Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber has confirmed that there are plans to add four more teams to the North American competition by 2020.
The expansion from 20 to 24 teams would enable MLS to become the largest top-level professional football league in the world. MLS has added 10 clubs since the beginning of the 2005 season, and the recent addition of New York City FC, which will enter the league in 2015, will bring increase the number to 20 teams.
“These expansion clubs have brought new ideas that have contributed to our strategy for growing the league and the addition of new markets has expanded our geographic reach while increasing our fan base,” Garber said. “The strength, passion and vision of the MLS ownership group is the foundation behind the success of our league. We look forward to adding new partners with the same commitment to the sport and love of the game.”
Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando and Sacramento are among the cities to be interested in becoming homes to MLS expansion franchises. The league itself is in “exploratory discussions with multiple markets” and will confirm the timeline for the expansion in the coming months. “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,” Garber added.