MLS Expansion: Should They Expand By More Than Two Teams In 2011?

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MLS Expansion: Should They Expand By More Than Two Teams In 2011?

Well the MLS plans to expand by two teams in 2011 and after looking at the candidates, it raised some very important questions for me such as; which teams should get the bids, and should more than two teams get in? I plan to answer this MLS hot-button topic. I will start with the teams in the running:

Atlanta

Miami

Portland

Ottawa

Vancouver

Montreal

St.Louis

Here are the pros and cons of each franchise and weather they should get a bid

Atlanta

Pros

Has the population to have a successful franchise and the MLS has needed to expand south for a while. Atlanta with the right ownership would be a great fit for MLS.

Cons

Arthur Blank is running for the bid, from what I have seen in his running of the Atlanta Falcons, he is definitely not one of the best owners in sports. Also I do not think Atlanta would have enough interest in soccer, especially when college football is going strong, I don't think Atlanta is a good fit for the MLS at this point.

Verdict

Not ready, maybe with better ownership and more proof that they will support soccer, we can revisit this situation

Miami

Pros

Huge Hispanic settlement, so you know the city will support soccer, good stadium in place in Dolphin stadium and a perfect ownership group led by the owner of FC Barcelona. It looks like Miami should be a lock to be in the league in 2011.

Cons

The only real con I have is the travel, especially for teams in the Northwest, such as Seattle and potentially Portland, but the one or two game in soccer should ensure no there will be no real problems, except for the occasional jet lag all athletes face.

Verdict

Lock for 2011, this will be one of the best run MLS organizations right out of the gate, look for them to be a dynasty in the next decade.

Portland

Pros

Already has a well-supported team in place from the USL, the Portland Pilots so it may only need minor roster modifications to be ready for the MLS. A second team in the Northwest creates a rivalry between Seattle and Portland that is good for TV.

Cons

There stadium is not up to MLS standards so they might have a problem building a new stadium in today's economic climate.

Verdict

Definitely in contention, besides Miami they have the strongest qualifications to get a team in the U.S.

Ottawa

Pros

The owner seems really enthusiastic and is the owner of the NHL's Ottawa Senators, have a lot for a new stadium accross from Soctiabank Place, the design plan looks state of the art and would be the best soccer-specific stadium in the MLS and maybe North America.

Cons

This stadium is once again not ready, and since they do not have any team in the city, we can only predict if they could support a team. Also two teams in Ontario would not be beneficial to TFC or the Ottawa franchise.

Verdict

Not ready, as much as I would love to see a team in my nations capital, they simply need more time to straighten things out.

Vancouver

Pros

Well they have a great fan following for their USL team, which beat TFC in Toronto during the Canadian Club Championship this summer. They are definitely MLS ready, and with minor stadium remodeling, be an excellent team in the MLS. A Canadian championship between three MLS teams would be great TV.

Cons

United States fans may not warm up to the idea of watching more than two Canadian teams on T.V. and Vancouver will have a hard time matching up with Montreal's bid.

Verdict

In contention, hard to convince the MLS that Canada is the place to expand. They should get in, but I doubt they will.

Montreal

Pros

Soccer is extremely popular in French-speaking Quebec, the Impact are the USL's flagship team and they qualified to the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Championship League. Ownership group of George Gillet and the Impact's owner ensures the USL team will likely be the one in the MLS. The aforementioned Canadian Championship would be great for T.V.

Cons

Can't really think of any, Miami and Quebec should be the two new MLS teams in 2011

Verdict

A lock, they could likely be contenders in the MLS right now, and it looks like they will get the chance in a couple years.

St. Louis

No chance in hell, simple as that.

How Many Teams Should the MLS Expand in 2011? Which Teams?

Well I personally believe that they should expand by three to four teams as this is a gate-driven league and more teams equals more revenue. So I believe they should expand to an even number of four teams in 2011 and the teams should be: Vancouver, Montreal, Miami, Portland.

This would give the MLS teams in every section of North America, create geographical rivalries, and simply give them a more entertaining and exciting product on the pitch. Now that I said my piece, what do you think?

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