of the Bronx. About 1.5 hours from the middle of Brooklyn. This is not a close stadium for the majority of New Yorkers, and it is even FURTHER for the almost 3 million people in Long Island who have to pass through NYC to get to the game.

        Put a stadium near the middle of the population centers of the New York area and see the crowds fill it up.

      • Charles says:

        Just for the record I think NY is as good a bet as any that actually have legs and they are all good right now.

    • sandtrout says:

      Putting a second team in New York would be insane. One team can’t make it work there, so why would two be better? It’s really as simple as that.

      • fischy says:

        I really find it hard to believe we still see so many comments like this every time there is a piece about expansion into New York. IT really is THIS simple:

        There is no NY team in MLS. Newark (or across a wee bridge in Harrison) is not NY. Will the Bulls content to draw some folks from Manhattan and maybe even Brooklyn and Staten Island? Sure. Maybe even a handful of folks from Westchester will continue to make the drive down the NJ Tpke, but they want a team in NY. Same with the folks in Queens and on LI, and you will find more soccer fanatics there than anywhere else in NY. The question isn’t whether a team in New York CIty will be a huge success — because it will be. The real question is how the Red Bulls will do — whether the Jersey market is big enough on its own and/or whether the Bulls will be able to maintain some of the fanbase they have in NY? Calling themselves New York will make it possible for the team to continue to bring in name talent from abroad. Plus, the rivalry should be fairly intense — but that will only be about one-tenth of their home games every 2 years, even under the unbalanced schedule….and likely to be only one game a year when they return to home-and-away 2 game series in the conferences after further expansion.

        Still, whatever trouble the Bulls may have is no reason to miss a golden opportunity in having a team actually in New York City.

      • Nick says:

        Actually it isn’t as simple as that. There isn’t a team in New York yet, it’s in New Jersey. In addition there are millions more people in the NY metropolitan area than even LA has and they have two teams. Additionally define what you mean by “not working”, RBNY averages about 18,000 fans/game, has excellent supporters groups and world-renowned players all while drawing fans mostly from Jersey, NY2 would draw fans from a very different area.

    • Old School says:

      One blatant issue that could arise in all of this: the creation of a NY could be the death of the Redbulls.

      It’s an obvious embarrassment when their games are televised with half empty or less in our country’s second best SSS Redbull Arena (behind LSP)…what few fans are left and don’t make excuses for how far away Harrison NJ are will jump ship quick at the prospect of the newer, sleeker and sexier NY-based soccer club.

      Now, if the 20th club IS in fact the NY Cosmos? NYRB are dead as soon as the announcement is made, before even playing a single minute of an MLS match.

      I just don’t buy this garbage that average fans or true fans are going to suddenly feel like NYRB and NY Club #2 is an “instant rivalry”. MLS version of “El Clasico” is a joke and feels like nails on a chalk board when we’re told it’s a rivalry.

      You can create rivalries in a lab. If that’s a portion of the basis for the 20th team being in NY, that’s a sad statement and obvious acknowledgement of disconnect from what fans actually are.

      I just hope after this dog and pony show is settled MLS focuses on Chivas USA for the skidmark it is on the underwear of MLS.

  6. Jack says:

    Aztex moved from Austin to Orlando because central Texas won’t support a team. Did not see a clear path for a soccer specific stadium that serves alcohol and did not have a fan base that consistently pays (lots of give aways to get the stadium filled). So, as much as San Antonio is supporting the Scorpions, they don’t pay a high enough ticket price in a SSS to afford the team and there is not a deep pocketed owner to make it happen in any case.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Like I said below, San Antonio is conservative and more hispanic, Austin is more liberal and white. San Antonio has paid to have the Alamodome and a NBA stadium built, and shows up 9K+ for the expansion Scorpions, which would have been a decent MLS number a few years ago. They already support the Spurs. Austin us a smaller city with no pro franchises, they were in a HS stadium with obvious implications for alcohol, etc., and the development sensibility is different, you know, fought expansion of UT stadium, the Barton Springs salamander, etc. I don’t think there is some unified “central Texas” that combines the two.

    • AzTeXan says:

      What do you expect? The Aztex play games in a HS stadium. I even played a middle school game at House Park years ago. Austin should have at least a USL pro team though. They can bring out 3K fans a game easy.

      Austin can’t support an MLS team? Did you figure that out all on your own hotshot?

  7. Aaron says:

    Not necessarily the most ready to host an MLS team, but would be the best option is the Twin Cities. Another atmosphere that would rival Seattle/Portland. Only reason the Thunder/Stars never had good attendance was location. I also think we need to look at the SE before another New York team.

  8. ACS says:

    I think a team would do well in St. Louis, just need someone to step up to the plate.

    • Aaron in StL says:

      Not sure if it would go that well. People here are diehard baseball fan for sure, top 3 attendance in MLB consistently despite being a smaller city. The Blues and Rams only have a tough time drawing when they aren’t winning.

      If it was done right – stadium like KC’s but not out in the sticks it may work. But nobody here looking to pony up.

      • Aaron in StL says:

        Sorry, meant *have a tough time* unless they are winning. Kind of a front-runner mentality here. Just not sure this city is big enough to support another pro franchise. If the Rams moved that would change a lot. But the demographic here tends to be heavily family-focused, as opposed to younger folks with more disposable income for sporting matches.

  9. Jeremy says:

    I wish that there was a strong ownership group interested in bringing MLS to the Carolinas, namely Charlotte, because I feel with the strong soccer base we have here is incredible. 4 semi-pro teams and 7 colleges in the top 25 recently and a handful of strong youth clubs. If only Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers owner and one of the strongest NFL owners) would gain interest in pursuing it, it WOULD happen and would bring another savvy owner to MLS.

