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MLS Expansion report: San Antonio scored meeting with Garber, Miami planning an early next week push

Jan 29, 2014, 7:41 AM EDT

MLS

Could MLS see a third team in Texas as part of its goal to have 24 teams by the end of the decade? San Antonio’s mayor and NASL franchise hope that’s the case as they met with MLS commissioner Don Garber on Tuesday.

Mayor Julian Castro and San Antonio Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman were set to meet with Garber ahead of Wednesday’s match between Mexico and South Korea, after Garber had to cancel a New York meeting with Castro in late 2013.

“(Garber) is certainly aware of growing popularity of the sport in San Antonio, and he’s excited to learn more during the visit,” MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche said. “Clearly the Scorpions have been a tremendous success at the lower divisions, as illustrated by their strong support. It’s something all of us in the American soccer community have noticed.”

Surely the club would love to be in the news for something much bigger than trading a player for team travel accommodations.

The report from the San Antonio Express News notes that the league is braced for twin interest from the NASL’s Minnesota United in addition to one from the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, as well as Atlanta and, of course, David Beckham in Miami.

The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star has been working to drum up support for a soccer specific stadium in South Florida, enthusiastically aided by Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez and the pair will meet next Tuesday or Wednesday to go over their ideas.

And Garber may be there, too, though an MLS spokesman would not confirm it. Beckham’s been able to rally star power to his cause, with reports that LeBron James, Jay-Z and Beyonce are interested in helping MLS return to South Beach.

The location goal is still PortMiami, but MLS’ official site does say that the Beckham/Miami group has a list of about 25 sites they’d consider in South Florida.

Might Beckham share some info when he joins Jimmy Fallon on Friday’s show?

  1. talgrath - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    This would be a dumb idea, two teams in Texas are more than enough, thank you. The middle of the country needs to be the next place for a franchise after the (seemingly inevitable) Miami franchise and the likely Atlanta franchise.

    • mlsconvert88888 - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      I agree that trying to spread the clubs out geographically is preferred, but it may be more about trying to bring in clubs that have a higher probability to be successful, and if San Antonio truly does have the strong support that is alluded to in that quote, I would take that over a club in the middle of the country with a relatively apathetic fan base.

      • lyleoross - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        Add to this, Houston and SA are 200 miles apart. Portland and Seattle are 175. Remember just how big Texas is and what it’s population is.

        I don’t think you will find a lot of apathy mid-country. Take a look at KC. Their fans are awesome. It’s more a matter of finances, locations, and immediate population. You would have trouble in many of the smaller mid-country locations. That’s why NFL, NBA, and MLB teams are sparse there.

    • tylerbetts - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      You do realize how big Texas is, right? In terms of population, geographical area, TV sets, and money.

      Texas can no doubt support three teams. California is doing it (and let’s not let this derail into a Chivas argument) right now.

      The real problem is on that artificial cap of 24 teams. I questioned the value of it when it was announced. What happens if we have a PERFECT situation for expansion, but it would push the league to 25? What happens if we have an imperfect situation but the league feels the need to take it (*cough* Miami *cough) and that squeezes out someone who would be great in MLS? Plus, I’m pretty sure we’re not stopping at 24. I don’t know where we’re stopping. I’ve seen good models drawn up for 30 and for 40.

      • maverickstar - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        I agree the 24 team cap is and should be just artificial. I think the league could go to 26 or 28 or more since there is no promotion/relegation structure (another discussion not for here). It seems like they are going about it the right way and not just handing out team(except for Miami).

        Spreading the teams out geographically should probably take a backseat to choosing places that have a strong ownership group and fans that will attend games. Fans from 100-200 miles have minimal impact, its the ones from the immediate area that fill stadiums that tend to matter more.

        I’m actually not as worried about MLS as I am the NASL and USL Pro. There is just so much uncertainty there. Teams coming and going, affiliations, and many having their sights on MLS.

    • godsholytrousers - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      San Antonio and Austin would both be good for MLS. El Paso would provide a full house too. The artificial cap on the league will dissolve because the franchise fees will keep the coffers full.

  2. chadmoon1 - Jan 29, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Fan apathy is exactly why Miami and Atlanta should not now, nor ever, have MLS teams. The only way that I would ever consider Atlanta would be if the SilverBacks (ugh, terrible name) grow organically into a viable option.

    San Antonio should be in the league within 5 years. If MLS must go back to Florida, let the Rowdies grow into that MLS spot. If Becks is so certain about Florida, he may do well to take it there.

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