MLS to expand

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MLS to expand

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:23 am

Commissioner Don Garber is expected to announce today the expansion of the MKS from 14 to 24 teams by 2013.

Seattle will come on board next year, of course, along with Phillie the following year.

The next cities mentioned are Vancouver and Montreal.

Four cities are projected in 2011, and two more by 2014.

No mention yet on whether Portland will be in the mix anywhere, But expect announcements at the MLS all star game today.

One of the backers of the Vancouver effort is Steve Nash.

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:40 am

No doubt Portland will make a push and that MLS would view Portland as a strong candidate... the question is the venue.

MLS really likes soccer-only venues. PGE Park could probably work as an interim site, but I doubt MLS would be happy co-existing with the Beavers, PSU football, and high school foorball.

For this to work, I bet they would need to build a new stadium.

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by DaTruRochin on Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:30 am

I don't remember the source, but I recall someone saying or me reading that the owner of PGE Park would consider converting PGE into a soccer specific stadium if the MLS were to come to Portland....

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:42 am

Here's one article on the topic
The Trib - Jaynes

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by FANatic on Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:05 pm

I think the MLS would be great for Portlland. And I think a team would be readily embraced.

I had a gut feeling when Merritt Paulson came to town, his long-term goals did not include presiding over two minor league teams for the next 20 years. I've always felt he had that "special" quality of a person that just gets things moving in a positive direction and sees it through.

Worst-case scenario he improves the Timbers and Beavers dramatically. Best-case scenario we're in the MLS and MLB in ten years or so.

Portland, as we've all noticed with our busy streets, is slowly becoming a big city. Personally I would love the NFL here. But that may happen in the much more distant future. There was talk of the NHL a few years back, but I don't hear anything on that anymore.

I like the news the MLS is expanding in a big way. That implies they're really starting to take off. I am interested what is said at the All-Star game today.

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by FANatic on Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:39 pm

From today's MLS Board of Governors meeting, this press release:

MLS To Expand By Two Teams By 2011

Portland IS among the cities being considered. Long way to go, but it's out there if we want it bad enough!!! Twisted Evil

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:52 am

It makes me excited but I definitely have my fingers crossed.... I think the fact that Vancouver is also in the running poses a serious threat for a few reasons.

First off Toronto is INSANELY successful, and by far has the most rabid fans in the league... Our neighbors to the north in Vancouver pose a serious threat to Portland getting one of those first spots if the MLS hopes to capture a similar fervent fan base (by the way did you hear them during the damn all star game yesterday?? pretty fun to watch/hear/listen to) They have Steve Nash backing, and the MLS will take any big names, even if unconventional they can get into the league; plus who wouldn't like the outside chance of seeing Steve trade in the hightops for some proper footwear and show how he developed his footwork??

Secondly the MLS is trying to develop the derby system like you see all over England and Europe... United has City, Liverpool has Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal, etc. etc. You already see it in the MLS with Chivas and the galaxy who share a city and stadium and the league is looking to develop that kind of fierce rivalry... (hence the reason another NY team is being considered)

Now the positive, who is to say Toronto and Vancouver couldn't provide that same rivalry?? (while i suppose it didn't work in basketball, soccer fans are of a different breed) Portland and Seattle is a natural fit, both teams have loathed each other for years with the Sonics and Blazers, and now with the Sonics gone we need a bit of spice... and sorry Timbers and Sounders fans, but the USL isn't exactly on the same stage.

That said the fear of three teams over saturating the market is definitely a very real one... and for a still relatively young MLS that is only half a decade from near bankruptcy (thanks for saving that one adidas btw) these are VERY big concerns.

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by FANatic on Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:00 am

Rochin - You are very well informed about the league and I know basically zip. I defer to your obvious knowledge of the subject. study

I would really be surprised if we got one of those teams, especially after reading this morning that Commish Garber singled out St. Louis as a highly possible addition. (That is the only city he singled out.)

The AP press release: MLS 2011 Expansion

I assumed they were aggressively expanding because they were having a tremendous growth spurt. But after reading your post, I'm not so sure.

If the MLS does succeed and continues to grow, maybe 2013 to 2015 is a more realistic timeline for Portland. (I do have a lot of confidence in Merritt Paulson's ability to make good things happen! And that includes MLB eventually.) Cool

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by aleppiek on Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:11 am

Garber did mention Portland when discussing expansion during the MLS All-Star telecast, guess that at leas is good news.

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by FANatic on Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:47 am

Thanks, aleppiek! I didn't watch the telecast. Embarassed

I agree, that is positive news. Very Happy

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by DaTruRochin on Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:55 am

Haha not to mention Steve Nash was also on the telecast.... I see St. Louis and Vancouver as the next two spots (and if not the first round, vancouver will definitely be in the second)

However... it does help having the western adidas headquarters in north portland, and the possibility of an MLS team as a showcase franchise is definitely a very real possibility now the average attendance for the timbers last year was a shade over 10K per game... the league average for the MLS in its entirety is roughly 17K per game this year... (with the Galaxy leading with 26 because of the Beckham factor) Honestly I think the draw of the highest level of soccer this country has to offer will be a good enough draw... They are already at NBA like attendance levels, and we have seen how well this city gets behind the blazers...

I'm kind of rambling and not sure if I'm making sense, but I think Portland does have a shot... the league just needs to make sure to avoid over-expansion (cough, cough NBA) to exceed its talent base (the league is finally starting to show some good....

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Re: MLS to expand

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:13 pm

It would be nice to see MLS in Portland, but (1) Paulson will have to remodel PGE Park (not that hard) and (2) find a place to build a stadium for the Beavers (Harder, and he has to do this before he can start on PGE Park).

I agree with what Rochin said about over-expanding--when I saw 24 teams I immediately thought that was a lot. I know the quality of the players is slowly improving, but MLS should keep in mind that soccer fans can watch the EPL and Champions League on TV, and Fox has a soccer channel. That said, I'm pretty sure Portland, with its great soccer history, would support a team very well.

And speaking of Seattle, I have to say the Blazers and Sonics have/had nothing on the Hawks and T-Birds of the WHL Twisted Evil


Last edited by PurplePrideTrumpet on Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : The little devil face didn't show up the first time I tried to post this!)

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