Major League Soccer is set to announce Minnesota United FC as the league’s next expansion franchise on Wednesday afternoon as MLS will “make an important announcement on the future of soccer in Minnesota” at Target Field.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Minnesota United owner Dr. Bill McGuire will make the announcement at noon ET (16:00 GMT) on Wednesday as the Twin Cities are set to host the league’s 23rd team. The event will be streamed live on MLSSoccer.com.
The league confirmed that it was in discussion with Minnesota United about a possible expansion franchise last week and it is thought that the city’s plans for a downtown, open-air, soccer-specific stadium were key in their successful bid.
“MLS leadership is well aware that the passionate soccer fans in Minnesota combined with a world-class, soccer-specific stadium make the Twin Cities and our state a perfect home for the next MLS expansion team,” the club said in a statement on their website last week.
United currently play in the North American Soccer League and play in front of around 8,500 fans at the National Sports Center in Blaine.
They took on Swansea City in Blaine last summer and beat the Premier League side 2-0 on their preseason tour.
USMNT midfielder Miguel Ibarra and Northern Ireland international Jonny Steele both play for United and are two names that many will recognise.
It is unclear as to when they will enter the league at this point, though that should be confirmed in Wednesday’s announcement.
Atlanta FC are set to enter MLS in 2017, while Los Angeles FC are also expected to join the same year though that depends on their progress towards a new stadium.
David Beckham’s Miami franchise is still fighting for a slot, along with Sacramento Republic and those two look set to battle for the 24th slot, though the league is getting prepared to expand beyond 24 teams in the coming years.
What do you make of Minnesota United FC being announced as Major League Soccer’s next expansion franchise?