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MLS Announces St. Louis as Expansion Franchise to Begin Play in 2022

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIAugust 20, 2019

CARSON, CA - MARCH 2:  Don Garber of MLS during the unveiling of the statue of former Los Angeles Galaxy player David Beckham in Legends Plaza at the Dignity Health Sports Park on March 2, 2019 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday that St. Louis has been awarded an expansion franchise and will begin playing in the competition in 2022:

Major League Soccer @MLS

#MLS4THELOU! 😁 https://t.co/IvjlJKwjZI

Commissioner Don Garber welcomed the new arrival to MLS and said the city has been under consideration for some time, according to Jeff Carlisle at ESPN FC.

"It is with great pride that we welcome St. Louis to Major League Soccer, " he said. "St. Louis is a city with a rich soccer tradition, and it is a market we have considered since the league's inception."

The announcement means St. Louis becomes the first female majority-owned team in the league's history:

Major League Soccer @MLS

The St. Louis ownership group is the first female majority-led ownership group in MLS history 👏 https://t.co/V5zYhswAo4

St. Louis has long been under consideration by MLS due to its footballing history. The city has produced some American greats, as highlighted by Men In Blazers:

Men in Blazers @MenInBlazers

Massive day for St. Louis. True footballing hotbed that has provided so many American greats: Harry Keough, Frank Borghi, Becky Sauerbrunn, Steve Ralston, Lori Chalupny, Taylor Twellman, Tim Ream, Josh Sargent. To many more Major League years ahead 🇺🇸🙌#MLS

MLS stars such as Will Bruin and Josh Sargent have also emerged from St. Louis youth programs along with Fulham's Tim Ream and Josh Sargent of Werder Bremen.

Enterprise Holdings president Carolyn Kindle Betz, part of the club's ownership group, said the club is working on plans for its stadium but still has details to finalize:

Corinne Ruff @corinnesusan

#MLS4TheLou Ownership group head Carolyn Kindle Betz: “We have a lot to do before 2022... small things like build a stadium.” She says those details are being wrapped up and updates will come “soon.” No name, logo, colors or specific stadium location details yet.

Supporters were offered a glimpse of how the stadium could look in April:

Jeff Rueter @jeffrueter

INBOX: #MLS4THELOU released their first stadium renderings this morning. “While they’re still a work-in-progress, we’re excited to finally give fans a glimpse at our proposed stadium," per Carolyn Kindle Betz, Pres. of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. https://t.co/BSfD7yF18T

The stadium will be located in the Downtown West district and will be part of a "major development project," according to the official MLS website.

The new ground is expected to have a capacity of 22,500 spectators and will also feature "a translucent canopy that will provide covering for the fans while allowing light to reach the field."

The club will also now need to begin work on other important details such as the name of the team, badge, logos and colors of the franchise.

St. Louis will become the 28th MLS franchise and will follow Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC and Austin FC into the league. MLS announced in April plans to expand to 30 teams.