Sounders FC

MLS plans expansion to Montreal

Major League Soccer hopes to announce another expansion soon, this time to Montreal.

Commissioner Don Garber says the league also would like to return to the southeast United States, either to Atlanta or South Florida.

“We’re confident that we’ll be able to announce a 19th team shortly, and our hope is that 19th team will be in Montreal,” he said Thursday.

The league has 16 teams this season and has added clubs for 2011 in Portland and Vancouver, B.C., in 2011.

Miami and Tampa Bay once had MLS teams, but they were eliminated after the 2001 season.

“Eventually I’m sure we’ll get back to the southeast broadly and Florida more specifically,” Garber said. “I’m not quite sure what the timing is of that, but I can’t imagine this league will be fully expanded without having a team in Florida or south of Washington, D.C.

“We continue to have discussions in Atlanta. I think Atlanta’s a good sports market, also has some competition for its size, but lots of youth participation and a massive and growing Mexican population. ... Those are probably the two places where we look, South Florida and Atlanta, as the next places in the southeast.”

Extra time

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