Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber shared some expansion team news in his pre-All Star Game news conference on Wednesday.
Garber said David Beckham’s Miami project had made strong moves toward a summer announcement, and that the group has a new majority owner in Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly.
If you’re scratching your head and saying, “Didn’t MLS already announce that Miami would get an expansion team?“, well, time is a flat circle.
Garber also said MLS will only add four more expansion teams, which is a baffling without further explanation.
How can the United States and Canada be capped at 28 top-flight teams? We know Garber is against promotion/relegation, but capping the number of MLS teams essentially guarantees that rival leagues will strengthen and grow.
UPDATE: Garber said on the FS1 broadcast that the cap was “28 in my tenure” as commish in order to focus on nurturing the markets who have just birthed franchises.
Maybe that doesn’t bother Garber, but it should concern his owners. Let’s say MLS adds four top USL or NASL teams as “expansion” sides, and we’ll pinpoint FC Cincinnati, Nashville FC, Sacramento Republic, and Indy Eleven (Please please please don’t be upset if I left your team out of the discussion, these were simply the first ones that leapt to mind).
That means that Garber would be willing to leave some massive markets out in the cold: Detroit, San Diego, San Antonio, North Carolina, to name a few. Not smart, not probable, not happening.
More likely? His original cap was 24 teams, so it’s almost certain that he’s simply trying to keep desperation and exclusivity the name of the game. He’s a smart businessman and marketer. It’s probably as simple as that.