Commissioner Don Garber confirmed expansion plans at half-time of the All-Star game.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has announced that MLS plans to expand to 24 teams by the 2020 season.
Speaking during half-time of the MLS All-Star game broadcast, Garber confirmed that following the addition of New York City FC in 2015, which will bring the total number of franchises to 20, another four will be added within five years.
“These expansion clubs have brought new ideas that have contributed to our strategy for growing the league and the addition of new markets has expanded our geographic reach while increasing our fan base,” Garber said in a league press release.
Garber is referring to the ten clubs added to the league since 2005 which have gone on to thrive: Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake (2005), Houston Dynamo (2006), Toronto FC (2007), San Jose Earthquakes (2008), Seattle Sounders (2009), Philadelphia Union (2010), Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers (2011) and Montreal Impact (2012). With the aforementioned plans for New York City FC, another four teams by 2020 seems like a logical step, and very much in keeping with the constant growth of both fan and financial interest in US soccer.
Garber’s announcement will provide hope to many aspiring major cities who are all thought to be vying for a franchise, including Orlando, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, Sacramento and of course Miami, where former Galaxy icon David Beckham is rumoured to be looking to create a team.
“The strength, passion and vision of the MLS ownership group is the foundation behind the success of our league,” Garber continued. “We look forward to adding new partners with the same commitment to the sport and love of the game.
“As MLS enters a period of accelerated growth, the addition of new teams will allow us to expand our geographic coverage, grow our fan base and help us achieve our vision of being among the best leagues in the world by 2022.”