Here are highlights of MLS Commissioner Don Garber's State of the League Address today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC...
-Garber thanked the attending media for covering the league, noted the need for more media to provide more exposure for the league and its clubs
-Philly is clear favorite for club #16, but if there's no announcement by the end of January, MLS will go with 15 clubs when Seattle enters the league in 2009
-Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami (!), Montreal, New York #2 (with the Mets' Wilpon), Portland, St. Louis, and Vancouver round out the expansion hopefuls after Philly for clubs #17 and 18.
-Red Bull Park will break ground soon (hah!) with a Summer '09 targeted opening
-TV ratings for the '07 SuperLiga Final between LA and Pachuca beat Super Bowl XLI on TeleFutura. SuperLiga will return in 2008 (MLS teams should be DC, Chivas, New England and Houston based on 2007 standings)
-Important '08 dates:
--Superdraft-January 18th in Baltimore
--Season 13 kicks off on March 29th
--All-Star '08 in Toronto (date TBD)
--MLS Cup (site TBD) on November 23rd
-A Pan-Pacific tournament with teams from Asia and Australia is close to a reality
-Salary cap will go up next year, amount to be determined
-Frustration over the DC stadium situation
-Qwest Field is a good choice of venue in Seattle (despite not being soccer-specific) because the MLS team ownership group owns the stadium, and will benefit from all revenue streams there.
Oh, and there's a game, too.
I won't be at RFK on Sunday for MLS Cup (Noon ET on ABC and Telefutura), but I believe Houston's loss of Brian Ching will be too much to overcome. Sharlie Joseph plays huge and serves goals by Twellman and late sub Adam Christman to deliver the Revs their first MLS Cup and an MLS-Open Cup double in a 2-0 New England victory. Viva Boston sports!
Pride of Jersey
Don't forget that the US National Team makes their final appearance of the year in Johannesburg vs. World Cup 2010 host South Africa tomorrow morning (9am ET on FSC and Galavision). Look for Bob Bradley to test many youngsters, including 18-yr old Red Bull Jozy Altidore! Go get 'em, kid!
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