Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber said Monday that the league's 30th team "will be appointed or announced sometime in the next 12 months."
The addition of Austin FC in 2021 took MLS to 27 teams, with two more clubs set to join in the next two years. Charlotte FC will make their debut in 2022 before St. Louis CITY SC and their new downtown stadium get their bow in 2023.
Sacramento were due to become MLS' 30th team before lead investor Ron Burkle informed the league earlier this year that, based on issues with the project related to COVID-19, he decided to not move forward with the acquisition of an expansion team in California's capital city.
Garber's comments on Monday at the CAA World Congress of Sports provided the most concrete timeline yet of when a decision would be made over the location of the 30th team.
As well as the continued expansion of the league, 2023 will also see the start of a re-imagined Leagues Cup, featuring every team from MLS and Liga MX taking part in a month-long tournament over the summer, with three spots in the Concacaf Champions League up for grabs.
“We’ll come together to play a World Cup-type of tournament," Garber said during his appearance in Manhattan. "Think of March Madness. We’ll play 80 games in that period of time. Those games will take place in the United States, we’ll crown a winner and we’ll in essence create the first alliance between two leagues in different countries competing in the same sport in something we wholly own… I think it’s going to be a huge opportunity for us."