Talk around the league is that New York will be getting the 20th team and that it would be the Cosmos.
That’s a great thought, but I highly doubt it. Until now, the Cosmos don’t look like a franchise that is prepared for MLS.
A recent visit by Don Garber to Orlando City SC of the USL Pro have opened the doors to have Orlando become the 20th team, and it would be a smart move for MLS to allow it. The league needs a team in the South, and if you look at the crowd for international friendlies, it’s a soccer-starved area.
The current Orlando franchise ownership is hungry to make the jump into the top tier of American soccer, as are the fans.
Now the key for Orlando is to make sure they lock in a soccer-specific stadium, which would be easier to build in Florida than the tight confines of New York City.
To predict that Orlando will have everything in order before the 2012 season is a hopeful thing. However, the league wants the 20th team to come into play for the 2014 campaign.
If MLS reveals Orlando is getting that 20th team, it gives the city and the ownership over a year to prepare—which is more than enough time for a club that’s already established in a lower division.