MLS expansion plans “will benefit everyone”
By iSportconnect | April 28, 2016
The President of one of the newest teams in the MLS; New York City FC believes an expanded league will see benefits for everyone involved.
New York City FC were founded in 2013, playing their first season in 2015, the club have ties to both Manchester City in England’s Premier League and Melbourne City FC of the Austrailian A-League.
MLS expansions plans could see the division become a 24 team league, with Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami and Minnesota set to benefit with new franchises.
Jon Patricof, President of New York City FC told iSportconnect: “As a recent expansion team in MLS, we know firsthand the value which new teams can add to a growing league.”
‘It is growing sustainably both across the US and in international popularity.”
“As new teams in new markets join MLS, we will all benefit from the new investment and fans that expansion brings.”
The sentiments of Patricof are not echoed in Los Angeles where it appears there will be competition from the team funded – partially – by Magic Johnson, Will Ferrell and partly owned by Cardiff City FC’s Vincent Tan.
Galaxy – who have become one of the most recognisable franchises in the MLS with global brands such as David Beckham and Landan Donovan among their alumni – are managed by veteran coach Bruce Arena.
Arena has been involved in the MLS almost as long as the Galaxy franchise has been in existance and is wary of the latest wave of expansion.
He told ESPN earlier this year: “I think we need to slow down a little bit. What we’re not prepared for yet is the size of the league.”
“As the league continues to grow and get bigger, there are issues with travel, there are issues with suitable facilities, things that don’t make it easier.”
“Obviously there are financial rewards for the league when they keep expanding. However, it doesn’t necessarily ensure that the product is getting better. You have to be careful and balance that the right way.”
Whether the league has been careful and has found the balance in the integration of the latest franchises is something only time will tell.