Skip to content

Slicing through the clutter of MLS expansion talk

Nov 27, 2012, 11:13 AM EST

MLS map

This is as good a time as any, I suppose, to remind everyone of the harsh realities when it comes to MLS expansion.

It’s a touchy subject, because so many fans in some wonderful soccer markets – underserved by MLS, it must be said – would love to see a top flight club land in their city. Thus, they tend to be understandably emotional about it.

And I would love to have better news. But the bottom line on expansion talk is this: it’s just talk … at least until some well-heeled investor group with barrels full of currency gets into the real nittygritty with MLS brass, and a genuine stadium plan is put on the table for careful examination.

Until then, we’re all just flapping our little soccer gums in dreamy delight. We may as well be talking about free beer – because it’s just as much a fantasy.

Major League Soccer needs to be in the American southeast. We all know so. I would love to see a little more MLS in the Midwest, in St. Louis or the Twin Cities of Minnesota, for instance. Out West, San Diego would be swell.

(MORE: Further talk on MLS expansion … on Orlando specifically)

But it takes so very much more than coloring in the map.

So when fans ask about Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, San Antonio, Phoenix and on and on … that’s wonderful. And I love that people are asking. But it takes more. Which is the precise point league commissioner Don Garber made yesterday in his annual pre-MLS Cup address. On this one, he was speaking specifically about Atlanta.

It certainly would hinge on the new stadium because otherwise there wouldn’t be a place to play. Should the public sector and private sector be able to come together and get a new facility for the Falcons, it would allow us to continue our discussions on how MLS can fit into their mutual plans.”

Garber always has to be careful here, because he doesn’t want to discourage interest in Atlanta or anywhere else.  He can’t come across looking like a fiscal hardass. But he has to balance the public discourse with spoonfuls of real-world substance, too.

By the way, I am no fan of NFL teams kicking around MLS interest when it comes to new facilities. It’s too easy to employ MLS as a tool for political leverage, and then to reduce MLS to a vehicle for filling more stadium dates.

It has worked beautifully in Seattle, but that always seems more exception than rule.

(FYI: That map you see above represents absolutely nothing official … just think of it as me doodling on the computer while thinking of MLS expansion)

Latest Posts
  1. Freddy Adu to sign with Swedish side

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:32 PM EST

    Credit: Blackpool Gazette Credit: Blackpool Gazette

    Freddy Adu will have a shot to revive his career in Sweden.

  2. Bale, Ronaldo declared fully fit after ‘precautionary’ training week

    Feb 27, 2015, 6:48 PM EST

    FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ESPANYOL FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ESPANYOL

    Bale and Ronaldo are set to perform in Sunday’s match vs. Villarreal after not taking part in full training sessions this week.

  3. Bayern Munich down FC Köln, cruise to 11-point Bundesliga lead

    Feb 27, 2015, 5:40 PM EST

    FC Bayern Muenchen v SC Freiburg - Bundesliga Getty Images

    Bayern Munich unsurprisingly improves on their position in league competition.

  4. Americans Abroad preview: Cameron back, Bedoya questionable

    Feb 27, 2015, 4:50 PM EST

    Guzan Getty Images

    Quick look at Americans utilizing their talents overseas.

  5. Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Everton, Man United, Man City, Stoke

    Feb 27, 2015, 4:20 PM EST

    464041878 Getty Images

    Citizens, Red Devils and Toffees will all bag big wins this weekend, according to PST’s Editor and Lead Writer.

  6. Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Crystal Palace

    Feb 27, 2015, 3:50 PM EST

    FBL-ENG-FACUP-CRYSTAL PALACE-LIVERPOOL Getty Images

    Preview of West Ham-Crystal Palace match airing live on NBCSN this Saturday morning.

  7. Watching a UEFA Champions League game with US star Geoff Cameron

    Feb 27, 2015, 3:16 PM EST

    Cameron admires, and has beaten, Arsenal. Cameron admires, and has beaten, Arsenal.

    In our latest with Stoke City and U.S. national team star Geoff Cameron, we sit down in his house and watch Arsenal’s clash with AS Monaco.

  8. WATCH: PST Extra previews Liverpool vs. Manchester City

    Feb 27, 2015, 2:55 PM EST

    PST Extra - Feb. 27

    The PST Extra crew dissect the key areas as Liverpool host Man City on Sunday.

  9. Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Sunderland

    Feb 27, 2015, 2:25 PM EST

    Swansea City v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    Watch United vs. Sunderland live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday.

  10. WATCH: Premier League TV schedule – Week 27

    Feb 27, 2015, 12:44 PM EST

    PremierLeagueNBC

    Where and how to watch all the Premier League games during Week 27.

  11. Sepp Blatter wants 2022 World Cup final to be played on December 18

    Feb 27, 2015, 12:01 PM EST

    Blatter: “The World Cup will not go on until the 23rd, definitely not.”

  12. Europa League last 16 draw: Everton head to Ukraine; Spanish, Italian clubs clash

    Feb 27, 2015, 10:00 AM EST

    The Toffees get a tricky test in Kiev, while Italy dominates the last 16 with five clubs.

  13. Jack Wilshere undergoes latest surgery, as Arsenal return is delayed

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:20 AM EST

    Wilshere AP

    Gunners midfielder goes under the knife once again.

  14. Report: Chelsea join Manchester United in chase for Nathaniel Clyne

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:37 AM EST

    Queens Park Rangers v Southampton - Premier League Getty Images

    Will Clyne stay at Saints or move to one of the big boys?

  15. Toronto FC unveil new primary jersey for 2015 MLS season

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:37 PM EST

    Photo credit: MLSsoccer.com Photo credit: MLSsoccer.com

    It’s red — lots of red — and “All For One.” Do you dig it?

  16. Ahead of Capital One Cup final, Thibaut Courtois admits he’s never been in a PK shootout

    Feb 26, 2015, 11:10 PM EST

    Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea FC Getty Images

    Petr Cech has been in plenty of PK shootouts for Chelsea, but Courtois has never done it.

  17. CONCACAF Champions League: D.C. United battered by Alajualense, 5-2

    Feb 26, 2015, 10:32 PM EST

    Andrew Dykstra, D.C. United Andrew Dykstra, D.C. United

    *sigh* Another MLS team gets hammered in CCL, and we’re (probably) down to one last hope.