Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Your MLS expansion moment for Dec. 10, 2008

“We need to make a decision by March… We want one of the teams to be in Portland.”
--Don Garber

That quote is everywhere today -- well at least everywhere that cares about MLS expansion, which is not many places really. But, the question on all us MLS geek's minds today is whether Garber was telling Portland to start selling the season tickets, making a plea to Portland city council to approve the $85-million stadium plan, or just taking out of his ass.

In their own wonderful way, the boys over at Canadian Soccer Blog are arguing for the latter. Certainly, in light of how the Montreal bid played out, one might question the commissioner's ability to keep his statements within that whole truth thing. What's a little white lie when you are trying to extract $40-million from someone during the worst economic downturn since prohibition.

I'll put it a little less bluntly. Garber isn't lying so much as he is pleading for someone to come up with all the coin guaranteed. So far, Ottawa and Miami might be the only bids that actually have their money mostly lined up (although, that said, no one would be surprised if Ottawa pulled the plug tomorrow and Miami should probably stop issuing ultimatums to the league. Oh, and Ottawa is in, well, Ottawa).

Does MLS want into Portland? Sure. Maybe. If they build a stadium. So, they want in there just like they want in anywhere.

Notes: In the Canadian Soccer Blog linked article there is reference to a statement Garber made about FIFA mandating that the league stop at 18 teams. Although it's hardly worth justifying with a response (see above- lie, white), understand that the FIFA "requirement" is more of a suggestion. It's not like they would actually try and stop MLS from adding more teams. Plus, remember that it's also a FIFA "rule" that a domestic league can only have teams from its home country in it. Just ask Cardiff.

Edit: The CONCACAF Champions League draw is out.

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