As is traditional, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber gave a big interview at the MLS All Star Game on Wednesday night, and in it gave San Antonio Soccer fans cause for concern by not mentioning San Antonio by name, and suggesting that MLS would not expand further than 28 teams.
One thing that is always asked of Garber at any such fan Q&A event is expansion, and it came up very early, with the first several questions relating to it. That allowed Garber a chance to clarify the expansion plans, and to scare San Antonio soccer fans.
“We’re meeting in December, we like to meet around MLS Cup and that’s when we’ll decide on the next two teams.” Said Garber, meaning in just four months, fans in San Antonio will have some clarity.
That is not really a revelation, from early in 2017 that was the plan, when Garber announced the expansion plans for the next four teams, but perhaps doing so in a more public form rather than a press conference has revealed this information more broadly. It has given some clarification though, as the previous announcements only referred to ‘late 2017’.
“Looking at Sacramento, Cincinnati, and Detroit, just to mention three we’ve been to recently. The energy there is off the charts. Governors, and mayors, and CEOs, are all trying to tell their stories about why they should be MLS. It’s a lot more ambitious and opportunistic than it used to be.” Said Garber, not mentioning San Antonio, the moment that scared so many in San Antonio.
That said, Garber specifically mentioned that those were just three cities he had been to recently, hence why he mentioned those three. Those meetings have already taken place with San Antonio, sources with SAFC and MLS both confirmed, and while nothing has been revealed about the meetings, both groups seem positive but could not go in to any details.
That is the part that leaves San Antonio soccer fans anxious, as they don’t get to see the progress that is being made behind the scenes, SAFC were asked to comment, but declined to do so for this article. When Garber was speaking about expansion a montage of all the stadium proposals that were submitted, notably the San Antonio shot was from the Scorpions era, as SAFC have not released a stadium rendering.
Progress is being made on San Antonio’s MLS bid, and fans should not be concerned, it is moving forward but SAFC are choosing to do things in a less public way than the 11 other candidates. That said, something as simple as a statement would go a long way to alleviating fears of fans nervous at the radio silence out of Toyota Field.