Introducing and Ranking the Four Expansion Clubs in MLS

Within the past year, four new clubs have been added to MLS and will begin playing either next year or the 2021 season. Below is a breakdown of the “what you need to know” about each side, and how we believe they will fare in the league. 


1. Inter Miami CF

Majority Owner: Marcelo Claure (Notable Owner: David Beckham)

Set to play: 2020

Stadium plans: Miami Freedom Park / 25,000 / Soccer Specific / Open in 2022

Key Rostered Players: Edinson Cavani (unofficial), Matias Pellegrini (official), Julian Carranza (official), Christian Makoun (official)

Miami is a sports city. With teams all across the other four major leagues in America, it’s no question that this region was practically begging for an MLS club. As you may know, Miami is rich with culture and is seen as a hub for diversity while flexing a large population of Latin Americans. Minority owner David Beckham has already shown his connections around the football world by bringing in renowned striker Edinson Cavani from super club PSG. With four South Americans already added to the roster, this club looks keen to follow the footsteps of Atlanta United and can only hope to emulate their recent success. A stud owner; a stud signing; a stadium to call home in the works, and a fierce ownership group, there’s little doubt that this club will be flying out of the gate come next March.

(We understand there are more players, but we are referencing the official team’s website)


2. Nashville SC

Majority Owner: John Ingram

Set to play: 2020

Stadium plans: Nashville Fairgrounds / 30,000 / Soccer Specific / Open in 2022

Key rostered players: David Accam (official), Anibal Godoy (official), Hany Mukhtar (official)

With a 30,000 stadium in the works, the largest soccer specific stadium in North America is set to be completed by 2022, Nashville SC ownership expect the house to be packed every match day. Although Nashville isn’t regarded as a “sports city” they have proven via their USL team that soccer is currently booming. It was only a matter of time until Garber and co. realized that MLS in Nashville was the right decision. German midfielder, Hany Mukhtar, was named the clubs first designated player and should be a very central starting block for the team to work around. (Transfer fee at 3 million although he is said to be valued much higher). Blue and Yellow will run through the streets in 2020 and it’s becoming a theme that passionate fan bases can be found in the South. 


3. St. Louis (Club name yet to be determined)

Majority owner: Taylor family, Jim Kavanaugh

Set to play: 2021

Stadium plans: St. Louis Stadium / 22,500 / Soccer Specific / Open in 2022

Key rostered players: No one

St. Louis is so new that they were only announced as MLS’ 28th club on August 20th. Without a name, a crest, and a kit, the club is completely rebranding itself from current USL side St. Louis FC. Although there is plenty of speculation around the specifics, make no doubt that an MLS team in St. Louis is long overdue. As Taylor Twellman referenced, St. Louis is often regarded as the “birthplace of soccer,” responsible for featuring a player in every U.S world cup appearance. Soccer belongs in St. Louis, and now they officially have a place in MLS. It’s also interesting to note that ownership for St. Louis is a majority of females. While that doesn’t necessarily translate to performance on the field (which let’s be real, we care about) it certainly promotes diversity; a pillar of American soccer.


4. Austin FC

Majority Owned: Anthony Precourt

Set to play: 2021

Stadium plans: McKalla Place / 20,500 / Soccer Specific / Construction beginning in September 2019

Key rostered players: No one

As the eleventh largest city in America, Austin Texas was formerly the largest city in the U.S. without a professional sports team. Thats all about to change in 2021 as Austin was awarded an MLS club. Without any rival sports teams, I have no doubt that Austin will attract fans and supporters from all over the city. While Austin should find success with their club, it should be noted that current MLS and Columbus fans will have a bad taste in their mouths once the squad features in matches. In 2018 the #savethecrew initiative saved soccer in Columbus as former owner Anthony Precourt was attempting to move the entire franchise. While it’s a tough look for Precourt with the “bad guy” name tag all over him already, neutrals will be looking forward to a rivalry match once Austin is forced to face their past: the Columbus Crew.

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