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Confirmed: LAFC to enter MLS on its own in 2018

All of the expansion spotlight for team No. 23.

MLS: LAFC Groundbreaking Ceremony Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After months of reports that Los Angeles Football Club would likely be entering MLS in 2018 as the league’s own expansion team comes confirmation from MLS Commissioner Don Garber himself on Sunday.

FiftyFive.one reported that Garber was asked about whether another team would enter next season with LAFC, but Garber made it clear that they would join alone.

“Nobody will be joining LAFC in 2018, so they’ll come in on their own,” Garber said in FiftyFive.one’s report. The last MLS expansion team to join on its own was the Montreal Impact in 2012.

The news is not surprising, considering there is less than a year until the 2018 MLS season kicks off. While 2017 expansion side Minnesota United was officially brought in as an MLS expansion team well before 2016, they were not publicly announced to be entering alongside Atlanta United this year until well into the 2016 season. But given they already had a team and club infrastructure at the NASL level, it was likely figured they would not need the same amount of time to build the team as brand-new clubs like Atlanta and LAFC.

While it’s only been two games, Minnesota are off to the worst start to an MLS expansion campaign in history, losing twice and letting in 11 goals in the process. I doubt MLS seriously considered announcing and fast-tracking an expansion team this year to join LAFC next season in entering the league, but I would venture a guess that the league will err on the side of giving teams plenty of run-up time moving forward.

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