SN Picks!: 4 MLS Expansion Locations

The Soccer Newsday staff weighs-in on what 4 cites MLS should expand to
by Herb Scribner   |   Thursday, August 22, 2013

Major League Soccer (MLS) 2012 Season Preview

In the 1st ever edition of SN Picks!, the Soccer Newsday staff offered its thoughts on what locations are the ideal spots for MLS franchises.

Orlando (23%)

With a total of 23% of the votes by the SN staff, Orlando was the front-runner. With the city’s stadium deal set and final approvals on the way, it’s the 1st and most likely spot MLS will expand to.

Miami (17%)

The SN staff was conflicted about where to go after Orlando, but Miami eventually won the vote after a tight race with San Antonio. Miami has been tied closely with David Beckham, who has the option to launch an MLS franchise for a lowly $25 million.

San Antonio/Minnesota (15%)

In another tight race, both San Antonio and Minnesota came up even for expansion franchises. San Antonio already has its own soccer specific stadium as the San Antonio Scorpions currently play at Toyota Park, where raucous fans are always filling in.

With Minnesota United FC looking steady with new branding and ownership moves, the North Star state has proven capable of holding a professional soccer franchise. The supporters of MNUFC have raised the club from the grave after Minnesota Stars’ ownership fell apart, and the supporters would likely welcome the move, but does the ownership even want that, at any point is the question. But with a new NFL stadium coming to Minnesota, and the Minnesota Vikings’ plans to make it capable of accommodating pro soccer team there, a club could surely be in the future.

Sacramento (13%)

“Small markets, better franchises,” said one Soccer Newsday writer.

That seemed to be the case for selecting the 4th and final MLS expansion franchise for 2020. Sacramento recently announced it would have its USL PRO team, Sacramento Republic FC, in 2014, which has fueled much speculation that their owners will seek MLS membership in the future, or the very bold pro-MLS group from local suburb Elk Grove. Rumors have surfaced a bit about Sacramento gaining entry to MLS, and the SN staff clearly hasn’t forgotten.

To get a better idea of where Soccer Newsday’s minds were focused on for expansion, here’s a full list of votes:

Orlando – 23%
Miami – 17%
San Antonio – 15%
Minnesota – 15%
Sacramento – 10%
St. Louis – 5%
Atlanta – 3%
Nashville – 2%
Tampa Bay – 2%
Phoenix – 2%
San Diego – 2%
Detroit – 2%
Indiana/Indianapolis – 2%

If the votes show anything, it’s that MLS is capable of expanding almost anywhere across the country, and that fans and pundits alike aren’t focused on one particular city over another. The year 2020 is far away for sure, but the thrill of expansion is ever present.

Herb SCRIBNER

Nationality:
USA
College:
UMass Amherst
Club Domestic:
RSL
Club Foreign:
FC Barcelona
SN managing editor and award-winning journalist, Herb has always been known as "The Soccer Guy" wherever he goes. He's a leftback in most outdoor and indoor leagues. He also writes for Deseret News National.
HERB'S SPONSORS