    • Mistadoblina says:

      Agreed, one of the two SE bids would be great in NC. There is just so much ncaa and lower div quality there. A mls sidewith a strong academy could do well there. Just need an ownership group….

      20. Orlando (2014)
      21. New York Cosmos (2016)
      22. Carolina (2016-18)?

    • Call Up Lichaj says:

      Completely agree. Soccer is very popular in NC, but a lot of the fans don’t pay attention to MLS unless they move outside of the Southeast. The closest team is DC United, and that is a 5-7 hour drive.

      MLS clubs seem to thrive in cities that only have 1-2 other pro sports teams. KC, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake and Columbus all come to mind. Charlotte and Raleigh both would be excellent locations. The current pro teams draw fans from all of NC and SC and from southern Virginia.

      People are often surprised to learn how the demographics in NC have changed. It is now the 10th-largest state, and Charlotte is a top-15 or -20 city by size. The lack of a MLS team in the Southeast, particularly in NC, is a sore spot for the league.

      • Ramblings says:

        I love North Carolina and would love to see a MLS team down there since my wife is from there and we would have more reasons to visit besides the Holidays. But I cant see the state getting a team.NC is a great college sports state, but the professional teams struggle at the gates unless they are challenging for championships. The Panthers don’t even sell out their games, let alone a MLS team.

    • Aaron in StL says:

      Jerry Richardson does not strike me as the progressive type owner MLS should be seeking out (like KC’s group).

      • ec says:

        I live in Durham, NC and just don’t see it as an MLS market. Our NASL team draws 3,500 – nothing special. I saw a Duke-UNC soccer game that was sold out with a great atmosphere… but again that is 2,500 people. The Raleigh hockey team only draws when it makes a play-off run. Charlotte is a dying city, the economy is in ruins, and greater Raleigh area is now bigger than greater Charlotte area.

  10. Kevin says:

    Being a native Detroiter I would give anything to see an MLS team there. Detroit has willing owners (The Apostolopoulos Family) and the money to put behind a team and stadium – the question is whether or not the market can sustain it in a recession-struck area (Pontiac – old Silverdome). I would love to see an MLS team in Ann Arbor or Detroit, the two areas that have a bit of a renaissance with the recent Michigan Tech Boom. (sigh) guess I’ll wait for the 21st and 22nd bids.

    Aaron / Minnesota fans – I would love to see a Detroit/Minnesota/Columbus trifecta. Lets hope for some rust belt soccer!

  11. Charles says:

    If things go like they are, and they will, MLS will blow through 20 teams, no matter what they say.

    A break is what they are on now, no expansion this year. Teams are making money, the future promise/payoff is very big and there are plenty out there that want to make money.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      But the NASL lessons are don’t expand for expansion’s sake, and don’t expand because we get a fat fee each time.

    • MrTuktoyaktuk says:

      Not all the many MLS expansion efforts will get to the point where pen is hovering above paper just waiting for the MLS Board to say the word. But there will be more than one. When ownership groups start putting together $300M-$400M team/stadium packages (incl. entrance fees) I just cannot see the MLS Board saying no, regardless of the lessons of the past.

  12. 99 says:

    MLS has been and continues to miss the boat in San Diego. By the time a team arrives, it SD will be Xolos country.

  13. keith says:

    i see several citys that could be great MLS franchises……and dont forget what Sir Alex Ferguson said about the regional potential in the U.S.. He said we could have three conferences of 10 teams.
    west, central and east. I agree. San Diego,San Antonio,Atlanta,Orlando,Miami,St Louis, Minnesota,
    Phoenix,NY2,the Carolina’s, add one more viable city and you have a 30 team league some day.

    Three conferences with each conference winner plus each conference runner up making the playoffs plus two play in games do determine a seventh and eight playoff team and you have an entertaining playoff format and a great league.

  14. Kevin says:

    I think a Carolina expansion might edge out Atlanta for the second southeast team. In choosing Orlando, MLS is avoiding the two Florida markets with Major League Baseball teams.

    A lot of the stronger MLS franchises are in cities with either dreadful major league baseball (Seattle, Kansas City, Toronto), or none (Portland, Vancouver, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Montreal), or cities that are just so huge they can support multiple teams (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia).

    Perhaps Atlanta is big enough to fit into that third category, but I think part of the reason the New England Revolution have such a hard time appearing on the Boston sports radar is they’re competing with the beloved Red Sox. Denver seems to prefer the Rockies to the Rapids. Atlanta really likes the Braves. Dallas is becoming a Rangers town, at least until Cowboys camp opens. DC might become a rabid Nationals town with all their good young players.

    I think a Carolina franchise could be really strong. Lots of young, internationally minded people in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area, and possibly pulling from Greensboro an hour away. And no major league baseball.

    For that reason, I don’t see St. Louis getting a team any time soon. The St. Louis economy has been bad for many years, the city isn’t growing and it’s rabid about the Cardinals. Likewise, I think San Antonio, Las Vegas and Austin all make sense for that reason.

  15. Dean Stell says:

    I’m a fan of promotion/relegation and my only fear with these big entry fees they’re charging new teams is that it’ll be hard to relegate those teams in the future. I think pro-rel will happen eventually when MLS get’s a little large via over-expansion and there are a few NASL/USL teams who have an argument to be better. Then it’ll make sense to do it.

    But….for the question at hand, I don’t really care where the team goes. I’m in NC and while I’d love to see a team here, that doesn’t seem to be on the table.

    However, I do find the idea of a “southeast” team to be kinda insulting. It seems to imply that people in NC or Alabama will be more engaged in MLS if there is a team in Atlanta. That’s like saying people from NYC would be attracted to teams in Philly or Boston. Or that people from LA would support a team in SF. It just doesn’t work like that. When I grew up in NC, we didn’t have any professional teams in the state, but no one was fans of the Atlanta Falcons or the Hawks just because they were the closest. We were all fans of the Cowboys or the Lakers or the Celtics or the Redskins because those were the teams that were (a) good and (b) were on TV a lot. There are a lot of fans of the Atlanta Braves, but I don’t think that is a geographic thing….that’s more down to TBS putting those games on every night. See my point above: the Braves were (a) good and (b) on TV every night.

