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Nash actively pursuing Vancouver MLS team, brother


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http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=590155

Steve Nash may be the wildcard in the race to bring another Major League Soccer franchise to Canada.

Martin Nash, Steve's brother, has confirmed that the Phoenix Suns star is ready to become actively involved in getting an MLS team in Vancouver, the city where he grew up.

"He's trying to get involved. I don't think he's very involved yet but he wants to get involved. He just wants to give the game of soccer a higher profile in Canada," said Martin Nash, who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer Leagues.

"Soccer is our first-love sport. We grew up playing it and my dad played it and still plays it, so it's just something embedded into us."

MLS commissioner Don Garber met Steve Nash in May and wrote on the league Web site that the two-time NBA MVP may be interested in getting involved as part of an ownership group trying to bring a team to Canada.

Mark Abbott, the president of MLS, said the league is hesitant to speculate further.

"Steve Nash is obviously interested in soccer in Canada and what his role is ... I don't know how to say it, he would have to say what his role is with respect to that," said Abbott, who is the league's spokesperson on expansion issues.

The Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact are both trying to make the leap from the second-tier USL.

Major League Soccer will expand to Seattle in 2009 and Philadelphia in 2010 bringing the total number of teams to 16. An additional two franchises are likely to be added by the 2012 season.

Many American cities have expressed interest, including Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Portland, San Diego and St. Louis.

The league will likely cap expansion once it reaches 18 teams, making this bid process all the more intense.

Bob Lenarduzzi, the president of the Whitecaps, said he would gladly welcome any support Nash offers.

"With his profile and his interest in the game and the fact he's a great Canadian that we're all very proud, of course we would welcome him. As far as his involvement, that's certainly premature from my perspective."

Nash recently invested in Women's Professional Soccer and has made no secret of his desire to help the sport grow.

Both Vancouver, with owner Greg Kerfoot, and Montrea,l with the Saputo family, appear to have the funding to pay the projected US$40-million for an expansion franchise. And Montreal just opened a new soccer-specific building, Saputo Stadium. MLS has said this is a necessity for any expansion applicant.

The Whitecaps are scrambling to get the ball rolling on a new soccer stadium to be located on Vancouver's waterfront. A disagreement with the Vancouver Port Corp., which owns some land the Whitecaps need, is holding up the project.

The next key date in the process will be July 24 when the MLS gathers in Toronto for the All-Star Game, with expansion talk expected to be on the agenda.

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quote:Originally posted by red card

http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=590155

Many American cities have expressed interest, including Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Portland, San Diego and St. Louis.

The league will likely cap expansion once it reaches 18 teams, making this bid process all the more intense.

This cap at 18 stuff is repeated over and over but on the record quotes from Don Garber contradict it.

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/sports/story.html?id=88d46d27-e860-4de2-b09c-0865e6ee9058

"Our sense is that we could have quite a few more than that [18]," Garber said, adding that at least six cities will be in the running for spots 17 and 18.

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quote:Originally posted by BringBackTheBlizzard

This cap at 18 stuff is repeated over and over but on the record quotes from Don Garber contradict it.

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/sports/story.html?id=88d46d27-e860-4de2-b09c-0865e6ee9058

"Our sense is that we could have quite a few more than that [18]," Garber said, adding that at least six cities will be in the running for spots 17 and 18.

And IIRC, it's not the first time he's mentioned something like that.

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quote:Originally posted by Trident

Wow, that line-up of potential American teams doesn't really scare me.

I think MLS will want back in Florida, likely Miami. St. Louis seems to be a soccer hotbed and is formulating a solid bid by all accounts. After those two, the quality drops. Atlanta has the geography and demographics that everyone loves, except that it's a terrible sports city. Detroit is in the middle of a financial crisis. Portland and San Diego are good soccer towns, but they don't bring either big markets or geographic diversity. I think a second New York team is more likely than the latter four I mentioned.

MLS has the luxury of being more picky now that the franchise supply/demand curve has shifted in their favour.

Jason

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Isn't this all the Beckham Effect? Similar to the Pele Effect on the NASL. Cities wanting some of this action in the summer (NFL rules from Sep-Jan) and it seems like a cheap investment; franchise fee, a 20,000 seat stadium (might already have one at a nearby college). The expansion hype is big. This is why pro/rel works. If you want to play with the best, you have to put a good product on the field. If not, down you go.

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quote:Originally posted by CanadianSoccerFan

...the city of Miami is tired of waiting to hear back from MLS and will begin exploring other options for use of the Orange Bowl site. That was the dream location in downtown Miami that MLS wanted.

The Orange Bowl? A "dream site"? Someone's smoking serious crack. The place should not be considered for MLS, ever.

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quote:Originally posted by Loud Mouth Soup

The Orange Bowl? A "dream site"? Someone's smoking serious crack. The place should not be considered for MLS, ever.

The Orange Bowl is in the process of being demolished. The site has been looked at as a potential home for the Marlins Stadium.

The argument has been that the Miami team has to be downtown (rather than Fort Laud) to make it work. The decision to move on changes things.

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quote:Originally posted by Trident

Wow, that line-up of potential American teams doesn't really scare me.

Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Portland, San Diego and St. Louis. Yea that hardly strikes fear in either Van or Mtl. Of the lot Portland and St. Louis deserve and will get in.

Atlanta maybe but a lot of ifs.

San Diego sorry already got 3 teams from California.

Miami. Was there before won't be back without a downtown stadium.

NYC2. They have trouble filling NYC1 so it will be a while.

Detroit? Never heard much about their prospective group.

Portland, Van, Seattle is an existing rivalry complete with its own cup. Great for the league to have regional rivals.

Montreal vs Toronto? Nuf said!

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