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Friday, June 04, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

MLS commissioner discusses expansion in visit to Seattle

By José Miguel Romero
Seattle Times staff reporter

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Don Garber, Major League Soccer commissioner, was in Seattle on Wednesday to discuss possible expansion to the city, an MLS spokesman confirmed yesterday.

Garber met with Adrian Hanauer, Seattle Sounders general manager, and MLS press officer Simon Borg characterized the conversation as another in a series of meetings between the two. Hanauer is considered the lead official hoping to bring a top-tier professional soccer franchise to Seattle.

Garber and Hanauer had most recently discussed expansion May 27 at the MLS offices in New York. MLS currently has 10 teams and is looking to expand to 14 by the 2006 season.

Chivas USA, the American version of the popular Mexican club, is already confirmed as one of the new franchises to begin play in 2005. It will play out of Chicago or Los Angeles, two cities that already have MLS teams but also have large Mexican and Mexican-American populations. MLS is expected to announce the home of Chivas USA later this month.

The other new team for 2005 will be from Seattle, Houston, Philadelphia or Salt Lake City. MLS will name that franchise at either the end of this month or in early July. If Seattle does not get a 2005 team, it will be considered for 2006, when MLS will name two more expansion teams.

Hanauer seeks an ownership partner to take on part of the financial responsibility of owning an MLS team.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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