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Miami? No Dice

There will not be an MLS team in Miami anytime soon.

FC Barcelona and its partners determined the time isn't right to invest in the league.

Read the MLS-issued info here.

What do you think? Wise move?

Given the economic climate and the league's slow-growth policy, is expansion necessary at all?

By Steve Goff  |  March 3, 2009; 4:37 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

Yes. And this is the right way to go about it. No need to reject them in the selection process - just agree that it wasn't going to work.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 3, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"No shirt, no shoes...no dice!"

Posted by: Reignking | March 3, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

It was never going to work in Miami anyway.

Posted by: Eric_in_Baltimore | March 3, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Florida = football. Barca did the right thing.

I think the lead needs to rest a bit and focus on strengthening what it has in place. Though Montreal, Vancouver and St. Louis will eventually make sense.

Oh, and Dover, DE.

Posted by: joedoc1 | March 3, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Lead? That's "league."

Shouldn't load my gun while typing...

Posted by: joedoc1 | March 3, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

90 and an assist for EJ today.

Posted by: Reignking | March 3, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Expansion is not necessary at all in the near future. Sixteen teams is plenty for MLS at this point in the league's development. The league should focus even more attention on player development and stadium construction. Expansion can wait a few additional years.

Posted by: SSMD1 | March 3, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Whimps!
lol

why am I getting a ticketmaster announcement about a March 6 away game for DC agsinst Columbus?

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 3, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I think it doesn't hurt that much, except for soccer fanatics in Miami who may or may not remember the Fusion.

Overally, I think that the league needs to upgrade salaries, why not double the cap, because we need to bring in/keep exceptional players, and the Draft is wearing thin. Expansion does bring in excited cities, but the rest of us suffer.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 3, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

The end of the world is near:

http://www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk/page/MatchReport/0,,10335~44786,00.html

"Following the dismissal, Cardiff dominated the last twenty-five minutes with man of the match Eddie Johnson impressing in attack."

Posted by: Reignking | March 3, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Expansion is not necessary at all in the near future. Sixteen teams is plenty for MLS at this point in the league's development."
---------
Agreed, particularly with a new CBA to be negotiated soon.

Posted by: Juan-John | March 3, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

why am I getting a ticketmaster announcement about a March 6 away game for DC agsinst Columbus?

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 3, 2009 4:55 PM

Have you ever bought tickets for a match at Crew Stadium?

Posted by: Kev29 | March 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I was against Miami from the start, so this is good news to me. Barcelona's pre-expansion posturing was essentially the same as Jorge Vergara with Chivas USA, a team that was a disaster on the field in its first year, barely draws 10K despite one of the nicest venues in the league, and with virtually no connection to the Mexican identity they had set out to create (if I'm not mistaken, the only player Chivas has under contract with any connection to Mexico is Jonathan Bornstein, who is Mexican-American).

Plus, Miami has already had and lost a team. There are plenty of mitigating circumstances with that, but other MLS cities in worse situations managed to survive (Kansas City, for example).

I haven't been thrilled with any of the expansion options, with Portland the only one I felt any sort of actual positivity towards. Montreal is unplayable for too much of the year, St. Louis has had years to get the money together but hasn't, and Ottawa is about as appealing as a kick in the shin.

I'd much rather see MLS work on expanding the player pool (so future expansion teams don't thin out league-wide talent) and bringing the cap up. Instead of having 2 more teams requiring $2.3 million in salary funds, why not take a sizable chunk of that $4.6 million and spread it to the 16 teams? Even if you spread just 1 expansion team's salary cap amongst the 16 teams, that adds over $140K. You think guys like Miller, Barklage, and whoever our #3 keeper is want to see Barca Miami, or a 100-200% raise?

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 3, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree with those who feel there should be no immediate expansion of the league (following the addition of the Philadelphia franchise). The league and conferences are big enough for worthwhile competition. MLS should try to emphasize quality over quantity,

Posted by: oz4dcu | March 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

They just realized without Beckham in the league they wouldn't make any money so it wasn't worth the risk.....

There are enough teams, we just need to go to a single table with a playoff.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"MLS should try to emphasize quality over quantity,"

That's easy to say when you have a team within 10 hours of you.

Posted by: Reignking | March 3, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. South Florida was always a bad idea, Barcelona or no Barcelona.

Once we get to 16 next year that is plenty. A balanced 30 match schedule works very well.

Given the on-coming worldwide depression now is the time to batten down the hatches.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 3, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"No shirt, no shoes...no dice!!"
_______________________________

Reignking=Jeff Spicoli

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 3, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

There is an article on AOL UK where Milan denies they are close to any solution for Beckham. What gives?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | March 3, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I would have liked to see it work out just because I think the model of having a partnership with a world class club can if done correctly add some value. I really don't consider the Chivas relationship to be have the same value. The Mexican league is not even close to Spanish league in talent or recognition.

