FC Cincinnati interested in NWSL expansion; Sacramento could join, too

Rose Lavelle - USWNT

Could American World Cup winners be coming to a city near you in the coming years?

It's certainly possible, as the women's top flight, the NWSL, will kick off their playoffs this weekend. The league, currently nine teams, has been rumored to be adding expansion teams for some time, and one MLS team reiterated their interest in joining the circuit this week.

FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding told attendees of a club event on Thursday that they want an NWSL team when their stadium, in the city's West End, is built.

The stadium project, projected to open in 2021, will replace Nippert Stadium as FC Cincinnati's home. And the city is the hometown of one of the world's best players, US national team midfielder Rose Lavelle, who won the Bronze Ball for the World Cup champions this summer and currently plays for the Washington Spirit.

Cincinnati is not the only city currently linked to NWSL expansion reports. The Equalizer reported on Thursday that USL Championship side Sacramento Republic is "close to finalizing an agreement to join" NWSL in 2020. If an expansion team does go to the state capital, it will be the first team in the league in the state of California, historically a women's soccer hotbed. Sacramento, a candidate for MLS expansion, will also be the site of a "major soccer announcement" on Monday.