Preview: Some New Crests, Some Younger Stars -
By MATT PENTZMARCH 3, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. — If there is a single unifying theme at the dawn of another Major League Soccer season, it is expansion — in regard to Atlanta United
and Minnesota United, the teams set to make their debuts this weekend, and for the young league as a whole, moving forward.
The league plans to keep going until it hits 28 teams — Commissioner Don Garber referred to
that as the “final landscape” in a phone interview this week — and last month the league received official expansion bids from 12 cities for the final four spots.
front-runner Sebastian Giovinco, the United States national team fixtures Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore and a lingering sense of unfinished business — Toronto held Seattle without a shot on goal in the final, only to lose on penalty kicks — the feeling up north is
that this year could end with an Eastern Conference (and Canadian) champion.
Minnesota does not have a single designated player on its roster, leading some to wonder if the
club, also known as the Loons, will be among the worst expansion teams in league history.
The league will add a second Los Angeles club next season, Los Angeles F. C.,
and a 24th spot is being held for David Beckham’s still-hypothetical Miami franchise.
“Well, let’s see,” said a defiant Heath, whose team faces the Portland Timbers here on Friday night.