Thursday, January 10, 2008

MLS Expansion - Could Montreal be the sleeper pick?

With no news coming out of Pennsylvania concerning the state putting up the money needed to secure a MLS team and MLS's lack of excitement in the depth of the St. Louis group's pockets, could Montreal shock everyone and get the next franchise?

How could such a move happen? Well unlike St. Louis or Philadelphia, Montreal will already have a stadium as the Impact are just about finished building a 13,500-seat, natural grass home (they will need to expand it 18,000, which they are already planning on doing). Plus, the Impact are already averaging over 11,000 for USL-1 games, so they have a strong base on which to build. Finally, Impact owner Joey Saputo is very good friends with billionaire George Gillett, who happens to own NHL's Montreal Canadiens and co-own EPL's Liverpool. Although there has been no formal joining of the two, both have very deep pockets and that might just turn a few MLS heads.

There is still the issue of Toronto FC having an exclusive right to the Canadian market through 2010, but it would appear the two sides are already talking about a deal. I'm sure TFC loves their hold on Canada but I'm guessing they see the benefit of have a rivalry as well.

I still think the US based bids have a better shot at this, but with so much already in place for Montreal, they might just pull off an upset.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if the Canadian content rule for TFC is lowered more then they won't have a problem with MTL getting a team (two teams competing for scarce canadian talent ..)

As well MTL would be a great selling point for french players in europe and africa which would hopefully improve the talent in MLS

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Nolan said...


10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems only fitting that North America's most European major city, arguably the best city in North America, should have a team in the continent's premier soccer league. I am surprised that the Saputo family would not be more actively supoorting their inclusion in the MLS family.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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9:13 PM  

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