    So, put the team where ever it makes the most sense and you can get an owner who will spend boatloads of cash.

  16. The Imperative Voice says:

    I don’t see the SE obsession as very bright. Having opened and then closed two Florida teams, it doesn’t make sense to me to assume that a third attempt in an even smaller city (Orlando, 250K) will succeed. And none of the SE teams (including NC and GA) have proper size stadia or average fanbases to support it. It’s notional regional parity getting ahead of actual soccer interest.

    I also think the NYC2 obsession misses the mark, NY does not attend its MLS teams at LA’s or Seattle’s level. They’re pushing the whole star power angle but RBNY has plowed a lot of money into a stadium and players and does not even sell out its modest size park, which is smaller than Home Depot. It’s oversold that NYC2 just takes off, and to me a $300m park would be a big risk for whomever took it. It’d be idiotic to kill league momentum and solvency over NYC2 when teams like Seattle have just made this thing hum. If people want to dial back on NYC2 to more reasonable stadium costs and franchise fees, then perhaps, but to me as presently framed it would have to do big attendance numbers at high prices to pay the mortgage….I don’t buy it.

    I think the expansion needs to be better thought out and more based on tangible facts such as minor league attendance. The current well attended minor league franchise would be San Antonio. It is a 1m+ city that attends decently a team of castoffs. I think they would get in the 5-figures in attendance. The Austin history is really not a propos because Austin’s smaller, more liberal and flaky an audience for pro sports, and they were playing in a HS stadium where they couldn’t sell beer, etc. People may be like, “but they wouldn’t pay for a new stadium,” but Austin is politically and culturally different than the rest of Texas. SA has the Alamodome for no current “major league” tenant other than bowls. The wisdom of that could be questioned but it hints at a different mentality.

    But, really, I’m not sure anyone’s “ready” just yet. There is no real rush.

  17. Mamadou Diallo says:

    MLS should move Chivas USA to Orlando.

  18. slowleftarm says:

    Need MLS2 at some point down the road and we can have 40 teams, 20 in each division, maybe 20-25 years out. And yes I’m aware of the “no one will go to second division games” argument and “no one will invest when relegation is possible” argument. I just don’t buy them.

    • downintexas says:

      Totally agree. Heck you could even have a MLS3. West coast league, East coast league and a central league. In 20-30 years soccer is going to be huge. Soccer is already the 2nd most popular sport i the US from ages 12-24. When I was a kid their was no MLS, no soccer player to look up too, unlike football, baseball and basketball. But now we are starting to get the 2nd generation of MLS fans, once we have the 3rd and 4th generation fan,MLS is right up their with football! Plus you only need 20-25K stadium, unlike the 60+k football stadium so you can go to more cities.

      • WayDownInTexas says:

        Hey man I am Pretty Sure I had my Name first. you should do the
        Gentlemanly thing and change your handle.

        • downintexas says:

          sorry! This is the first I’ve ever seen you on Ives. I’ve been a consistent commentator on here for some time.

    • Jay says:

      You don’t have to buy it but in the words of George Castanza “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” Relegation is that super thing which will bring the US into the soccer fold it won’t. As for expansion I say 36 teams 18 teams two conferences no cross over.

      • slowleftarm says:

        I don’t want to have relegation because it’s “European” (it’s actually used all over the world) but because long-term there are way more cities that can support a soccer team than could possibly fit in one league.

        The idea that we can’t have relegation because something unique about the US prevents it is the same sort of thinking that got us breakaway shootouts to prevent draws and a clock that stopped when the ball went out in the early days MLS. Soccer fans get it and don’t need the product “Americanized”

      • whoop-whoop says:

        Relegation is much easier said than done my friend. It’s one thing to have had that format already established when the sport was not a multimillion dollar buy in…. another when you are still trying to establish franchises with a huge initial investment while pitching viable returns on the investment.

        Don’t get it?…. how about I sell you $1,000,000 beach front property with the caveat that…. we may put a landfill in next door at any time.

        • Old School says:

          That’s a horrible analogy. How about,

          “I will sell you a $1m beach front property. The caveat? It could triple in value or could decrease by half. The variable? Ensuring you keep your beach front property at a high standard will significantly increase your odds of profit.”

          • fischy says:

            Or a hurricane will wipe it out, and rising ocean levels and erosion will take away the beach, maybe even the whole property, and nothing you might do will “significantly Increase” your odds, It’s a crapshoot.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            The market principle that maintaining a high standard ensures value stands without the threat of relegation.

            The threat does not ensure quality as the fact is, teams will absolutely be dropped down and franchise values instantaneously compromised in spite of the threat, some times in spite of valiant efforts and $$ invested to improve.

            Purchasing a new franchise, with no tradition and infrastructure established and being put into a position to immediately compete to maintain the base/foundation of your investment is a huge risk. A poor one to present for a league trying to grow and attract investment. Fact: a new franchise is inherently in a much more precarious position than an established one.

            fischy: Yeah, that’s life, no guaruntees, but plenty to be done to improve your odds. Just as in buying property where a smart investor is going to do homework to ensure it is outside a flood zone, is geologically sound, not in hurricane country, I’d do the same buying a franchise… choosing the market, fanbase, viable region to put it in….. and preferably some assurance as to what the league my team will play in.

    • Chupacabra says:

      Too many teams is ultimately what killed NASL in the early 80s. MLS needs to stop at 20 teams and maintain a balanced schedule (one home, one away against each competitor). Any more than that is unwieldy and unsustainable.

