Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced last night during his halftime interview with Alexi Lalas MLS is setting its sights on expansion. Twenty four teams by 2020 to be exact. This is in stark contrast to the steadfast stance of the league being comfortable at twenty teams, and not having a need to expand.
According to Garber, "As MLS enters a period of accelerated growth, the addition of new teams will allow us to expand our geographic coverage, grow our fan base and help us achieve our vision of being among the best leagues in the world by 2022."
This announcement comes amidst a boon for Major League Soccer in general. The Columbus Crew were just sold for an estimated $68 million. Don Garber's wish of the league having no multi-team owners is almost at hand. Major League Soccer's viewership is growing tremendously.
It also comes at a time when the league will begin preparing for bids for the next TV contract. The current contract with NBC Sports concludes in 2014, and the league is surely looking to expand their reach across the entire nation by adding the additional teams.
So with all of this information at the heart of Don Garber's "stunning announcement", does anyone now truly think or feel that Major League Soccer has not found a foothold in the American Mainstream? If none of the above makes you think that, maybe this will:
With 24 teams, Major League soccer would be the largest top-level professional soccer league in the world.
Most importantly, though, is how would this affect the Houston Dynamo?
We already know re-alignment is probable at some point in the near future, but does that mean the club moves back to the Western Conference? Does this affect Don Garber's insistence of zero multi-owner teams?
Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think!