In the recent MLS block party thrown by Sacramento Republic to welcome Don Garber to Sacramento, the commissioner mentioned some potential MLS expansion cities. These cities included Detroit, San Diego, San Antonio, Saint Louis and Austin, three of which have or had USL sides in the past two seasons.
With his comments in mind, this week's question is a simple one: Which city would you most like to see potentially join Sacramento in MLS?
Josh Beeman (@josh_beeman)
I love me some expansion discussions. Of the cities listed I would most prefer to see San Antonio potentially join Sacramento in MLS.
To my outsider's view it looks like there is just more momentum there than anywhere else right now. For one, they seem to actually be pursuing expansion, something you can't really say for Detroit, San Diego, or Austin. They also have a good ownership group in place, have drawn some good crowds, and seem to have a good amount of hype going.
I don't know as much about San Antonio's MLS potential as I do about, say, Sacramento's. But I do know that I like what I'm seeing out there.
Jeff Shunta (@JTShunta)
My response might be a little biased as I am originally from Michigan, but I would love to see Detroit in MLS. They have a surprisingly rabid fanbase and plenty of possibilities for a stadium downtown as the infrastructure already exists in the area.
A more realistic choice would be St. Louis, as the departure of the NFL franchise Rams leaves an interesting opportunity for the area and any expansion team would likely be very successful.
Ryan Allen (@ILM_Ryan)
With MLS announcing its intention of going to 28 clubs, seeing who those expansion teams will be is going to be interesting. At this point Sacramento will surely be the first in line in the new round of expansion.
I would choose San Antonio next. A dedicated ownership group in the Spurs and an already built stadium that just needs to be expanded are two big pluses. San Antonio is also close enough to Houston and Dallas to provide Texas with their own regional rivalry similar to the Cascadia Cup.
St. Louis, one of the oldest soccer cities in America, seems like another good option. With the Rams gone, MLS now has a great chance to move into the market.
After those two, I have Cincinnati as the final city in this round of expansion. From attendance alone I feel like it would get the nod. An attendance of over 20,000 fans at a single match is not something to be ignored. Of course, it will be interesting to see if either Cincinnati can sustain such high attendance numbers, but right now Cincinnati is my last pick.
George Shiel (@GeorgeMShiel)
I'd like to see San Antonio, but I can also see St. Louis being a good addition to MLS. San Antonio is very similar to Sacramento in size and culture and I'd like to see them both come in together in 2018. I think it would be wise to push Miami and Minnesota out to 2020 until they can get their stadium issues worked out.
Evan Eyster (@IronPonyChef)
The obvious answer is San Antonio. The club had a decent run with the Scorpions when they still were an NASL team, even though they did start to drop off a bit over the years. If their USL opener was any sort of a sign, they are back and with more fans than ever before. The ownership is there, and they have been mentioned in the MLS expansion picture before in the final stages of the previous expansion round.
I don't mind the discussion with Saint Louis as the team right behind San Antonio, but I think if Garber made last week's speech a year from now we would see Cincinnati in the conversation. Through only two home games they have blown past any and all expectations, much as Sacramento did in 2014. If they can keep up a high attendance in a college town during things like summer vacation and finals season, I see no reason why they could not be third behind Sacramento and San Antonio. With the right ownership group, they might even be second in line.
Now that you've seen what we have to say, which cities do you think are potentially bound for MLS? Sound off in the comments below.