      • Charles says:

        I am guessing you are too young to remember the original NASL or you wouldn’t be making such rediculous, revisionist claims.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      When there are really only 20-ish good franchise choices, that we might not want relegated for competitive purposes, I don’t think elevating competitive interests/ Euro-xeroxing over trying to maintain a solvent league of the best cities is wise.

      I don’t know if management groups would or would not invest in a pro-rel league but I think introducing the potential for Portsmouth/ Gretna implosions is unnecessary. People neglect the whole system of player-jettisoning and parachute payments and such that has popped up to try and handle the jolt. Is a MLS just now getting solvent going to start handing dropped teams millions to ease the drop?

      It’s also worth pointing out that in either attendance or competitive senses, after the CBA and recent expansions, the gap has opened back up between MLS and the remaining minors. There are no longer short MLS rosters and teams like Montreal and PR making MLS look bad in CCL. Montreal is MLS, and PR has been hamstrung by the salary bump under the MLS CBA and the revitalization of the reserves. Put differently, who exactly is sitting around waiting to be promoted? San Antonio? Rochester? Orlando? The teams are inferior and their fanbases smaller than even our most iffy.

      • Andrew says:

        Pro/rel is great if there are more ambitious clubs than there are places in a first-division league. This has not been the case in the US, but once we have 20 teams in MLS we’re getting to that point.

        I’d suggest that the J-League’s introduction of pro/rel may provide a workable model for protecting owners’ investments. The J-League actually has a one-time entry fee, which is at least somewhat analogous to a franchise fee. When it introduced the J2 league and pro/rel, it also created changed its entry fee system to two separate fees: one guaranteeing a place in the J-League system (J2 or higher) and one allowing promotion to the top tier. This is something that could work with a MLS/MLS2 structure.

        (The J-League has since revised its fee structure further because of all the clubs trying to get in, and beginning in 2012 has relegation from J2 to the JFL, but it’s the expansion to two leagues that I’m focusing on right now.)

        • packy says:

          J2 is an inventive approach but for MLS, as a start, I would prefer a one year promotion only option for the top 2 second tier teams.

  19. KC says:

    If I was the Red Bulls I’d be fighting the league with adding another NY team. They can’t sell out their beautiful stadium with big name players as it is and adding a team to NY would eat away at their attendance figures (and bottom line $$) even more.

    While they are at it the league needs to move Chivas USA to San Diego or something because 2 teams in LA isn’t working.

    • John.q says:

      The idea that RBNY will lose a lot of fans to NY2 I think is a little overblown. It takes me living in west queens over and hour and a half to reach rba. And I’m on the very west end near a subway. People in queens and long island don’t go to rb games. It’s almost a seperate pool of fans to draw from. Both teams will be fine.

      • KC says:

        So you don’t think it’s possible that the NYRB would lose fans such as yourself because the new team is more convenient? RB arena seats around 25K people, losing even 1000 people would mean losing at least 4% of their game day revenue…you don’t think that matters?

        NY fans just have to learn to travel…it is over 20 miles from downtown LA to The Home Depot Center, Queens to RB Arena is 22 miles on Google Maps. Suck it up.

        • dudeinho says:

          Yes but you forget more people in LA own a car lots of folks in New York don’t and depend on transit

          traveling 20 miles within the basin in los angeles is the norm traveling 20 miles in NY not so much so.

        • dembullz says:

          Manhattan (or alternatively all of Staten Island) throws up a really big blocker for anyone trying to get from one side to the other. Just saying its 22 miles is totally misleading, that could take hours at certain times of day. Very very few people are coming from queens/long island, even brooklyn to see RB… it is a new jersey team that pulls some people from Manhattan. They would lose some NYC based fans to Cosmos, but it wouldn’t be catastrophic. It might even be slightly offset by creation of a rivalry/get more people talking about soccer, etc. Hard to tell the net effect, but I would guess moderately negative. Nobody is going to go to Queens from New Jersey, at least not with regularity. I think they should get into other places that might replicate the Seattle/Portland/KC success we are seeing. Charlotte seems like it would work. And move Chivas to SD. That might be too naive and purist a view, however. It’ll be dictated by willingness of ownership groups.

        • john.q says:

          i did not says it’s impossible. it will happen like myself. will it be a huge blow? i doubt it. with the league as a whole trending upwards and the added hype and awareness that an NY2 brings it will be ok.

          you compare 2 cities that are completely different. many of us don’t drive and depend on mass transit. comparing distance over simplifies the problem and shows you ignorance when it comes to the ny metro area.

  20. john.q says:

    don’t know about you guys but as a Queens/Brooklyn native i will switch teams in a heartbeat. only takes 30min to get to Citi Field from my apt… 10 minutes on the express after game subway.

  21. CÉU says:

    RECIFE / PERNAMBUCO / BRAZIL.

    The Santa Cruz FC, ​​the club’s most popular city Recife in Pernambuco state, put 60,000 fans a game FOURTH division of the Brazilian championship. This is love the club.

    • Aaron in StL says:

      So they should be the 20th MLS franchise then? Super!

      • AcidBurn says:

        Yes! While Recife would help the league attendance average, the travel would be brutal. Mid-week fixture in Recife and then fly to Vancouver for a Saturday match…no problem!

  22. Tony in Quakeland says:

    What needs to be factored in here, I think, is the franchise movement that is likely after NYC gets the 20th team. Chivas is the most obvious, but It’s easy to think about a couple of others that might move, be sold, or both. It may be cheaper to buy Chivas at the upcoming fire sale than to pony up for the new franchise fee.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It strikes me as backwards to move Chivas from a city where the primary team is better attended than NYRB to the same town as NYRB, which can’t routinely fill a smaller stadium.

