Major League Soccer has announced plans to expand to 30 teams, owing to the growth of the sport in North America in recent years.
MLS is one of the fastest growing football leagues in the world, and currently has 24 teams under its umbrella, with a further three, including David Beckham’s Inter Miami, set for debuts in 2020 and 2021.
The league had previously targeted adding a 28th team to its ranks, but as per a league statement, their new ambition is for a 30-team MLS.
“Professional soccer at all levels is thriving in the United States and Canada and we believe there are many markets that could support a successful MLS club,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
“Expansion during the last 15 years has been enormously successful and a key driver behind the league’s continued rise, and we are pleased that some of the top business and community leaders representing great markets in North America are aggressively pursuing MLS expansion clubs.”
While the only clubs confirmed to be joining are Miami, Nashville SC and Austin SC at present, it is widely reported that teams from St Louis and Sacramento will be among the three unnamed sides who will further bolster the league’s ranks.
Here in LA, #MLS announces it plans to expand to 30 teams with a $200 million fee set for teams 28 and 29. Sacramento and St. Louis will make formal presentations to the expansion committee.
— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) April 18, 2019
If approved, of those would likely be expected to join alongside Austin in 2021 to create two conferences of 14 teams.