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Notes From Toronto

Some news coming out of the Major League Soccer all-star game in Toronto

FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper heading to Europe as MLS has received several bids for the forward, with Rosenberg in Norway favorites to get his signature. Also possibly heading to Europe is LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle as the MLS have received a seven figure bid for him. Teams in Europe have become aware of the talent in Major League Soccer and I expect that more MLS players will be involved in high value transfers in the coming years.

It looks like the Brian McBride situation has been finally resolved and we should see McBride in a Fire uniform soon. This will be a great addition to the Fire and could be the defining move in the east.

MLS commissioner Don Garber announced that MLS will look to add two additional teams by 2011 to bring the league to 18. This teams are in addition the new teams already scheduled for Seattle and Philadelphia. The new Seattle team has already sold close to 16,000 season tickets in anticipation of their 2009 debut, and the Philadelphia club coming in 2010 have close to 5,000 season tickets sold.

Garber said that by 2010, 12 of the league’s 16 teams will be in soccer-specific stadiums, including Real Salt Lake’s new home opening next season, New York in late 2009, Philadelphia in 2010 and new stadium projects underway in San Jose and Kansas City. This is a great move by Major League Soccer as the atmosphere at Toronto (a soccer-specific stadium) is so much better than watching the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.

Gerber was full of good news pointing out that TV ratings are up 20% from last season on ESPN, and 10% on Univision. More importantly, attendance is up 11% over last year.