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Volume 25 No. 133
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Sacramento MLS Bid Hurt By Crew, St. Louis Bid Developments

USL club Republic FC has been searching for a lead investor for nearly a year for its expansion effort

Sacramento's bid to land an MLS expansion team was "handed a serious setback" Friday when the league announced it was "making progress with an ownership group" that would keep the Crew in Columbus while also remaining committed to launching a franchise in Austin, according to Ryan Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. That could mean one of two expansion slots "still up for grabs in MLS would go to one of those cities," leaving Sacramento to compete with Detroit, St. Louis, Phoenix and others for the "final available franchise." USL club Republic FC has been "searching for a lead investor for nearly a year who could lead its expansion effort" after MLS officials said that its ownership group "needed more financial weight." Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg tweeted, "I am as confident as I've ever been in our chances to become an MLS expansion franchise. We are working with the @SacRepublicFC to bolster our ownership group and strengthen our bid. I could not be more committed to finishing the job on behalf of our community" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/13).

GATEWAY CITY: In St. Louis, Benjamin Hochman writes Enterprise Holdings Foundation Senior VP & Exec Dir Carolyn Betz, who is helping lead the city's MLS expansion bid, has become an "instant role model, posing for photos with little girls in soccer shirts." This "wasn't necessarily her intention," but it has been "quite a cool development, seeming to happen at just the right time." Since announcing the bid Tuesday, Betz has been "omnipresent on TV and radio." Betz said that it has been "a little overwhelming ... but it's fun." The St. Louis franchise would have the "first female-majority ownership in the history of the league." Betz: "We live in a time where it's very sensitive, if you will, (regarding) women empowerment, opportunities for women. So to kind of take a look at that and say, 'Wow, we really could be making a difference? We could be good role models and an example to -- whether it's young girls or women in high school or college -- that you can do what you want to do'" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/14).