With New Teams Coming, Older MLS Clubs Look to Keep Pace

With original MLS teams getting revamped, new MLS teams show off their brands
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Major League Soccer (MLS) 2012 Season Preview

It’s coming down to the wire. The clock is ticking. We’re in the home stretch. However you say it, the 20th season of MLS is nearly here. Maybe. On the eve of the season, CBA talks are still ongoing and fans are stuck in the lurch.

However, even with the season still teetering on the edge of the fence, there’s still plenty of news and notes to point out with original teams, new clubs, and even teams that don’t have names since they’re not in MLS yet.

Although the team doesn’t play under its original name of the San Jose Clash, the now San Jose Earthquakes have had much to be excited about for this upcoming season, the main being the opening of their new stadium.

After playing at Santa Clara University for years at their Buck Shaw Stadium, they the Quakes now – finally – have a place to call home. Avaya Stadium recently had its first game in which, if the question is ever on Jeopardy, the first goal was for the Earthquakes from Omar Gonzalez (as an own goal from the LA Galaxy).

From an original team from 1996 in San Jose to a new team starting in 2017 – not even this season – in Atlanta. The yet-to-be-named squad in Atlanta is making some big waves, maybe a bit more than some clubs already in MLS, and the team from Terminus isn’t backing down with bringing in some pretty big wigs for a strong office staff members.

Not only does ‘Atlanta’ have its President in Darren Eales, who was once at West Bromwich Albion of the Premier League and also most recently at Tottenham Hotspur as Director of Football Administration, but Carlos Bocanegra, former US men’s national team captain as well as the Chicago Fire, Fulham Football Club, and Rangers, was recently signed on as the club’s Technical Director. With the team still yet to announce a name, a head coach, or even to have a player named to the squad – but with having a few years yet to come until the team players – having a strong foundation will help the team run the gauntlet of coming into MLS in a handful of years.

So from one original team to one of the newest teams in MLS, there are also many talks about which cities will receive the next green light for an MLS team in their cities. Some strong candidates for getting an MLS team, after 2020, are San Antonio, St. Louis, Sacramento, and Minneapolis, (and Miami…) along with some other city candidates that are often thrown around on soccer message boards including San Diego, Detroit, and Charlotte. With most of those hopeful cities having at least a lower league soccer team, it should give the main five more confidence in their bids at gaining an MLS team, similar to one of the newest clubs – the aforementioned Atlanta team.

Whether a club is an MLS original like San Jose – or even a Kansas City, Dallas or Columbus – or if a club is something fresh and new like an Orlando City or New York City FC, or even newer than new like the Atlanta MLS team, the league is looking to be on the upswing of soccer history. That is, at least if the 20th season starts on a high note with a new CBA soon. Strong teams with confident players will make an impact for MLS for years to come, regardless of if a team is new to the league or a foundational team.

Katherine RUPP

Nationality:
USA
College:
Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.
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