Apr 19, 2019

Major League Soccer announces plan to expand to 30 teams

Kendall Baker, author of Sports

MLS Commissioner Don Garber. Photo: Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced yesterday that the league will be expanding to 30 teams in the coming years, up from the previous expansion target of 28.

Why it matters: Professional soccer is thriving in the U.S. and Canada, and expansion during the last decade and a half has been a key driver of MLS' growth. Why not keep it going with investors swarming?

  • Yes, but: There's a cap on "major league" cities in North America, so this can't go on forever.

The big picture: In 2006, MLS had 11 teams. This season, there are 24, with another three on the way: Inter Miami CF (2020), Nashville SC (2020) and Austin FC (2021).

Where it stands: Garber says the league anticipates selecting the 28th and 29th expansion teams in the coming months with no timetable set for the 30th team.

  • Favorites to land a team: Sacramento and St. Louis appear to be the frontrunners for slots No. 28 and 29, as they've both been asked to make formal presentations to the MLS Expansion Committee.
  • Charlotte, Phoenix, Raleigh, Detroit, San Diego and Indianapolis are among the cities whose expansion hopes may be rekindled thanks to yesterday's announcement, according to Sports Illustrated's Brian Straus.

Go deeper: Revamped Champions League would change soccer as we know it

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 400,000 worldwide on Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: Almost 6.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide and more than 3 million have recovered from the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.9 million.

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,898,613 — Total deaths: 399,832 — Total recoveries — 3,087,714Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.