Major League Soccer's Board of Governors convened on Saturday at the Westin Stonebriar in Frisco, Texas, site of MLS Cup 2005. The following items were discussed at the Board of Governors meeting:
TORONTO EXPANSION BID: The Board of Governors formally approved Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment's application for the 13th team in Major League Soccer pending terms of an agreement being finalized. A new proposal was also introduced regarding the roster composition of a new Canadian team to include three additional senior international spots for U.S.-born players (a total of seven senior international spots) and two additional youth international spots (a total of five, in line with the youth international totals for 2005 expansion teams Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake). The latter proposal will be subject to the approval of the Canadian Soccer Association.
EXPANSION FEES: The expansion fee for the future investor-operators of the 14th MLS expansion team is set at $15 million through December 31, 2005. After this date, the expansion fee for the 14th team (regardless of whether the expansion team enters in 2007 or 2008) will increase significantly.
ALLOCATIONS: The Board approved the allocations for teams that did not advance to the 2005 MLS Cup Playoffs (Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, Kansas City Wizards, Real Salt Lake) and a replacement allocation for the Kansas City Wizards for the retirement of Preki.
PLAYER ACQUSITION RULES: The Board discussed several new player acquisition mechanisms but postponed a final decision on the matter.
2006 COMPETITION CALENDAR: The 2006 MLS season will begin on April 1 and conclude with MLS Cup 2006 on Sunday, November 12.
FORMATION OF TECHNICAL COMMITTEE: A new Technical Committee, including representation from the League's general managers and coaches, will be formed to examine possible changes to the competition format in the 2006 and 2007 MLS seasons.
TELEVISION BROADCAST AGREEMENTS: The proposed deals with ABC, ESPN and Univision, which will begin in 2007, were reviewed by the Board of Governors.
MLS Cup 2005, which is sold out (standing room tickets only available), features the New England Revolution playing the Los Angeles Galaxy for the Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy on Sunday, November 13 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The game will be televised live to a national audience on ABC Sports (3:30 p.m. ET) and broadcast to over 120 countries worldwide via ESPN International.
The Revolution, led by Budweiser Golden Boot winner and 2005 Honda MVP Taylor Twellman, will meet the Galaxy, led by MLS' all-time playoff goal scorer Landon Donovan. The game is a rematch of MLS Cup 2002, when Los Angeles defeated New England 1-0 in extra time at Gillette Stadium to claim their first league title.