MLS expansion: St. Louis, San Antonio join race with Minneapolis, Sacramento, Las Vegas

12 Comments

The great race for MLS expansion franchises continues in North America, as Commissioner Don Garber gave an update as to where the next round of Major League Soccer teams could be heading.

[ RELATED: Vegas gets MLS stadium grant ]

Speaking at a break during the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia on Thursday, Garber was hugely complimentary of Minneapolis and revealed that positive talks are ongoing with two interested groups up in Minnesota, plus stadium plans in Boston are progressing, while he believes New York City FC are pushing ahead with finding a spot for their own home in NYC.

With the league’s expansion committee already hosting talks with Minneapolis, Sacramento and Las Vegas back in December, Garber revealed two other cities will be visited in the coming  months as MLS continues its rapid expansion.

“I’m going to be out in St. Louis in the next couple of weeks,” Garber said. “St. Louis has got a lot of activity going on with a stadium that they’re trying to get done for the [NFL] Rams. There’s a big soccer community out there and we’d love to see a soccer stadium downtown like they’re thinking about a football stadium… San Antonio has been very active. There’s a lot of stuff going on. There’s a lot of interest in expansion.”

So, with a new riverfront stadium proposed in St. Louis and Stan Kroenke looking to move the Rams to Los Angeles, plus the rich soccer heritage in the area, STL is a soccer hotbed full of untapped potential. Plus, it would help to link the Midwest together with a natural midway point between Kansas City and Chicago.

[ RELATED: Sacramento, Vegas or Minneapolis? ]

As for San Antonio, their progress has been incredible in recent years with the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions regularly getting over 7,000 fans at their Toyota Field home and plans in place to easily expand the venue. The U.S. national team will play Mexico in a friendly in San Antonio on April 15, so expect to see plenty of MLS officials assessing the viability of the Texas city being home to a future franchise.

So, where should MLS expand to next: Sacramento, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, San Antonio or St. Louis?

MLS Best XI unveiled with awesome foosball video

@MLS
Leave a comment

Major League Soccer, wow, this is terrific #content.

MLS released its Best XI on Monday with a dynamite video of the players passing the ball from Zack Steffen in goal to Josef Martinez up top… via a virtual foosball table.

[ VIDEO: An unprecedented goal ]

The XI is set in a 3-4-3, with the New York Red Bulls, DC United, and Atlanta United leading the way with a pair of players each.

My predictions? Well, I only got six correct. Whoops. The only absence that really surprises me is Graham Zusi, and Sporting KC not having representation at all. I guess that explains why SKC manager Peter Vermes is going to be announced as the next USMNT– Wait, what’s that? Oh. I’ll stop talking.

2018 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus)

Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY), Aaron Long (RBNY), Chad Marshall (Seattle)

Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta), Luciano Acosta (DC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal), Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), Josef Martinez (Atlanta), Wayne Rooney (DC)

WATCH: Striker scores potentially unprecedented goal while helping teammate

Photo by John Thys/EuroFootball/Getty Images
Leave a comment

“Look, I know you’re injured, but I’m gonna be right back. Got a goal to score for us.”

Maccabi Petah Tikva forward Habib Habibou scored what can only be described as an unprecedented goal — at least in terms of being captured on video — Israel this weekend.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

Habibou, 31, and his club were locked in scoreless tussle with Maccabi Netanya on Saturday when one of his teammates was injured in the box.

The CAR striker, formerly of Zulte Waregem and Royal Charleroi, was taking care of said teammate when he spotted an 87th minute spilled rebound.

What was he gonna do, really, other than dart onto the loose ball, score the match-winner, and then return to his ailing mate?

Petah Tikva won 1-0.

Juventus executive: Bring season Serie A game abroad

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Juventus chief revenue officer Giorgio Ricci likes La Liga’s idea of taking a regular season match outside of its domestic borders.

Ricci would like Serie A to explore a similar move, saying Italian soccer can only benefit from putting its brand in other markets.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

Serie A lags behind other top European league in TV money, which has hindered its ability to recruit top end talent relative to its competitors.

Ricci says if American sports see value in bringing their top leagues to Europe, it holds that the reverse would be true. From the BBC:

“If we look at some other more developed leagues in terms of commercial strategy; the NBA and NFL, they are exporting one or two of their matches abroad, to the UK or elsewhere in Europe. I think it is a good strategy. It is a way to export something that is not an exhibition.”

Would a regular season match bring any more eyes or attention than the International Champions Cup, at least enough to offset the sacrifice of atmosphere? It seems doubtful, but the money is the key here. Italy wants to catch up with Spain, Germany, and England.

FC Cincinnati switches crest ahead of MLS debut

@FCCincinnati
Leave a comment

FC Cincinnati has unveiled its crest for 2019’s maiden voyage in Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

Sticking with the orange and blue color combination which has served them since inception, the shield has FC in the top left corner, Cincinnati running diagonally left-to-right in blue script on white, and a winged lion holding a sword as the primary icon.

FCC will draft up to five current MLS players in the Expansion Draft on Dec. 11. Teams will announce their protected lists on Dec. 10.

Cincinnati will play in the Eastern Conference. It won the USL regular season championship under coach Alan Koch in 2018.