Minnesota United is officially joining MLS, with the announcement coming down today in a press conference.
One of the more well-regarded teams in NASL, Minnesota United will enter as the 20-some-odd-th team in MLS as the time — Atlanta's coming in 2017, and LAFC is coming, well, someday, and Miami? Well, Miami. Who knows?
In a press release, MLS commissioner Don Garber praised millennials and whatnot: "The ownership group’s commitment to soccer and the community, the area’s growing millennial population and the region’s rich tradition of supporting soccer at all levels in Minnesota were key indicators that this was the right market."
Pretty cool, right? Well, yeah. But we're forced to wonder what's going to happen with MLS expansion in the future. Will Sacramento Republic get an MLS side? Will LAFC, who have apparently gobs of money but no stadium site, get in at any point? Will the schedules continue to diverge to this bizarre point where we look more like two separate leagues?
I don't know that the answer to those things is particularly clear. Minnesota United clearly deserved this sort of thing by showing a commitment to soccer in America, and we look forward to playing against them. Unless, of course, they're in a separate conference and we only meet in the playoffs or something, in which case, we're a little perplexed at the state of things.
We're looking forward to playing against a team with supporters that care about the game in a passionate, meaningful way — against a team that probably wants to do good things. But we're not looking forward to losing more players: The uncertainty of the expansion draft is an almost sickening affair.
We're not going to say that we should stop expanding — but we will say that this whole thing is confusing. The uncertainty is dizzying — still, we're not ready to get off the ride.