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SBD/October 23, 2013/Facilities
Orlando City Gets Funding Approval For Soccer Stadium, Paving Way For MLS Franchise
Published October 23, 2013
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT: In K.C., Charles Gooch notes MLS' next franchise candidates could "come from the South -- a region that's been under-represented in the league since" the Tampa Bay Mutiny folded in '02. Atlanta and a David Beckham-backed Miami group "are thought to be among the front-runners," but Minneapolis, Detroit and Sacramento also have "been rumored as potential targets." If Orlando joins N.Y. in '15, MLS "will have added 11 teams" since '04. That is "an impressive amount of growth for a league that once had the majority of its teams owned by two men, Lamar Hunt and Phil Anschutz" (K.C. STAR, 10/23). In Orlando, Paul Tenorio wrote MLS is "in a far different state than even a decade ago." Since contracting the last two Florida teams in '02, MLS "has rebounded and surged forward." Since '05, "10 new stadiums have been built or renovated for soccer." No longer is the league "home to retired stars and second-best American players." It boasts "two of the country's top-three stars" -- the Galaxy's Landon Donovan and the Sounders' Clint Dempsey -- "and international players still fully capable of competing in top leagues abroad" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 10/22).