Ever since Real Salt Lake and CD Chivas USA both began play in 2004, Major League Soccer has had a surge in expansion franchises, with one or two coming in every year. Last year, it was the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers. This year, it will be the Montreal Impact.
With Major League Soccer growing at the rate it is, I thought about five possible sites where the MLS boom could expand to.
Here are the five options that should be considered for expansion franchises, as well as possible names for the teams.
Back in the 1970's-early 1980's, the top soccer league in America was the North American Soccer League. It's most popular team was the New York Cosmos.
The Cosmos had such internationally recognized stars as Pele and Franz Beckenbauer, and had it not been for the team, the league would have gone under. Ultimately, the Cosmos folded in 1985 and laid dormant until Major League Soccer was founded. Looking for a name for the New York/New Jersey franchise, the owners approached former GM Peppe Pinton about using the name. They were denied and became the MetroStars, later the Red Bulls.
Pinton has since changed his mind, saying that given the chance, he would give his blessing to a future New York expansion franchise.
There is currently a team in the USL that plays under the Cosmos name. Their promotion to the MLS would probably be the best bet.
This match was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium
Arizona is a possible location for a Major League Soccer team because of the University of Phoenix Stadium. On January 21, 2012, Venezuela and the United States played an international friendly on the turf, and as you can see from the picture, there was a strong turnout.
Given the struggles of the Suns and Cardinals, the unpopularity of the Coyotes, and the beginning of a resurgence for the Diamondbacks, why not add a soccer team in Glendale? It makes perfect sense.
The university of Connecticut has one of the most successful college soccer teams in the United States. In fact, they had two first round picks in the MLS SuperDraft. So why not capitalize on the college team's success, and add a team to play in Connecticut?
Rentschler Field is a dual-purpose soccer stadium, and it's been used for international friendlies between the US and other CONCACAF nations.
As for the name, I was thinking of something that fits into Connecticut's nautical history. How does the Connecticut Maritimes sound?
In addition, the team could follow Chivas and become the second exclusively Hispanic supported team.
Another popular college soccer spot, North Carolina and Duke have become members of college soccer's elite. Again, the question is posed: Why not take advantage of that and have a pro team?
The Charlotte Hornets were formed as a result of UNC and Duke's popularity, and the Bobcats filled in once the Hornets left.
The team would play in Duke's football stadium, with larger games moved to the Bank of America Stadium.
Also, the team would be known as Carolina Blue FC, as a reference to both colleges.