MLS Commissioner Don Garber talks St. Louis expansion with Sports Illustrated

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl at last week’s SuperDraft in Baltimore, with SI.com releasing their interview last Friday as part of their weekly Planet Futbol podcast.

Garber and Wahl touched on a number of topics, diving deepest on expansion. MLS is aiming to expand to 24 teams by 2020, with Atlanta United FC set to enter the league in 2017, Minnesota United FC and LAFC scheduled to move into MLS by 2018 and Miami also plotting its entry.

MLS announced in December that it intends to expand beyond 24 teams, revealing at MLS Cup that it would like to eventually move to 28 clubs. Garber has listed a number of cities as potential destinations for the league, with St. Louis recently emerging as a contender, one he recently said "has a little more momentum" follwoing the NFL's Rams moving to Los Angeles.

A longtime US soccer hotbed, St. Louis has frequently been mentioned as a potential destination for MLS. The Rams' recent relocation reignited that talk, with coaches and GM’s polled by Wahl at the draft listing St. Louis as their top choice for future expansion.

Garber discussed St. Louis in his interview with Wahl, referencing in his comments the proposed NFL stadium in St. Louis that would've been built with public support had the Rams remained in the city.

“St. Louis has been on our radar screen as long as the league’s been in existence,” Garber said. “We’ve never been able to find the right investor, we’ve never been able to find the right stadium solution. We know that there’s a stadium possibility – whether or not that’s an MLS possibility [is] still to be seen. We know that there’s support for a facility in a great location and we’ve had discussions with those that were part of that project about bringing MLS to town. So the fact that there’s one fewer pro team there I think is a positive for our league as it relates to St. Louis.”

In addition to their expansion discussion, Garber and Wahl also spoke about a number of other issues facing the league, including youth development, instant replay, the upcoming FIFA election and CONCACAF Champions League scheduling. You can find their entire interview – and the rest of the SI Planet Futbol Podcast – here

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