MLS to expand to 18 Teams by 2011

MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced today that two more teams will be added by 2011, bringing the number in the league up to 18.

Ownership groups and/or markets have until Oct. 15 to apply. MLS will make a decision on the chosen pair in either the last quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2009.

I’m pulling for that combo casino and stadium with retractable roof in Vegas (can you say road trip!) for at least one of the teams.

And Vancouver, B.C. is a beautiful city and a natural rival for Seattle (loved the atmosphere of those NASL games between the old Sounders and Whitecaps where fans actually hit the road with the clubs).

Where would you like to see the next two teams located?

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  • Inigo Montoya

    The more Western teams, the better for LA.

    Adding Seattle and Vancouver might enable a shift in scheduling so that the Western teams stay west for weeks at a time so that traveling doesn’t take quite such a toll on the players physically and mentally.

    MLS requires more long distance travel and more time-zone changing than any major league in the world, including the UEFA Champions League. Unlike pros everywhere else, MLS guys don’t get to see their own families much less sleep in their own beds during the season.

  • Philip W.

    I love your Vegas and Vancouver suggestions, but my guess is that it will end up being Vancouver and St. Louis.

    Too bad for Vegas too…it’d be a great excuse to hit up Las Vegas!

  • Anon

    I would like to see Cleveland get a team. I grew up there and still remember all of those great Cleveland Force indoor teams. They used to average 15-20,000 when Kai Haaskivi and the like were there and they would beat many MLS teams nowadays. There’s still a huge Eastern European population there and a very well-established club and youth atmosphere. We played all sorts of Hungarian and Yugoslavian club teams as a U12-U14, including teams such as the Croatian Rebels team (the political significance of the name escaped me at the time). Brad Freidel grew up there in Bay Village and was a fixture at the North Olmsted tourney on the west side. It would also be a nice rivalry with Columbus and close travel for Chicago.

    The most significant downside is the departure of population base and corporate headquarters for advertising. Still, it has not lost its soccer base.

    Nick replies: Wow, Anon your comment brought back memories. I remember Kai when he played for the Edmonton Drillers (against my Calgary Boomers) back in the early ’80s when the NASL briefly played some indoor seasons. He was great – I hated him!

  • S

    Seattle and Vancouver.

    Montreal as a 3rd option.

  • papa bear

    @S: Seattle is already getting a team.

    I wanna see Vegas get a team. It would be phenomenal for the sport. (c’mon, the reason most people get super passionate about sports is the gambling after all).

    St. Louis also NEEDS a team. It would give Chicago a natural rival and maybe help KC get some more fan interest.