Nine cities express interest in MLS expansion teams

November 16, 2007

WASHINGTON -- With San Jose and Seattle already in, Philadelphia and St. Louis could be the next cities to join Major League Soccer.

MLS commissioner Don Garber on Friday listed nine cities as candidates for expansion, with the Philadelphia and the St. Louis at the top of the list.

"Our focus today is more than likely on those two," Garber said in his state of the league address at the National Press Club.

With the decision earlier this season that San Jose will begin play next year and Tuesday's announcement that Seattle will start in 2009, MLS has grown to 15 teams. Garber said the goal is to add a "16th by the end of the year."

He also said the league is seeking to have 18 teams by 2010-2011.

Besides Philadelphia -- which had two teams in the old North American Soccer League -- and St. Louis, which has been a traditional base of support for the sport, Garber noted interest form Falcons owner Arthur Blank in Atlanta and from Mets owner Fred Wilpon for a second team in the New York area. The cities of Las Vegas, Miami, Montreal, Portland, and Vancouver, British Columbia are also possibilities, he said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press