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Garber: NYC still aim for 20th team, but Cosmos not ready

Don Garber

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HARRISON, N.J. – MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Tuesday provided the latest update on the prospects of a second team in New York, making it clear that “if we can build a stadium, we’re going to have a 20th team in New York City.”

Speaking to media members at halftime of the US national team’s match against Ecuador at Red Bull Arena, Garber indicated that there was still “a lot of work to do” on the stadium front but that he is more bullish than ever about the chances.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to get a stadium built and I believe we’ll be able to get that done,” Garber said. “I feel better about it now than I have at any other point.”

While revealing that he was hosting three prospective investors for a New York team in his suite at Red Bull Arena, the Commissioner also indicated that the New York Cosmos are not at the forefront of the discussions.  

“I don’t know that they’re involved,” Garber said. “They’ve got some things that they’re trying to work out within their ownership group. But as I‘ve said many times, I applaud what they’ve been doing. They’re doing a great job building their brand and when we’re ready to get that team launched and they want to be a part of it, we’ll be happy to talk to them.”

Regardless of the status of the various investor groups, however, Garber was unequivocal that the key to landing a second team in New York City was a stadium plan. He cited Flushing Meadow Park, the area around Citi Field, home of baseball's New York Mets, and Randall’s Island as the areas that are being studied.

“If we get a stadium built, we’ll have no problem getting an ownership group for that team,” he said. “I think it will ultimately come to fruition. The question for me is, How long is it going to take? How much patience do we have? How many meetings and press conference have we had about a stadium for the MetroStars and now the Red Bulls?

"It takes a long time. But we’ll get it done the way we got [Red Bull Arena] done.”