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Garber visits Montreal to discuss future expansion

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber visited Montreal Wednesday to meet with Montreal Impact President Joey Saputo and government officials to discuss possible MLS expansion into Canada's second-largest market.

Commissioner Garber, who was joined by MLS President Mark Abbott for the meetings, met with Joey Saputo last night and then traveled this morning with the Impact president to meet with Quebec Minister of Finance Raymond Bachand and Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

"We continued our discussions with the Saputo family about a future MLS expansion team in Montreal and had very productive meetings with Minister Bachand about securing funding for the expansion of Saputo Stadium," Garber said following his morning meetings. "We've stated many times that Montreal would be a great market for MLS and we look forward to continuing our discussions."

"We are very happy with the visit of the MLS executives in Montreal," declared Impact President Joey Saputo. "The meetings this morning with Minister Bachand and Mayor Tremblay were very positive. It's clear for us, and now more than ever, that the arrival of MLS in Montreal is only a question of time. We are hoping to have news in the first quarter of 2010."

The second-division Montreal Impact currently play their home matches in Saputo Stadium, a 13,034-seat venue that opened in May 2008. Saputo Stadium was designed to be able to increase capacity to meet MLS standards.

The 2010 MLS season will feature the debut of the League's newest expansion club, Philadelphia Union. In 2011, the League will grow to 18 teams when Portland and Vancouver enter the League.

ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicks off its 15th season on March 25, 2010. MLS will feature 16 clubs each playing 30 regular season matches in 2010. Those teams include Chicago Fire; Colorado Rapids; Chivas USA; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; Kansas City Wizards; Los Angeles Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural season, Philadelphia Union. Expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland will debut in 2011. For more information about MLS, log on to the League's official website at MLSnet.com.

ABOUT THE MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montreal Impact was founded in 1993. With the participation of founding partners such as the Government of Quebec, Hydro-Quebec and Saputo, the Montreal Impact became a not-for-profit organization in 2002 and ever since, the club's attendance has systematically increased, from 5,000 fans per game in 2002 to over 12,000 in 2009. Throughout the years, the Montreal Impact has become one of the most decorated teams in the United Soccer Leagues, with three championships, in 1994, 2004 and 2009, and the Canadian championship title in 2008. The club's mission is to contribute to soccer development in Quebec, which regroups no less than 200,000 affiliated players. For further information on the Montreal Impact, visit the official website at impactmontreal.com.