Okay, I'm glancing at the forums right under transfer rumors, and I see "Thierry Henry: F - Barcelona," and I draw the entirely wrong conclusion.
Speaking of rumors - I realize that to the untrained eye Don Garber, as Commissioner of Major League Soccer, would seem to be a good source for expansion information. He's not. This is not a slam on Mr. Garber. Calling him the best soccer commissioner in American history is ridiculously faint praise, sadly. He's probably one of the finest sports marketers in the world, and people who complain about how he's running the league are in Magic Cookie Land.
But we should know by now that when he starts reading from the atlas, we shouldn't take him at face value. Ask the fans in Cleveland and San Antonio.
Yeah, if your locale wasn't named last week, that's not a great sign. But Salt Lake City came out of nowhere. Then there's the example of the Sons of Ben, who have taken a great deal of credit for bringing a team to Philadelphia - and, thus, have given false hope to everyone from New York to Portland that if they just believe enough, their pure love of the game will be rewarded. Clap all you want, guys, but MLS teams are not Tinkerbell.
So I'm not going to toss and turn at night over what the reconstituted MLS Central will look like. St. Louis? Great. Atlanta? Yes, but only if they go into partnership with Atlante or Atalanta. Vancouver, Montreal or Ottawa? HELL NO THIS IS OUR COUNTRY LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT USA! USA! USA!
This is probably because I am among the blessed already, but I don't care where the next four or six teams end up. If they're profitable, then they're a good choice. If not, not. If Ottawa is going to be more profitable than Detroit, bombs away.
"Yeah, but what about developing American players?" Well...this isn't something I expect everyone to be on board with, but hear me out. The smartest thing the Mexican federation ever did was help build up the USSF by playing in the United States all the time. The better your region is, the better competition you get, and the better you get. Mexico chose to improve, rather than dominate CONCACAF forever and never getting better than quarterfinals. It also ended up rather profitable for the FMF, too. Now, the upside in Canada isn't quite as high, but it's the same principle. Also, a strong Canadian federation...I realize that's purely theoretical at this point, but again, hear me out...will help the FMF and USSF stand up to Warner and the Lilliputian - er, Caribbean nations. Yeah, they'll usually end up hopping right back into bed with Warner or whoever's in charge, but at least we'll be able to demand a larger share of the pie.
Yeah, Mexico-US-Canada is never going to be Germany-Holland-France-Italy-England-Spain-etc. But you can't get fat on cupcakes and win championships - this isn't college football. So as far as I'm concerned, we can have the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Manic and the Ottawa Rough Riders and everyone will live happily ever after.
Thank you, I hope you enjoyed that tangent as much as I did.
If I did have to express an opinion on which location would be a bad idea, then I'd grump about the New York Cosmos: Electric Boogaloo. I think a second New York team will end up as successful as the second Los Angeles team. Wait...second New York team? Hey, how about a FIRST New York team? WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA sorry, I heard there was a prize for the millionth person to make that joke.
Oh, yeah. Speaking of the Sons of Ben - take a good long look at the media coverage arc the Toronto fans have gotten over their existence. That's your future. The backlash is coming. It's not because you're Philadelphians (although that won't help) - New England Revolution fans have earned a vastly better degree of reputation and respect than Red Sox or Patriots fans, despite the Revs fans almost always being subsets of the latter categories. This is MLS, and "What wonderful fans!" turns into "What incredible dirtbags!" faster than you can throw a streamer.