MLS All-Stars' Chris Wondolowski, center, of the San Jose Earthquakes, celebrates with Justin Marrow (15), also of the Earthquakes, and Thierry Henry (14), of the New York Red Bulls, after scoring against Chelsea FC during the first half of soccer's MLS All-Star game, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Major League Soccer release:
Growth Mode Continues Toward the Goal of Becoming One of the Top Leagues in the World
KANSAS CITY (Wednesday, July 31, 2013) – Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber today announced that MLS plans to add four new expansion teams by the 2020 season. The announcement took place live during halftime shows of the league's television broadcast partners at the AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Sporting Park in Kansas City.
“The strength, passion and vision of the MLS ownership group is the foundation behind the success of our league,” Commissioner Garber said. “We look forward to adding new partners with the same commitment to the sport and love of the game. As MLS enters a period of accelerated growth, the addition of new teams will allow us to expand our geographic coverage, grow our fan base and help us achieve our vision of being among the best leagues in the world by 2022.”
With the recent addition of New York City FC as the league’s 20th team, MLS has added 10 clubs since the beginning of the 2005 season, leading to a remarkable and rapid transformation of professional soccer in North America. According to Commissioner Garber, “these expansion clubs have contributed to the vitality of our League, bringing passionate fans, new traditions and committed owners with new ideas.”
The process to determine a future MLS expansion market will be selected on the basis of multiple criteria. Factors taken into consideration include:
· Committed and engaged ownership;
· A comprehensive stadium plan;
· Demonstrated fan support for professional soccer in the market;
· Support from sponsors, television partners and other constituents;
· Geographic location;
· A strategic business plan for the launch and successful operation of the club.
MLS has engaged in exploratory discussions with multiple markets and potential owners regarding future expansion. During the coming months, the League will provide additional details regarding the process and timeline for future expansion.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer’s 18th season features 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. Those clubs include the Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2012 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; Montreal Impact; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. New York City FC, was unveiled May 21, 2013. For more information about MLS, log on to the league’s official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.