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In MLS, what is an "expansion team"?

And do they play against other teams on the Eastern & Western conferences? And while we're at it, do the Eastern & Western teams play each other?

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  • 10 years ago
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    Expansion team is just a nickname they give to a newly formed club. It's usually a negative word because an expansion team stinks because it starts from scratch.

    Technically "expansion club" means any club after the original 9 clubs (there were 10 but Tampa Bay disbanded) but no one calls Real Salt Lake City or the Chicago Fire expansion clubs anymore. Why? Because they are well run franchises that have won MLS Cups before.

    An expansion team plays in either the Eastern or Western Conference so there's no separate conference for them. With 18 clubs starting next season, each club will play 2 matches against every club (no more unbalanced schedule where a club could play 3 matches against a certain club).

    MLS is doing okay. TV ratings are not so good, but attendance held steady. New stadiums are being planned or built. Quality of play is much better. MLS clubs are starting to sign 15-16 year old players now. Maybe that's a bit young to American fan, but European clubs do it all the time. Also the more young players you sign, the less attention each one gets. There won't be another super signing (and bomb-out) like Freddy Adu anymore.

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