      That Chivas has eroded from a higher attendance to a lower one might suggest that a la TFC it’s hard to keep people buying tickets over the long term if the team is never postseason competitive. If you go back to the Bradley year where they pushed Houston in the playoffs, they were over 19K. But since the product has stunk a whole downward spiral has developed over the team/ brand/ etc. That to me reflects organization rather than whether LA2 works.

      And FWIW, a few years ago we were talking 7-9K attendances for bad teams, eg, Dallas, 13K is not that bad. There are teams in the Championship not pulling that.

      • dudeinho says:

        they can work but the ownership is too damm stubborn to admit the failure of the brand that screams mexican nationalism. they need to move south to SD or orange county.

        call themselves Orange County FC

        • whoop-whoop says:

          Bringing in an established brand from another league is extremely narrow-minded and pretty much alienates a portion of fans from the beginning due to previously established rivalries rather than developing a new one. With the LA market… not all soccer fans are hispanic… not all hispanic fans are Mexican…. and not all Mexican fans back Chivas. It was a flawed, arrogant marketing strategy from the outset. Time to reset.

  23. Boris says:

    I’d like to see the Southeast eventually return to MLS, but I think you can’t add Orlando in isolation. They should add Atlanta and Orlando as the 21st and 22nd teams.

  24. Chris says:

    I am all for strategic growth and actually am sold on the idea of a second team in new as the first team is not actually even in New York. With that being said we need teams in the southeast and other areas and I think it would be unwise to not allow a team to come in if they meet all the per-requests. If they have or will have a stadium with all the details worked out an in place, they have the financial backing, and they have a market that will draw the fans then MLS needs to jump at it. Waiting could cause a team to loose the stadium they would have had and now they cant bring in a team. Who knows what 3 or 4 years holds but if they have the finances and the fans and have a deal in place for the stadium jump at it.

    With Orlando they are a 3rd division team with 7000 fans more then double of at least have the fans of a second division team and just shy of a couple MLS teams.

    I do not care ware it is if they have what they need to create the team.(My preference would be Atlanta because I live in Nashville.

  25. Steven says:

    If MLS expands to NYC it needs to stop after that and take a few years to make sure all the clubs in the league are not messed up (Chivas USA, N.E. Revolution). Once those clubs stop being messed up, then they can expand a little bit. Maybe Chivas needs to sell itself to somebody who is going to do something good with the club. That seems to me more important than expansion. Move Chivas to someplace where it can succeed. I’m not sold on the whole NYC thing either. There are just too many sports teams in that town. Go somewhere where the team is going to be appreciated. Don’t go to Florida either. Florida is the worst state for professional sports fans. Go somewhere where the community can be involved with the club. That is the future. Youth teams . . . season ticket holders (club members) voting on GMs . . . community using stadiums and practice fields when not used by clubs . . . that kind of stuff.

    • bryan says:

      NE is actually having somewhat promising stadium talks right outside Boston. as a DC United fan, this angers me but it’s good for MLS.

  26. Jeff says:

    As a Charlotte resident I would love to see an MLS team here, but I could see it doing better in Raleigh. Raleigh has the biggest youth soccer setup in the state (that is my general understanding, please correct me if I am wrong) and their lack of NBA and NFL will allow the MLS team to be the “big” pro team in the city.

  27. Travis says:

    I know the MLS won’t let RBNY move but if the Cosmos get a team I can only imagine what the stands in RBA will look like going forward. They struggle to draw now, imagine if another closer team was put into play.

    • fischy says:

      Here’s the theory: First off, there will be the big rivalry games. That will whet the appetites of Jersey fans for MLS games, starting a habit and fostering the growth of Jersey-based supporters clubs. Second, there is no region in the US that is media-centered. Even now, most of the people in the region do read a newspaper. Can’t say that about any other metro area any more.

      With a newspaper, you see a range of all kinds of stories. This is different than the internet, where people tend to indulge their own interests heavily, but don’t encounter things outside of their binocular focus. New York is also saturated with radio, including a huge sports station and two highly rated news stations. ANd, then there’s the local TV nes in NY which is a much bigger deal in NY than it is elsewhere. People actually watch — and not just for the weather report.

      In NY, If something gets real media attention, it worms itself into the region’s consciousness in a way that is without parallel around the country. RIght now, MLS doesn’t get that much coverage — Some, irregular print coverage and much less coverage in broadcast media. MLS’ hope is that the energy and audience of two teams wlll catch the attention of local media, and that will make al the difference, even for the team in Harrison, NJ.

  28. Reiter says:

    forget orlando. what are they going to be called the Mickey Mice? Florida had its chance and blew it. the support is better up north. rochester or st louis would be better then the town that disney built.

  29. Ross says:

    I think St Louis would be a great place to have a team. They have a huge soccer culture. Look up who won a lot of NCAA championships in the 60’s and 70’s. Plus a natural Midwest rivalry between St Louis, Kansas City and Chicago would be a good thing for MLS. It could easily rival the Portland, Seattle, Vancouver rivalry.
    Did I use rivalry enough?

  30. JP says:

    It’s a joke when people say Orlando would be a team in the southeast. Anybody who has lived in the southeast knows central and southern Florida are not the southeast. Different cultures, and I’m closer in Atlanta to DC than I am to Miami, closer to the midwest than I am to central Florida. Choose between Atlanta, Raleigh and Charlotte.

    • White Kix says:

      Could it be that these peope who refer to Florida as being in the southeast are looking at a map? I understand that central and south Florida may not be in the cultural Southeast, but geographically, it’s about as Southeast as can get in this country.

    • ec says:

      The Raleigh NASL team averages about 3500 fans. Not a great market. Charlotte is worse, the economy is ruined and the greater Raleigh area now has more people than the greater Charlotte area.

