Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber has announced that is all about the money. Well actually, he announced the leagues plans for the next round of expansion, with the process, timeline, but with an expected $150 million expansion fee, it is clear that expansion is being driven by dollar signs.
There are currently 22 teams in MLS, including Minnesota United and Atlanta United, which will start play next season. Los Angeles FC will start play in 2018, while expansion plans in Miami are “making progress” according to MLS, which would bring the total to 24 teams.
Consider that since 2013, MLS has received $110m from Los Angeles FC, $100m from NYC FC, Minnesota United and Atlanta United and $70m from Orlando City. That is $480 million without counting Beckham’s Miami fee. Where did that money go?
But half a billion dollars is not enough for MLS as the league has announced that it will select two more teams during the second or third quarter of 2017.
The teams selected will be expected to begin play in 2020, and the expansion fee for those teams is $150 million. So add another $300m into the league’s coffers.
No worries whether there are enough talented American players to support 28 MLS sides. With Minnesota, Atlanta, Miami, LA FC + two more that it six more additional teams. Assuming even 12 players per squad are US born, that is another 72 A
American born players. Where are they going to come from?
Garber has spoken about making MLS one of the top five leagues in the world. That cannot happen if the league keeps diluting the talent. Instead of aspiring to be the next Serie A or La Liga, MLs is fast become the Scottish Premier League. And thats a league only the most ardent soccer fan will ever tune in and watch!