The Columbus Crew are the best team in MLS this season. They may also be headed out of town, relocated to Las Vegas as part of MLS' continued tinkering to get the league to the next level. As outlined in the linked article, Columbus has always been the forgotten one when it comes to the league. Crew fans feel unappreciated by a league that would seemingly rather force a second team into the New York market--even though the first team there barely draws--than help the top team stay in a small market.
It probably isn't fair. OK, it undoubtedly isn't fair, but it 's the way MLS swings. It picked up and left San Jose for Houston just a year removed from that team's second MLS Cup (and they have since won two more and are the favourite to three-peat in seven week's time).
It begs the question. If MLS is open to relocation provided that the right investors and market are in place--and it sure seems like they are--then why shouldn’t those Canucks interested in bringing teams to their respective cities save themselves the $40 million expansion fee and cut to the chase of buying up a struggling team? It appears the casino folks have their eye on the most obvious candidate, but it's unclear who in Kansas City would notice if the Wiz were to leave town. Denver has never really taken for this whole soccer thing. And who knows how long Salt Lake can sustain interest after the novelty of a new stadium (which opens this Thursday) is gone.
Harsh? You bet, but if Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver are serious about joining Toronto then they may want to start putting feelers out to see what American investors are out there looking to get out of the soccer game.
Four Canadian MLS teams by 2011? In the post sub-prime mortgage American world it's not all that absurd of a thought.