  31. WayDownInTexas says:

    I have said it before and I’ll say it again…MLS cannot go wrong bringing a team to San Antontio. Don’t live there, but I go to pretty much all the Scorpions (NASL) games and there are routinely 9K people in the stands. Bring in an MLS team, and there is no doubt in my mind attendance would grow. San Antonio is a soccer town, and many of the small towns (Even Austinites) will make the drive to see a game. GO SAS! Game Sunday! Semi-Final Play off 2nd Leg!

  32. WayDownInTexas says:

    Oh, and BTW. I saw someone else using the handle “downinTexas”. Get your own Name!

  33. Dimidri says:

    The idea of having a second team in LA is a good one, Chivas is the problem-no geographic differentiation, no success, doesn’t spend as much money as the Galaxy, alienates fans of other backgrounds and Mexican club affiliations, etc.

    New owner, change name, new stadium, etc-having two big spending teams in LA would be a success both in LA and in the league (teams tend to like teams that guarantee sell outs when they play each other)

    • fischy says:

      Probably so. It certainly is pointless to have two clubs playing in the same stadium. Without a century of tradition, loyalty and rivalry — like in Rome or Milan — that model can’t work.

    • Charles says:

      What are you saying ?
      Guarenteed sellout ?

      LA-LA playoff game in 2009, didn’t sell out, that is 13.5k per team !

  34. bryan says:

    New York, Orlando, Chivas to San Diego w/ new name, North/South Carolina, St. Louis

    this would be great to see. 4 new teams, one in NY, two in the south, and one in a city that probably deserves one given the history of soccer there…plus we get rid of a crap brand in Chivas USA.

  35. el paso tx-we love soccer says:

    The MLS will have 24 to 28 teams- Half and half in each conference-OPEN YOUR EYES MLS FANS-This is the way i see it=
    West= Real potential destinations for MLS, Las vegas, San Diego, Phoenix or Tucson, San Antonio, San Diego and maybe (Albuquerque or El Paso these two cities hate each other)
    Vanocuver
    Seattle
    Portland
    LAG
    CUSA
    San Jose
    Colorado
    SL
    Dallas
    Houston
    East= which has many more options can add, Miami,Orlando, ATL,NC,Baltimore, St.Louis, Detroit, Minneapolis….. all those cities have stadium plans and thats the scary thing versus the west.
    NYRB
    NYCosmos
    NE
    DC
    PHILLY
    CHIcago
    Columbus
    SKC
    TFC
    Montreal
    In my opinion, at the end of the day the west and and east conferences don’t work and should follow a league strategy like the NFL and MLB have, that would put soccer right behind the NFL due to the demand it would create.

    • fischy says:

      OPEN YOUR EYES.

      Seriously, open them. It’s rude to shout, and you might notice that you were doing the internet equivalent.

      As for how expansion will work — the league will have to maintain geographic divisions. East-West division works best, but North-South could, too. As the league expands to 24 teams, having different conferences will be crucial, to manage costs and limit the number of games, as well as developing rivalries. This ain’t England, where supporters’ groups are never more than a two-hour drive away for a road trip. When the league does grow beyond twenty (for sure, when it hits 24), it will return to a more balanced schedule, involving home-and-homewithin the conference, and keeping the one game against the teams outside the conference.

      Will the league grow beyond 24? Possibly in a decade or two….or three. WHen more cities — not just a few fanatical supporters clubs — start clamoring for teams — when the cities come calling at MLS’ door, rather than the other way around.

      In the meantime, although there are several good candidates in the USA, I continue to suspect that FIFA rules will push MLS to add another Canadian team by the time it hits 24. The 20 teams from one national federation isn’t a hard cap, but it’s one the MLS will consider — and a fourth Canadian team will get a big boost from those trying to grow the potentially very lucrative Canadian market. So, I would add Ottawa and Edmonton to your candidate list.

      • el paso tx wants NASL says:

        They are not divisions learn how to read- mls soccer does not need division, it needs only 2 conferences. Check out the link, that is a very good method to help expand and empower the mls. Did you notice every conference has 5 east and 5 west. garber would definitely should take that approach. By the way my apology for the caps, I forgot old people cant take it.

        • fischy says:

          A conference is another word for a division. It divides a league into separate bodies. I wasn’t using the word in the way the NFL does. I was using it in the way the dictionary does — small “d” divisions, not capital “D” Divisions. Perhaps you could do with some reading lessons, along with some schooling in how to address people decently.

          As for why that Canadian blogger is wrong about the wisdom in throwing 5 eastern teams and 5 western teams into the same conference (which is basically how baseball and the NFL do it, but with smaller, regional divisions), please see my comments in reply to your other comment.

          • fischy says:

            Soccer could do something like the Canadian blogger suggest, but with separate divisions. Maybe a Northern Conference (with Northwest and Northeast divisions) and a Southern Conference (with Southeastern and Southwestern) — but I don’t see the point. Trying to build artificial rivalries on the other side of the continent won’t work well in soccer, which can build off the unique thing it has with supporters’ groups that would prefer most of the road trips to be relatively short ones that don’t involve cross-country flights.

    • Justin says:

      I don’t know why we don’t talk about a Vegas team more, you would have tons of traveling fans every game. Plus it would be Vegas’s 1st and only team. That city is actually huge

  36. whoop-whoop says:

    Being able to fill a 20,000 seat stadium is NOT the most important criteria for commercial success for an MLS team and the league in a city. Professional sports and the big bucks is all about TV. The stadium, the fans, the concessions are a nice base, but frankly are for the hardcore. The atmosphere provided by the minority hard core fan is the backdrop and staging for the money making TV production. A large market team in cities like NY, LA will have numbers that dwarf small markets. TV contracts between cable providers and individual teams will be substantially larger and more lucrative and those teams very difficult to compete with while putting much more money into the league. It’s what drives the Yankees, Red Sox, Lakers and I am certain the determination you see from MLS to get another team into NY. In the info age we live in, the reality is, MLS is not competing with the NBA and NFL for viewership- they are competing with the EPL and La Liga.

