Saturday, January 19, 2008

Philadelphia: 'A step ahead' in MLS race?

The victor in the highly competitive contest to secure a soccer expansion team will be either Philadelphia or St. Louis, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said yesterday, eliminating the immediate prospects of cities such as Miami.

"Both Philadelphia and St. Louis are making progress in their plans, and one of them will be our 16th team," Garber said during a break from the league's SuperDraft, being held at the convention center here.

As for which it would be, Garber first said he did not think either was ahead of the other, then appeared to tilt toward Philadelphia, saying, "If Philadelphia is able to finalize their plan, they have been leading the charge and have a step ahead of St. Louis."

What was clear was that months of preparation, discussion and negotiations have boiled down to a two-city race. In addition to Miami, there was interest from Canada for a second MLS team, and a group was seeking a second New York City franchise.


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