MLS Expansion: The Top 3 Cities No One's Talking About
When New York City FC were announced as an MLS expansion side in May, they became the 20th team in a constantly growing league. From that point on, the question switched to which team would become the 21st team.
Further south in the Sunshine State, Simon Evans of Reuters reports that Miami is where David Beckham wants to locate his MLS expansion franchise. Being the savvy businessman he is, when Beckham entered MLS and signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, he made sure there was a clause in his contract that if he chose to start an MLS expansion side, the expansion fee would be highly reduced.
So Beckham will start a franchise, and it seems Miami is the place where he will do so.
However, beyond the buzz in the southeast corner of the United States, there are several cities that would be fantastic locations for MLS expansion franchises that are rarely talked about. (These are also prime candidates for places to relocate Chivas USA, wink wink.)
So here are the top three cities for an MLS expansion franchise that you won't hear about, in no particular order.
The gateway to the west isn't the first place that comes to mind for an expansion franchise.
However, this summer Busch Stadium was filled for a friendly between Chelsea and Manchester City, showing the city has a potential for great support.
Even though there's not even an NASL or USL pro club in St. Louis, they should be considered the home of a new expansion team similar for reasons in the Pacific Northwest.
After people saw how successful Seattle Sounders FC did in their first year, Portland Timbers FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC were brought into the top flight because they were in the same region and had similar soccer culture.
Well, Kansas City is very similar to St. Louis and close by. Sporting KC have great support and have been pretty successful since their rebranding. I'm not saying it would match the Cascadia Cup, but the potential for a fiery Midwestern Derby is certainly there.
What player doesn't want to come play in beautiful San Diego? Perfect weather, right on the ocean.
There would never be problems with scheduling games at 1 p.m. because it rarely gets hot.
San Diego would be a great place for a new MLS club to call home.
Now for the one you really weren't expecting. Vegas, baby.
This city could be a good place for a new MLS franchise. They would have virtually no competition in the sports market because there are no professional sports teams there. That's a huge market that hasn't been tapped into at all yet.
Tourists who want a change of pace from the casinos could take in 90 minutes of grown men kicking a ball around.
The heat can be a huge issue in the summer, but they could build a stadium with a retractable roof that could be open during winter events.
This team would be the only pro sports team in the state of Nevada and could have a whole state behind them. The location could also bring about rivalries with the three California teams and Real Salt Lake, sitting squarely between California and Utah.
Las Vegas has hosted successful soccer friendlies in the past. While this is the least likely to happen, it could be the best out of these three.