œThis is a historic moment for Major League Soccer, Garber said in Montreal on Friday morning. œWe™re getting to that point where we are almost fully expanded.
You wouldn’t think a club that recently lost to the Austin Aztex would be a candidate to join North America’s (alleged) First Division football federation, but that’s exactly what’s happen, as the National Post’s Matthew Coutts reports the D2 Pro League’s Montreal Impact will become part of Major League Soccer in 2012.
œThis is a historic moment for Major League Soccer, commissioner Don Garber said in Montreal on Friday morning. œWe™re getting to that point where we are almost fully expanded.
Read more: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2010/05/07/montreal-joins-mls-in-pivotal-moment-for-canadian soccer/#ixzz0nGqp1fUtœIt is also a pivotal moment for soccer in Canada. By 2012 we will have teams in the West with Vancouver. We will have teams in Ontario and Quebec with Toronto and Montreal. That™s going to provide, I think, an opportunity for great regional rivalries, hopefully a better national team in Canada “ that would be great for fans both here and throughout that country.
The expansion comes after months of negotiation, which saw the Impact threaten to join a rival league before securing a spot in Division 2 play. Garber says a Montreal expansion has been in consideration since the league formed in 1993.
Calling Montreal an œinternational city with a savvy fan base, Garber said the proximity to Toronto would also create an intense rivalry within the league. Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto already compete in the Nutrilite Championship, a national competition to select the Canadian representative in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The possibility of a 2nd NY-area MLS franchise was also addressed during the press conference, with Garber once again raising the spectre of Fred & Jeff Wilpon owning a local rival to the Harrison-based Red Bulls.