Garber Talks Expansion, Realignment In Chat

Garber Talks Expansion, Realignment In Chat

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 27, 2010
  • Don Garber, MLS Expansion

Sometimes you gotta read between the lines. If you checked out the USA Today’s chat with MLS Commissioner Don Garber today you should be able to see exactly where the league is headed next in terms of expansion.

When asked about where the league was going in terms of 20 or 24 teams, Garber was pretty clear about where he’d like the league to head to.

We’re very focused on adding our 20th team, which more than likely would not enter MLS until 2013 at the earliest.

Beyond 20, we continue to have interest in Atlanta, San Antonio, San Diego, Detroit, and even we hope, in Miami.

To me that sounds like New York is the big front-runner for club number 20. That may not be totally true and some folks in South Florida will definitely disagree but reading between the lines I see it like this (and so do many others). Garber did say that they’re working to get a club in South Florida but currently there is no ownership group or soccer specific stadium plan in place to have a team there.

As far as the future with clubs 21-24, I have no issues with any of those markets if the right situations present themselves between now and whenever the league decides to add more clubs. Clearly I think the focus on the Southeast is there but not as big of an item for the league right now. Just like I’ve mentioned before with those markets there are still too many things that need to happen to make sense there.

The other interesting nugget in the chat with Garber was about next year when Portland and Vancouver enter the league and what will happen to the conference structure. Two more west coast teams means someone will have to go to the east.

We will retain a conference system and we will move 2 teams from the West to East, and we’ll announce those changes towards the end of the year.

In comes two teams to the west and out goes two to the east? Obviously that is Houston and Dallas going to the east. Though I wonder if Garber meant that only one team would move from the west to the east so the conferences would be an even nine each. Maybe I read it wrong, we’ll see by the end of the year what will happen. Either way we’re not getting a single table format anytime soon.

  • reddevilyank

    The NASL failed because of over-expansion. The MLS should focus on being a 20 team league.

  • thegreengrass

    If you're going to shift teams to another conference for the sake of convenience only, why not just go single table?