Los Angeles Football Club have been making preparations, now two years in, to enter MLS as an expansion team. At present, the club is planning to enter the league in 2018, but it appears they may be the only team to join in little more than a year’s time.
That’s because the team provisionally tabbed to join LAFC in 2018, David Beckham’s Miami franchise, are holding onto hope they will one day exist but have now shifted hope to kicking off for the 2019 season, according to a report from SI.com’s Grant Wahl on Tuesday.
The Miami franchise, announced over a thousand days ago but still provisional because they have not gotten all their ducks lined up for a stadium site, have since honed in on a site but Wahl reports they need more land for a proposed stadium in Overtown and “a flagship investor.”
While many will wonder what’s the point of Miami if it’s taken this long to get to almost nowhere while multiple other expansion teams are getting way more done in less time, of note to LAFC fans is the prospect of entering the league alone in 2018.
Wahl’s report says leading MLS expansion candidate Sacramento Republic FC has “zero chance” of jumping the line and joining in 2018.
So what does that mean for LAFC? The kneejerk chatter focuses on the aesthetic imbalance that will result in the club entering alone, meaning there will be an uneven 23 teams for at least one season.
It could be an advantage for LAFC, however, in that they will not have to compete over first selections for items like the Expansion Draft, MLS SuperDraft, or any other number of other drafts that could happen ahead of the 2018 season. MLS could opt to lessen the competitive advantage for a single expansion team entering the league, but there have been examples of single teams entering the league in recent years — most recently with the Montreal Impact in 2012. So while the imbalance will be there, it could end up playing to LAFC’s benefit.
At any rate, this is a report at this point, and while it seems to be an increasingly good bet that Miami won’t be joining MLS in 2018, you just never know. We’ll keep tabs on this story as it moves forward.
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