  37. Gunnar says:

    San Diego Sockers (either as Chivas relocation or new franchise). St Louis is also a great soccer town, could be great rivalry with KC. Next would be San Juan, PR.

  38. el paso tx-we love soccer says:

    What do you think ives? Check out the link at bottom.
    The MLS will have 24 to 28 teams- Half and half in each conference-OPEN YOUR EYES MLS FANS-This is the way i see it=
    West= Real potential destinations for MLS, Las vegas, San Diego, Phoenix or Tucson, San Antonio, San Diego and maybe (Albuquerque or El Paso these two cities hate each other)
    Vanocuver
    Seattle
    Portland
    LAG
    CUSA
    San Jose
    Colorado
    SL
    Dallas
    Houston
    East= which has many more options can add, Miami,Orlando, ATL,NC,Baltimore, St.Louis, Detroit, Minneapolis….. all those cities have stadium plans and thats the scary thing versus the west.
    NYRB
    NYCosmos
    NE
    DC
    PHILLY
    CHIcago
    Columbus
    SKC
    TFC
    Montreal
    In my opinion, at the end of the day the west and and east conferences don’t work and should follow a league strategy like the NFL and MLB have, that would put soccer right behind the NFL due to the demand it would create.
    link to aftncanada.blogspot.com

    • fischy says:

      The link you provide offers an interesting, provocative arrangement — so, I thank you for providing it, even if Ives will delete it in a few seconds.

      It’s an elegant-sounding way to develop local rivalries and also rivalries on the other side of the continent. However, it ignores the reasons why the league favors regional conferences. It costs and travel time for the teams and for fans who might want to go to raod trips. The other problem with the proposal is that it would have the western teams and the eastern teams in the same conference playing very different schedules.This is problematic in validating the competition for playoffs. Teams competing for the same playoff spots should have at least roughly the same schedule. The proposal would throw that out the window. Plus, one can expect Western teams to continue to be stronger, at least generally, as the Academy players start to figure more into MLS’ future. It’s not fair for a Western team to be playing 2 games against an out-of-coference LA team with an LA-based academy and the attractiveness of LA to foreign players, while an Eastern-based team competing for the same conference title would play the Revolution or Toronto twice instead.

      I give the author credit for out-of-the-box thinking, but sometimes the in-the-box thinking makes more sense.

      • fischy says:

        That Canadian blogger is following a model that works fairly well for baseball with two separate leagues/conferences, each with continental reach. There are historical reasons why baseball developed that way — reasons which have no application for MLS. Even baseball realized the limitations of that model, when it moved to interleague play that emphasizes the local rivalries. There’s no reason for MLS to follow that model, when it can foster local and regional rivalries by arranging the league along an East-West divide. Also, baseball can manage the costs and impact of travel because of the extended road trips that limit the travel time. Can’t do that easily in soccer.

        The baseball model with 2 continent-wide conferences also works for the NFL, but the NFL is already so ingrained into the fabric that they sell out almost every game, in huge stadiums. It scarcely matters which teams are playing, but even the NFL favors regional divisions with the home-and-home series against the local teams which are in the same division.

        MLS has a long way to go to get there, and it will depend on regional rivalries to build a habit of loyalty to teams that includes traveling to road games. There’s no reason to muck about with trying to follow baseball’s model, and lots of reasons not to.

  39. Datrufth says:

    MLS needs to STOP expanding…….Problem with MLS is the cheap owners.

    Why not get a company like Apple to invest in a New York team? Knock out some real estate and put the team in prime location. Why put a 25,000 stadium out in queens?

    Scrap the NFL stadium deal and put a 40,000 seat stadium for LA Galaxy downtown

    Sj Earthquakes are only paying &60 million for a 18,000 seat stadium. What a joke! Use that land to build a academy and put a world class 30,000 seat stadium downtown.

  40. Pete Wilson says:

    Put a team in NY, put a team in Orlando. take Chivas USA out of the equation and voila. we stay at 20 for a while don’t have that awkward 21 and everyone is happy. everyone except for Chivas fans that is. all 8,637 of them haha

  41. el paso tx wants NASL says:

    The author put 5 teams from the east and 5 from the west for a purpose. each team from each conference is there for a unique strategic which does not kill rivalries but instead provokeso new rivalries, which mean every game would feel like the Epl. You can even have a sounders vs timbers mls cup match or lag vs cosmos. These conferences have everything, from decreasing travel if teams think smart and remember the teams are put in that certain conference for a reason. Can you come up with a better team alignment, using these conferences. It so too tough….. The author is a good analyzer

    • fischy says:

      Tries way too hard to create new rivalries, with teams that are 2,000 or 3,00 miles apart. There’s a bunch of reasons why MLS is trying to get away from having the home-and-home series across the continent — and I think they’re pretty good ones. It’s much easier to develop rivalries with nearby teams, playing in the same time zones. What does MLS gain by trying at least as hard to develop cross-contnental rivalries? Yeah, I might be more interested in what’s happening out west — but I think MLS is right to build up the regional rivalries now. Living in the East, I’m not going to stay up to 12:30 or 1:00 to watch a lot of games out West anyway — and westerners aren’t going to rush home to see games at 4:30 in the afternoon from the East — especially when it doesn’t involve your favorite team. You might watch on a few big games, but it’s not gonna be a habit. It makes more sense to focus on regional rivlaries.

      • el paso tx wants NASL says:

        So u have 5 east and 5 west teams in each conference and the way they are set up is logically the best way someone can put them. you start the season playing the east vs west in your coference right away.Then with the west vs west and east vs east in the same coneference. Next you do interleague phase 1, west vs east from opposite conference only one game a season. Then you finish with interleague phase 2 which is west vs west and east vs east of opposite conference. Simple and that’s 33 games aseason not counting open cup,champions,playoffs.