I do think Miami was a bad choice, but a MLS team in the Southeast needs to happen sometime and Miami or Atlanta are the most likely. Both markets that are abandoning USL, which is a great product for small markets but in major cities, minor league teams are often struggle.

I have to agree with the comment earlier that the CBA which expires after this season could have a huge impact on future franchises, that could either work for a group considering getting in now or against them. I do expect that the franchise fee may go up after the CBA, and I also expect a jump in the Salary Cap (3.5 million in 2010, 4.0 million in 2011, and 4.5 million in 2012- would be my guess).

If a solid ownership group has a stadium plan in place with financing I would not wait but I would get in now. The question is how many of the cities and ownership groups still have the capability to put together a team with a stadium.

Portland appears to be ready, but St. Louis and Ottawa don't appear to have a real stadium plan in place.

I can honestly see Portland and Montreal coming into the league.

Posted by: f4denz | March 3, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Did Pat Carroll catch on with another team?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | March 3, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

With $180 B and no stated change in corporate practices, you'd think that AIG could sponsor an MLS team.

AOL UK doesn't make sense when you don't use the initials.

EJ? MOM? Congrats to the young man. I hope this is the start of a turnaround for him.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 3, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

MLS should:

1) Get a team in the Southeast.

2) Add Montreal.

3) Avoid Ottawa.

Posted by: Pedalada | March 3, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: VirginiaFan

There is an article on AOL UK where Milan denies they are close to any solution for Beckham. What gives?
----------------------
That either Grahame Jones is lying or was getting played. Either one is believable...

Posted by: EricB1 | March 3, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I think it is going to be:
1. Portland
2. Montreal

The Pacific northwest looks to be soocer freindly. The group in prtland is working on upgrading the stadium, and working on a new stadium for the baseball team to move to. There are some big money roadblocks, but the will is strong.

Anyone that saw the Montreal game last week knows that they are now very much in the mix for a team, which before last week, not so much. There big issue is the stadium. Saputo stadium, their main ground, is just to small. While olympic stadium is far too big, despite the 55,000 plus crowd they got last week. There is some concern that the ownership is reluctant to commit to expanding Saputo is the get the franchise. The weather is a concern but only for the first and last month of the season. In those cases using olympic stadium will work. big crowds for the begining of the new season, and hopefully big crowds durring a playoff push at the end.

Posted by: jjfooty | March 3, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

This was the only logical choice for FC Barcelona. That south Florida market is weak and a team would not be properly supported. What about Vancouver for MLS expansion? They have a sucessful USL club and a very diverse dynamic and young city with lots of immigrants. Maybe with the Canadian dollar down again it would be more difficult for an ownership group.

Posted by: sbg1 | March 3, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

why am I getting a ticketmaster announcement about a March 6 away game for DC agsinst Columbus?

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 3, 2009 4:55 PM

Have you ever bought tickets for a match at Crew Stadium?

Posted by: Kev29 | March 3, 2009 5:01 PM
------------------------------------------

No but do they even play March 6? No.

why would I want to waste money to see crew stadium if I have the Legendary RFK in my back yard to admire!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 3, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

As long as lil Joey Saputo refuses to pony up the $40mill USD expansion fee, Montreal will remain in USL.

Guess what, that 55k Montreal had for the CCL match against Santos Laguna was highly inflated by cheap tickets (less than $10) and thousands of government subsidized tickets (which is business as usual for "Le Impact").

A team in Montreal is not necessary for MLS. Period.

Maybe as the 19th or 20th team in 2025, when someone other than Saputo has the coin to make a bid.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 3, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Given the economic climate and the league's slow-growth policy, is expansion necessary at all?

----

Nope. They're adding teams too fast at the moment. Let's cap it at 16, play 30 home and home series a year and see how it works out.

Diluting talent by adding teams is not the right strategy (see NHL).

Posted by: churtmah | March 3, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I feel as if I I must've stepped into some alternate reality. All the comments above make no sense to me. Some comments seem predicated on the assumption that the expansion plan is off -- or that it might be reconsidered, if only someone would listen to us. I don't see anything like that in the announcement. Barca is out. Expansion is still on.

I might agree with Chest Rockwell about fearing further dilution of talent, but the comment aboutspreading salary cap $$ around instead seems completely backwards to me. If you want to seem MLS salaries go up, then you should be for expansion. Where do you think the $$ for raising slries will come from? The existing franchises have bought their stakes in MLS. They want to be repaid. It's basically a pyramid scheme, after all. New franchises come in, with deeper pockets, and the MLS sprinkles $$ on DPs and probably pays out dividends to the existing teams which can go to paying higher salaries. Also, the more markets MLS is in, the more they csn get for their TV rights.

As for which citites are in the running - ya'll may like Montreal, or not, but it doesn't matter. They're no longer in the running, because of the exchange rate foul-up.

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I feel as if I I must've stepped into some alternate reality. All the comments above make no sense to me.
Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2009 12:03 AM

What the hell happened? I've lost my touch! Haven't even posted in this thread yet and it's already met it's condemnation?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 4, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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