Wednesday, February 13, 2008

MLS Expansion - "It's definitely Philly"

"'It's definitely Philly," said a Major League Soccer source, declining to be quoted by name in advance of an official announcement. 'It's the market size, the ownership group. These are wealthy people. They're going to be strong owners.'"

Failing some sort of 'impossible-to-foresee cataclysm', Philadelphia is set to become the 16th MLS team. League officials and the new team's ownership group have spent the last two days finalizing the draft version of the expansion agreement, while the ownership group has also been talking with Pennsylvania officials concerning how exactly they can use the $47 million in state funding.

This move is in no way unexpected, as the league has wanted to be in Philadelphia since it began in 1996, they just could not find a way to make it work.

St. Louis is the big loser in all this, but lead investor Jeff Cooper is not giving up on the dream as he is now focused on the 17th spot. It is not clear if the city of Collinsville will change their level of support, as most of it was based on landing a team.

No official date has been set for such an announcement, but my guess is right around the start of the MLS season at the end of March.

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Anonymous Oliver said...

The MLS is potentially a massive product. It would be interesting to see it tie in more closely with South America, where the game is well established. Of course there is also the EPL investigating ways of playing competetive games in the States.

The sooner the better.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Spotlight Soccer said...

Philly's a decent choice. I'm really surprised that the Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill area has never even been mentioned as a possibility.

-john -

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Al Sefati said...

good stuff...the more the merrier

i wish one day MLS to be as big as NFL! That many people want to watch the MLS finals like superbowl.

8:18 PM  

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