        • fischy says:

          Once again — there is no good reason to have ANY Western teams in the same conference as the Eastern teams. If you’re going to have two conferences, it makes much more sense to have them split geographically. What works in baseball or football doesn’t necessarily work in other sports. The NBA and NHL have east-west splits. It would make more sense for MLS to follow that model, because it’s a better fit for the smaller sports. Also, because of the travel concerns, it makes even more sense for MLS than aren’t trying to create traveling supporters’ clubs.

          • el paso tx-we love soccer says:

            East and west kills momentum and decreases growth, especially when talking about soccer. You can not compare soccer folklore to NFL, MLB and NBA and especially NHL. By have two conferences with no divisions and with strategic conferences with east and west teams mixed, you might have the NFL biting their toes. Why because you create demand, create fans, create ambition. Look at the clausura and apertura schedule (which i dont like), you play two seasons, which one season you get to see a team come to your town and the other season, you see the other teams you did not see in the other season. The NFL has that type of schedule but it has too much teams, on the other hand, the MLS can perfect the schedule with what the link explains. Garber knows it, but we need 22 teams to do that and 24 to make the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB to bite their toes.

          • el paso tx-we love soccer says:

            my apology, Garber needs 24 to 26 teams so these divisions or conferences can work. Garber knows it, and he would love that. 22 is not enough for west or east either and therefore 24 or 26 is the magic number for MLS. As for Nasl, that league can easily handle 18 teams or even 20 and Usl 15 to 18 teams.

  42. Stephen says:

    In my opinion, in the eyes of the MLS brass, if you are willing to invest into a SSS, then they will come. Presently, their a handful of SSS projects underway and/or consideration in NYC, Orlando, Las Vegas, Carolina and San Antonio. The league wants NYC as one of the next franschises. But they have have their on the national footprint, which, means the southeast, so I don’t see the end of the current round of expansion to end till they get to 22 teams. After that it may well be 10 to 15 years before we see a new round of expansion. Also, their appears to be one existing team in need of relocation within the next two years, in Chivas USA. Taking a logical objective viewpoint, I can envision the following senario. In 2013 the league grants an expanion franchise to Orlando to begin play in 2015. The following year in 2014, the NYC team is offically announced to begin play in 2016. Also in 2014, Chivas USA after completing their lease agreement with AEG, relocates to Las Vegas, they also will be rebranded. In 2015, the league declares the end of the current round of expansion with the surpise addition of Carolina to begin play in 2017, thus adding an southeastern rival for Orlando. Remember, this is only a look thru my crystal ball, you will most likely envision something else.

  43. ec says:

    I think the 2nd NY team could work, as long as it is actually inside a geographic footprint that can be called NYC with a straight face. I think Atlanta and Orlando suck as sports towns and would struggle.

    Really hope MLS slows down the growth after this round, I swear as soon as the league adds enough depth per team to be enjoyable, they expand and dilute the players/play-offs. Let it ride, fellas, you’re building a great product!

  44. dgoshilla says:

    If there is a NYC team then Red Bulls have to change their name to New Jersey. That would make things interesting for me.

    Chivas USA has to move or fold. I just don’t see them ever succeeding here in LA. I’ll trade the Chargers for Chivas ensuring my Bills stay in Buffalo…

  45. Marc says:

    Canada has proven it has the support…Ottawa or Edmonton after NY

  46. brain_skies says:

    please god, keep this league at 20 teams!!! best chance for a balanced schedule

  47. RalleeMonkey says:

    they should be looking at Sac. Sac will support anything. Put a SSS near downtown and it would go off. They had the frickin CFL there for a year and they averaged 40K. Sac would go off.

    • Andrew says:

      I’d be all for it. Plenty of space for a SSS around Natomas, which is only about 5 minutes out of downtown and wouldn’t even require a lot of road construction.

  48. JMon12 says:

    Orlando would do well IMO. I’ve been to a bunch of games and the support for a D3 is amazing averaging 7,000+ a game and the owners have connections for international games every year with the likes of Stoke etc. And Orlando is a huge “holiday” destination for Euros that would def take in a game while here! The spots are both in Downtown Orlando, not near tourist hell Disney, so you have the stadium right by Church Street and all the bars! Orlando WILL be huge and def will hold its own in MLS attendance & talent wise! Not to mention Orlando is becoming a big spot for pre season tournys for both Orlando City, MLS and Euro teams in the Disney Classic

  49. Realist says:

    Make it 24 as a cap for the MLS – 20 in the USA, and 4 in Canada. This is the way to maximize the game’s potential while keeping in mind FIFA’s restrictions regarding having a max of 20 teams in a top tier league per national association.

  50. Justin says:

    I’d love to see MLS expand to Orange County. With the Angels and Ducks heavily supported, Anaheim would receive an MLS team very well, imo. It’d be ideal to have Chivas rebrand and relocate there, but chances are extremely thin for that happening. But a return of the California Surf or a brand new Anaheim/Orange County team would be great. The Angels-Dodgers and Ducks-Kings Freeway Series draw well and would be a much more meaningful rivalry than the plastic Galaxy-Chivas “rivalry”. With investors trying to bring an NBA team to the Honda Center, Anaheim is slowly becoming a great sports city.

  51. Justin says:

    I’d love to see MLS expand to Orange County. With the Angels and Ducks heavily supported, Anaheim would receive an MLS team very well, imo. It’d be ideal to have Chivas rebrand and relocate there, but chances are extremely thin for that happening. But a return of the California Surf or a brand new Anaheim/Orange County team would be great. The Angels-Dodgers and Ducks-Kings Freeway Series draw well and would be a much more meaningful rivalry than the plastic Galaxy-Chivas “rivalry”. I think the LA-OC rivalry is a little underestimated. And with investors trying to bring an NBA team to the Honda Center, Anaheim is slowly becoming a great sports city.