MLS to Add Two More Teams By 2011

Joe GSenior Writer IJuly 24, 2008

MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced today that the league would expand to 18 teams by the start of the 2011 season.

Currently, 14 teams are playing in MLS. The league is adding a team in Seattle for 2009 and one in Philadelphia for 2010.

The expansion cities have not yet been determined, but the league is currently deciding on two cities from a list that includes Atlanta, Las Vegas, Montreal, a second New York club, Ottawa, Portland, and Vancouver.

Garber also noted that St. Louis was a strong candidate for expansion, saying, "There's a lot of support there and we've got to be successful in the Midwest."

Phoenix Suns point guard and Canadian citizen Steve Nash is reportedly part of a group bidding to bring an expansion team to Vancouver.

Nash is an admitted Tottenham Hotspur fan who is quickly becoming a proponent of expanding the game in America. His celebrity status can only help Vancouver's bid.

Adding a franchise in Vancouver or Portland would allow MLS to mirror the great USL rivalries between the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, and Vancouver Whitecaps. The Pacific Northwest is a part of the country that has done well in embracing soccer.

New York is also a likely candidate. Los Angeles has two teams, and this proximity has created a fantastic rivalry. Putting two teams in each of the country's largest media outlets makes a lot of sense.

The team would be successful financially and get a lot of national exposure.

ESPN Soccernet article announcing the expansion