Major League Soccer attempted to tamp down the little brush fire of South Florida expansion speculation before it grew into something less controllable.
As you read through the statement from commissioner Don Garber’s office, here are three things to keep in mind.
These things come up all the time, generally originating from local newspapers, where a city official has talked up interest of getting a chip in the Major League Soccer game. In this case, the originating point was Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, who understands quite a bit more about how all this works than local reporters.
That said, these generally lead nowhere. Just a little more than 90 days back, MLS was walloped on the side of the head with this one, where Tampa business interests dreamed up a $400 million stadium proposal and attached news of it to MLS interest.
League officials, in Los Angeles at the time for MLS Cup, assured me they knew absolutely nothing about this. Sure enough, we’ve heard nothing of it since.
It’s New York. League officials continue to tell us that No. 20 will be in New York. At some point, we should probably believe them. (Although wondering otherwise will continue to be a fascinating pastime, I’m sure.)
The gist of Major League Soccer’s statement on the matter, through an MLS spokesperson:
We have not had any formal discussions with RSE Ventures. We remain focused on securing a 20th team for Major League Soccer in New York, but we do believe we will have an MLS team in the Southeast at some point.
“As it relates specifically to potential Florida markets, we have had ongoing discussions with Orlando City SC about expansion in Central Florida, and we know that South Florida is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America.”