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MLS to Add Two Teams for 2018 Season

Major League Soccer is set to add two more teams for the 2018 season. The league has announced that Cincinnati and Nashville will join the fold, bringing the total number of teams in MLS to 24.

This move is part of MLS’s ongoing efforts to expand its footprint across North America. The additions of Cincinnati and Nashville come on the heels of Sacramento’s successful bid to join MLS last year.

“We are pleased to welcome Cincinnati and Nashville as our newest Major League Soccer clubs,” said Commissioner Don Garber. “These cities are fantastic additions to our league, and we know that the passionate fans in both markets will make for exciting matches.”

Cincinnati and Nashville emerged from a crowded field of applicants that also included Charlotte, Detroit, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

Both cities have a rich soccer history. Cincinnati was home to the first American professional soccer team (the Kings), while Nashville boasts one of the largest supporter groups in MLS (the Assembly).

The new teams will begin play in 2019 at either a temporary or permanent stadium. Details about the stadiums and other important information such as team names and colors will be released at a later date.

MLS Awards Two New Expansion Teams

On December 6, 2017, Major League Soccer announced the awarding of two new expansion teams – one in Nashville, and one in Cincinnati. These will be the 24th and 25th teams in the MLS, and they are scheduled to begin playing in 2020. The successful applications from both cities beat out several others, including Charlotte, Detroit, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, and San Antonio.

Nashville was awarded the first of the two new franchises. The city has a rich soccer heritage, with Nashville SC currently playing in the United Soccer League (USL). The team has been incredibly successful thus far – they clinched the playoff spot in their inaugural season and were crowned champions of the USL Cup in November.

Cincinnati was awarded the second new franchise. Like Nashville, Cincinnati has a passionate soccer fanbase, with FC Cincinnati having smashed multiple attendance records in their three seasons of play in the United Soccer League. The club also made it to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this year.

The addition of these two teams takes MLS one step closer to its goal of having 30 teams. There is still one more expansion spot remaining, which is expected to be filled by Miami at some point next year.

Minnesota United to Join MLS in 2017

Minnesota United FC announced on March 29 that it will join Major League Soccer (MLS) as an expansion team in 2017. This means that the Twin Cities will have two MLS teams, as the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL also have a soccer team, Minnesota United FC.

Minnesota United FC is owned by Dr. Bill McGuire, who is also the owner of the Minnesota Twins baseball team. The team has been playing in the second-division North American Soccer League (NASL) for six seasons and has consistently been one of its most successful clubs, winning four league championships.

The announcement of Minnesota United’s move to MLS came as a bit of a surprise because it was not clear whether or not they had met MLS’s rigorous stadium requirements. However, MLS commissioner Don Garber said that he was impressed with the club’s plans for a new stadium and that he was confident they would be able to meet the league’s standards.

The new stadium will be located in St. Paul near the state Capitol complex and is expected to cost around $200 million to build. It will have a capacity of around 20,000 spectators and is scheduled to open in early 2019.

Minnesota United’s move to MLS is part of a broader trend of USL and NASL teams making the jump to America’s top soccer league. Since 2010, 11 USL teams and four NASL teams have joined MLS; with Minnesota United FC becoming the 12th USL team and fifth NASL team to make the jump.

Atlanta United to Join MLS in 2017

Atlanta United FC, the city’s first MLS franchise, announced that the club will join Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2017. The announcement was made by Arthur Blank, owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS expansion team United FC.

“I am incredibly proud and excited to bring a Major League Soccer team to Atlanta,” said Blank. “This is a major milestone in the development of our city and we are privileged to be able to participate in the growth of soccer in America. Atlanta is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world and it is a natural fit for MLS.”

Atlanta will become the league’s 22nd team when they take to the pitch in 2017. The club will compete in the Eastern Conference alongside Columbus Crew SC, D.C. United, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC and Chicago Fire; as well as Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City from the Western Conference.

The addition of Atlanta United FC brings the total number of professional soccer clubs in North America to 24 with teams across Canada and the United States. The 2016 season will see 20 teams competing in MLS with Los Angeles FC joining as an expansion side for the 2017 season.

Miami Beckhams Finally Win Approval for MLS Franchise

After years of trying to get a Miami soccer franchise approved, David and Victoria Beckham’s group finally won approval from MLS in January of 2018. The group has been working on the project since 2014 and has faced several roadblocks along the way.

MLS commissioner, Don Garber, praised the group for their perseverance in a statement released after the approval was granted.

“This ownership is committed to building a first-class organization and a world-class stadium that will serve as a destination for international and domestic tourists, function as a hub for professional soccer in North America and be an important part of the South Florida community,” he said.

The Miami Beckhams Group includes British entrepreneur Simon Fuller, Bolivian telecommunications executive Marcelo Claure and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly.

The franchise will join MLS in 2020, when the league expands to 26 teams. A new stadium is also in the works for the team.

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