Don’t blink or you will miss another announcement Major League Soccer expansion.
Well, it just seems that way.
The team is expanding at a dizzying pace.
Two teams will kick off play in 2020 — Inter Miami CF — which has endured a prolonged saga in finding a stadium — and Nashville SC. Miami will call a venue in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. its home for the time being, at the site of old Lockhart Stadium, for now.
In 2021, Austin FC and Charlotte will join the league and in 2022, Sacramento Republic FC and St. Louis will make it an even 30 teams.
Charlotte was the last entry, which the league announced amid big fanfare in the North Carolina City Tuesday.
The big question is whether the league will keep expanding. There has been talk of having a 32-team league, but Garber said Tuesday that Charlotte was “likely the last expansion team.”
“It might go to 32. We’re not ruling that out,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said after an MLS board of directors meeting in Brooklyn Dec. 5. “We have never said that we’re going to 32 teams. I don’t even think it’s a likelihood. Why would we make any comments about what the future might look like?
“I did say that I can’t see in the short term that we’re going to go beyond 30 teams, but life’s a long time. I never thought we’d be at 20 or 24 or 28 and I never thought we’d be at 30. I don’t know what the world is going to look like many, many years from now.”
There are plenty of potential cities with viable bids still in the running. That includes Phoenix, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Detroit and San Diego. Raleigh seems to have the biggest hurdle because at the present time it is unlikely MLS add another team in North Carolina. It would prefer to expand its national footprint.
If you’re counting, the league has added 13 expansion teams in the past decade (including and since 2010) — Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati, Inter Miami CF, Los Angeles Football Club, Minnesota United FC, Montreal Impact, Nashville SC, New York City FC, Orlando City SC, Portland Timbers, Philadelphia Union, Seattle Sounders FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Sunday: No. 9 in the countdown