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Twenty-Four and No More? How Expansion Can Promote Dilution

Like the other major sports, too much expansion dilutes the play on the field. Will MLS fall prey to the same problem?

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Expansion is exciting! Seeing Orlando City SC and New York City FC coming into the fold; Atlanta starting up in 2017; Miami still lingering, praying, hoping to bring make noise some time, some year--things are on a roll. Chivas USA is no more, but have no fear! Los Angeles FC (for now)also making their 'debut' in 2017 (making us the beneficiaries of the services of teenager Caleb Calvert via the Dispersal Draft.

Now, according MLSSoccer.com, meetings took place with representatives from Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Sacramento. Both Minneapolis and Sacramento have a varying degrees of soccer followings, with Minneapolis United FC home to Miguel Ibarra as the NASL 2014 Player of the Year, as well as the 2014 NASL Coach of the Year Manny Lagos. Yet, their average attendance is under 6,000 per game over the past four years they've been in the NASL.

Sacramento has a strong soccer presence as well with the Sacramento Republic FC, debuting this past season in the USL Pro League--and winning the championship! Their attendance was impressive, selling out all but one game with 11,293 in attendance, USL Pro Record.

Conventional wisdom has kept professional teams away from Las Vegas for various reasons, but professional sports leagues still keep having conversations. Vegas has some soccer fandom going on (if there's more, please let me know in the comments section), but I do not see it surpassing Sacramento or Minneapolis for that coveted 24th team.

I'm hoping that MLS stays at 24 and no more. It's hard to see them avoid dilution with too much expansion. The teams in place are nicely spread throughout the Great 48 and into Canada. What do you think? Let me know in the c