MLS Expansion: Slowing Down After 20

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 13, 2011
  • 4 Comments
  • Mark Abbott, MLS Expansion

I saw this quote in an article on MLS expansion over at the Sporting News. Nothing really ground-breakingly new in the piece on expansion. The same markets are mentioned but the meat is really in this quote. Abbott says the league will likely slow down expansion after number 20, something I've been saying on here for a couple years now.

MLS Expansion: Slowing Down After 20
  • DS

    Good news if this is true.  I’d like to see the league strengthen existing franchises and consider how best to contribute to an viable second division below MLS.

  • Byob

    Wrong, wrong and wrong. MLS wil PAUSE at 20 teams but will expand to 24 teams or even 26. Division 2 has to mature and D3 as well. The U.S. is too big for just 20 teams, if MLS puts 20 teams,soccer will die. Soccer in the U.S. needs 24 to 26 teams, eventualy MLS will reach 22 teams and pause again. NASL can reach at least 12 teams esily,USL Pro as much as they want,they are D3. MLS teams will reach 20 teams,relocate some if not pressure teams for better front office work,sponsors and a SSS. Remember MLS wants WORLD CUP 2026,by 2026 MLS can have 26 teams with every team having a SSS and salary cap as high as never and maybe an august to may season with a league cup,MLS Cup, Champions,Open Cup. These are some markets that by 2026 for sure will have MLS or D2: San Diego,San Antonio,Austin,Las vegas,Albuqurque, Phoenix or  Tucson or both, Tulsa or oklahoma city, Miami,Orlando,Tampa Bay, NC or SC city, Memphis, Baltimore, Minnesota,Detroit, st.louis, ATL,Des Moines, ottawa,quebec,edmonton,calgary. 
    There is more than enough……..its up to MLS to use some soccer sense 
    *****For promotion and relegation, maybe till 2030 or 2035. Really, because not in 2020 0r 2030, 2035 sounds more like it. Start with one up,one down but with a home and away. 
    WHAT YOU THINK????? 

    • Yeah, I do believe that after a few years they’ll expand again. I’ve always said the league will ultimately get to 24 clubs. I really can’t see it going beyond 24. 

      Don’t count on a pro-rel system though, even 25 or 30 years away it is still something that will likely never happen here. Owners here never want to invest millions into a club to only have it demoted to a lower division. Just too many factors like that against a pro-rel system here. 

      • Byob

        But like i said, MLS must use their soccer sense. In reality every MLS team needs a triangle of rivalry,like Sounders-Timebers-Caps. Tampa-Miami-Orlando. Salt lake-Denver-Albquerque -LV.  San Antonio-houston-Dallas-……easy picture to capture. Not only MLS needs that,D2 and D3 should all get on the same plan. MLS should have 26 teams,two leagues or divisions not conferences like the NFL or MLB in order to have a Timbers vs Caps or Red Bullvs Cosmos. MLS can name the divisions, lamar hunt and other anhertz (the name of the cup) The NFL pratically kills every,or uses soccer ideas that MLS should use,even the NBA. MLS needs toughness and soccer sense.