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Blue Notes: KC Current Call Ups, MLS and NWSL Expansion, Garber’s State of the League

Plus an SKC Academy National Team call up, a little Lo’eau LaBonta action and the best tifo ever?

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2022 MLS Cup Media Day Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As usual, the world of soccer is constantly buzzing with news. Let’s get right to the stories from around the world and Kansas City soccer.

Five KC Current Players Called Up

The NWSL season may have came to an end this past weekend, but international soccer marches on. Five members of the Kansas City Current are joining their respective national teams.

Hailie Mace earns her third straight call and she’s joined by AD Franch who returns after an absence on the back of a strong 2022 season and playoff performance. The USWNT will play Germany twice during this camp. First on November 10th in Inter Miami’s stadium at 6:00 PM CT on FS1, then on November 13th at the home of the New York Red Bulls at 4:00 PM CT on ESPN.

Team captain Desiree Scott rejoins the Canadian National Team for a trip to Brazil. They play on Friday, November 11th and Tuesday, November 15th.

The final two call-ups go to Chloe Logarzo (Australia) and Sydney Schneider (Jamaica). Australia will play Sweden on November 12th and Thailand on the 15th. Jamaica plays Paraguay on both the 10th and 13th.

NWSL Expansion

Minnesota Aurora, a community owned club, will submit a bid for NWSL expansion by today. This may be a long-shot as it doesn’t meet the minimum standards for an owner, as a principle owner must own at least 35 percent of the team and have a net worth of $15 million (which still feels really low) and the total ownership group must reach $25 million in net worth.

While this particular bid may be a long shot, there are more coming.

“NWSL is looking to add two expansion franchises and expects to receive up to 10 meaningful bids after 82 groups showed interest, according to league commissioner Jessica Berman in multiple news reports.”

These clubs would likely join in 2024 or 2025. There are bids based out of San Francisco and the return of women’s football to Utah, likely as the Utah Royals, on the table, that are considered front runners.

MLS Expansion

It’s been a while since “new” cities were discussed for expansion into Major League Soccer, but MLS Commissioner Don Garber has long said the target is 30 teams. No one believes him and his latest comments seem to confirm they’ll keep growing. Specially San Diego, California and Las Vegas, Nevada were discussed in his annual State of the League.

According to The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal, “Garber says MLS is ‘probably closer than ever before’ to expanding to San Diego.”

As you can see in the Tweet above, that timeline is very accelerated. It went from some version of ‘Vegas is basically next’ to San Diego could be playing in 2024. However, Las Vegas aren’t out of the mix.

“We still are in discussions with Las Vegas,” said Garber. “We’ve got active discussions there. It’s not a matter of who’s first, who’s second.”

That would be 31 teams. Peter Vermes thinks we are going to 40 teams, so who knows. There are definitely plenty of available cities and Garber sounds like he wants to put a team in all of them.

“There is not a city in the United States or Canada where you can’t have a successful MLS team, or a successful professional team.”

As long as there are insane expansion fees available, expansion will keep being on the table. As for when we’ll hear, Garber says the first half of 2023. But he said first quarter of 2022 last year around this time.

Garber’s State of the League

In addition to talking expansion, Don Garber talked about all kinds of things. Reddit user NewRCTID22 put together a great post of quotes that I recommend checking out, but I’ll highlight a few (in addition to the expansion ones above).

Garber on Paulson and the Timbers

Don Garber weighed in on the situation with the Portland Timbers. If you haven’t been following it, it’s a tale of awful misconduct by coaches and others that Timbers owner Merritt Paulson and his staff seemingly swept under the rug. He’s stepped down as CEO, but many want him to sell the Thorns and Timbers.

Garber’s quotes leave a lot to be desired:

Jeff Carlisle does a nice breakdown of the Yates report or you can go read it yourself, though it’s a brutally tough read because of all the horrible conduct, which is widespread and not limited to Portland.

Quick Notes

  • Pretty amazing Schalke tifo
Did you see any good stories we missed? Drop it in the comments for the next Blue Notes.