The Student Newspaper of Saint Peter's Prep

The Petroc

MLS Expansion

Jay Post, '20, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Following the addition of Atlanta FC and Minnesota United FC into the MLS, the young league grew to a total of 22 teams. However, the league board continues to look at options to grow its support base; here are the 12 teams to challenge for the next open spot in league:

  1. Cincinnati (Population: 297,517)

FC Cincinnati filled stands with incredible numbers of supporters last season.  While sheer city population does not favor Cincinnati, they do have a stadium site locked down, along with 10,000 season ticket holders, a statistic that will certainly impress the MLS top brass.

 

  1. Detroit (Population: 688,701)

Detroit’s bid also is one that comes tied to a successful lower level team, but there is one thing that sets this bid apart: deep-pocketed owners. The Detroit bid is led by NBA owners Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores, both with the experience and the cash that the MLS drools over.

 

  1. Petersburg (Population: 249,688)

Probably a lock in any other year, I don’t think this is it for the ‘Rowdies.’ Nonetheless, a stadium plan, an established team, and a great fan base will make St. Petersburg a mainstay in the expansion conversation for years to come.

 

  1. San Diego (Population: 1.3 million)

San Diego currently lacks a pro sports team other than the Padres, and MLS would be more than delighted to fill the gap. San Diego has a history as a “soccer town” and has filled stands for USMNT games. However, this strong bid could be sunk by the clubs in LA and across the border in Mexico.

 

  1. Sacramento (Population: 479,686)

Despite having some troubles recently, the Sacramento bid is back on track and looks like it will be one of the frontrunners. A team in Sacramento could give bring with it an immediate rival to the San Jose Earthquakes and would energize a strong fanbase in Central California.

 

  1. Charlotte (Population: 792,862)

The first of two North Carolina bids on this list, Charlotte hasn’t made as much media noise as some of the other bids, but it is still in strong contention. With that said, MLS does seem to pay particular attention to certain factors that benefit Charlotte: a young population, strong USMNT turnout, and a lack of other MLS teams in the area.

 

  1. Raleigh/Durham (Population: 431,000/245,000)

The former Carolina Railhawks (now North Carolina FC) went all in for MLS with a professional rebranding job, and they have one of the stronger city profiles of all bids. They have a rich soccer history with a number of wealthy locals heading up the bid.

 

  1. Nashville (Population: 678,889)

Considered another outsider-looking-in, Nashville has one of the longest roads to expansion, but it is backed by affluence. Nashville has started to move towards getting a bid, founding a team (Nashville SC) that will start play in 2018.

 

  1. San Antonio (Population: 1.4 million)

San Antonio has one of the strongest bids of all of the teams. They have a large fanbase and a lengthy history as a successful sports town. They also have both a stadium deal and the apparent financing to make it work.

 

  1. St. Louis (Population: 318,416)

Due to the loss of the Rams last year, MLS will surely be looking at St. Louis with careful eyes, as they have been gifted an opportunity to fill a pro sports gap in one of the best sporting cities in America. The Rams departure may have been a disappointment to St. Louis football fans, but soccer fans in the area may have reason to rejoice yet.

 

  1. Phoenix (Population: 1.5 million)

Phoenix Rising FC is an intriguing bid. They have adequate competition from other pro sports in the area, but they face no opposition from other MLS teams — there is no team within 400 miles of Phoenix.

 

  1. Indianapolis (Population: 852,866)

The Indy Eleven are the last team on this list with a standard bid. They have a downtown stadium that looks promising, but there is a lot of professional-competition in Indy that may possibly make a soccer team irrelevant.

 

MLS is a smaller league on the rise as soccer gains popularity and airspace. MLS is looking to become a larger brand, and they are trying to add as many teams as possible in order to secure a lasting foundation for the fast-growing sport. While 12 teams are attempting to make it to the ‘Big Leagues’ now, not all 12 will be in the first batch of expansion teams. However, there are no bad bids in this compilation, and any choice MLS makes here is bound to be a good one.

Print Friendly

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • MLS Expansion

    News

    Opinion: U.S. Should Copy China in Relationship to North Korea

  • MLS Expansion

    News

    United Kerfuffle to Affect Prep Travelers?

  • MLS Expansion

    Showcase

    Racism in Soccer

  • MLS Expansion

    Showcase

    FIFA Nations

  • MLS Expansion

    Life at Prep

    Looking Back and Forward on Two Years

  • MLS Expansion

    Life at Prep

    April Autism Awareness Reflection

  • MLS Expansion

    Showcase

    NBA Playoffs

  • MLS Expansion

    News

    Choice in Education: Power to the Parents

  • MLS Expansion

    News

    Drill Baby Drill, Right?

  • MLS Expansion

    News

    The Outbreak of Ebola

The Student Newspaper of Saint Peter's Prep
MLS Expansion