More MLS Expansion?

With the new season only a month old and the two new MLS teams having only earned won win and only 5 points between them from 8 games, it’s a little surprising that MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, is talking expansion already. However, with Chicago Fire’s new stadium only a year from completion and over 54,000 showing up Wednesday night to see Mexico and Poland square off in a friendly at Solder Field thinks more additions are on the way.

This was in yesterday’s Chicago Sun Times

The Fire will have its own stadium in Bridgeview next season, but with a seating capacity of about 20,000, it won’t be big enough to host a game the magnitude of Wednesday’s tussle.

”But Bridgeview will have a gritty, ethnic feel to it,” Garber said. ”It’ll be the type of stadium where we should be.”

While the Mexico national team likely won’t play at Bridgeview, some Mexican clubs will. Club America may be the next Mexican club to put a team in MLS, and Garber believes it also could play in Bridgeview as a joint tenant with the Fire. In Los Angeles, two MLS teams, the Galaxy and Chivas USA, play in the same stadium.

”At some point, Club America will wind up in MLS, and Chicago would be the perfect place for them to have a team,” Garber said.

What the article doesn’t say is when Garber made those comments. After all, Chivas have yet to set any attendance records at the HDC. But if the Goats are doing it, I guess the Eagles (Club America’s nickname) feel the need to join the party as well.

However, my thinking had been that if Club America were to start a MLS franchise, it would have been in San Antonio which currently is offering a sweet deal on the Alamodome. But according to today’s San Antonio Express News, it’s now looking like the Kansas City Wizards will be heading to South Texas and become the first franchise in league history to relocate.

Lemar Hunt has been looking to sell the Wizards for about a year now and if no local buying in Kansas City are interested, I guess a buyer in San Antonio is better than nothing. It isn’t as if the team has really attracted much attention in the Midwest and moving to a city without many other professional teams may not be a bad thing (see Real Salt Lake). At least it’s still a long way from the type of “musical cities” we saw NASL teams play before the league folded.

Then, the folks in Kansas City aren’t giving up without a fight. I guess we’ll get to follow this story all season.


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