With the Kansas City Wizards breaking ground on their own soccer specific stadium to call home, it would appear that the number of MLS clubs that could be looking to relocate to a new home is dwindling.
Why should soccer fans in Rochester care about that? Well, when Sunil Gulati and Ivan Gazidis were in Rochester a few years ago for a New England-Rochester US Open Cup match at then PAETEC Park, the idea that Rochester might be a good landing spot for a relocated MLS franchise and not a great expansion candidate was put forth.
Kansas City has long been a team that has struggled at the gate and haven't had a stadium to call their own. But with that era coming to an end, what other teams could potentially move to Rochester?
Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, LA, Salt Lake, and Toronto are all playing in stadiums of their own.
Chivas USA shares The Home Depot Center with LA, so they could potentially be in play. But, I wouldn't count on it.
DC United has been shopping for a new stadium to replace RFK and could end up as far away from DC as Baltimore. DC United could be on the move, but I doubt they would land in Rochester.
Houston is working on getting their stadium deal done and their fans recently had a rally. I would be very surprised if the Dynamo move out of Houston.
New England currently plays at Gillett Stadium which is an oversized NFL stadium that is controlled by their owners. There has been talk that they are looking at building a soccer stadium somewhere in the greater Boston metro area for the Revs. This is another team that I can't see moving.
The NY Red Bulls will be opening up Red Bull Arena in 2010, so cross them off the list.
Philadelphia's stadium is close to completion as well, so they are out.
San Jose has had a lot of talk about a potential new soccer stadium to house the Earthquakes. But, it doesn't seem like there is a lot going on to getting things done right now. But, could MLS yank two teams out of San Jose? It would appear that San Jose would be the most likely candidate for relocation right now.
Seattle plays their games as Qwest Field, another oversized NFL stadium that is controlled by the team's owners. But given that the Sounders shattered the MLS average attendance record by drawing just under 31,000 fans per game, you know that they aren't moving out of town anytime soon.
Now if Rob Clark can get David Beckham to use his reported right to purchase an MLS expansion team to bring an MLS club to Rochester...........
News & Notes:
- I wonder if Avery John is on the Rhinos radar now that he is available?
- This miss makes some of my indoor misses look good....
- Get ready for the return of the FrankenCooper.
- Schelotto back to Columbus is official.
- MLS Rumors take a look at the Timbers Army. The Portland-Seattle-Vancouver rivalry in MLS is going to be fun to watch.
- Grant Wahl has an excellent piece on the dangerous mix of soccer and politics in Africa up at SI.com.
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.