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Cincinnati Is 1 Of 4 Finalists For MLS Expansion Team

Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer has announced that four cities are competing for the next two MLS expansion slots, and one of the finalists is Cincinnati. The other three are Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento.

The four expansion bidders will make formal presentations to MLS Commissioner Don Garber and the league's Expansion Committee on Dec. 6 in New York. The two winners will be announced before the end of 2017.

The Cincinnati ownership group is led by Carl H. Lindner III, co-CEO of American Financial Group and owner, chairman and CEO of FC Cincinnati, and Scott Farmer, CEO of Cintas Corp.

The league, which was founded in 1993 as part of the U.S. bid to host the 1994 World Cup, has 22 teams, with 19 in the United States and three in Canada.

The four finalists were among 12 markets that submitted formal bids in January for a total of four expansion slots as part of the league's expansion to 28 teams. Los Angeles Football Club, which kicks off in 2018, will be the league's 23rd club, while expansion discussions continue in Miami.

The league made it clear that while only Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento are being considered for the next two expansion teams, all remaining markets are under consideration for the following two expansion teams. 

Those include Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St. Petersburg.