In yet another horribly guarded secret, it was officially announced today that Montreal has been granted a 2012 expansion team in MLS. Montreal will become the 19th franchise in MLS.
This move now has one group of fans wondering how this affects 2nd division soccer in the US & Canada (one rumor is that Ottawa will join the NASL in 2012 to try and replace Montreal) while others are wondering who will be franchise #20 in MLS.
The losses of Portland, Vancouver, and Montreal over the next two years will be tough for the NASL/USL/USSF D2 to deal with. How well the current teams and expansion franchises like Edmonton perform will be critical to the long term health of the sub-MLS levels of pro soccer in North America. I also wonder if US Soccer will continue to run things beyind 2010.
On the MLS side, I would expect David Beckham to hold a lot of cards when it comes to the 20th MLS franchise given the clause in his contract that allows him to purchase an expansion club. Given that Beckham loves big cities, I wonder if the NY Mets ownership and Brand Beckham will join forces to put a team near Citi Field in Queens?
We shall see. But, we'll always hate Montreal!
News & Notes:
- Devo has an update on Isaac Kissi and a take on the double guessing of the announced attendance at the Rhinos home opener.
- The 24th Minute has a tip of the hat to Pat Onstad.
- Ryan Pore was named the USSF D2 Player of the Month fro April. It was a no-brainer for me and Pore was #1 not only on my ballot, but Devo's as well.
- Check out this interesting Q&A with Steve Ralston of AC St Louis.
- The structure of the 2010 US Open Cup tournament has been announced.
- The first episode of MLS Soccer.com's Second 2 None video series looks at Josh Lambo of FC Tampa Bay.
- Puerto Rico is chasing another CCL spot.
- Peter Wilt looks into his crystal ball to predict the American soccer landscpae ten years from now.
- ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com are taking a look at Guiseppe Rossi.
- Manchester United is coming stateside for a series of matches this summer.
- More players serving suspensions should do this.
- Vancouver and Montreal played to a 1-1 draw earlier in the week.
- US Soccer Daily has video of Davies & Dempsey.
- I love Bob Bradley's take on Twitter.
- USL Soccer.com's Free Kicks blog looks at the greatest rule in soccer.
- Scheduled to appear on tomorrow's edition of Kick This! is St Louis MF Mike Ambersley, Rhinos F Anthony Hamilton, and Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.