MLS is granting St. Louis an expansion team, which will give the league 28 clubs along the road to its stated growth to 30.
After multiple bids gone awry over the years, St. Louis has hit the mark in the MLS expansion race and has been granted a team, which will start play in 2022. The victorious bid, led by Carolyn Kindle Betz–part of the Taylor family that owns and controls the Enterprise rental car conglomerate–members of her family, and St. Louis FC owner Jim Kavanaugh, was welcomed to the league Tuesday at a ceremony that featured MLS commissioner Don Garber. That can be watched here:
“It is with great pride that we welcome St. Louis to Major League Soccer,” Garber said in a statement. “St. Louis is a city with a rich soccer tradition, and it is a market we have considered since the league’s inception. Our league becomes stronger today with the addition of the city’s deeply dedicated soccer fans, and the committed and innovative local ownership group led by Carolyn Kindle Betz, the Taylor family, and Jim Kavanaugh.”
The ownership group will be the league's first with a majority female presence and it helps bring an MLS team to a city with deep ties to the beautiful game. Between the list of National Soccer Hall of Fame members with connections to the city, the youth and college presence over the years and the pros who have emanated from the city such as Taylor Twellman, Brad Davis, Josh Sargent, Will Bruin, Tim Ream, Chris Klein, Becky Sauerbrunn and a host of others, St. Louis has represented itself for ages on the soccer stage.
WE DID IT, #STL! Today @MLS announced that #StLouis will join the league as team #28 and begin play in 2022. It took a team to get the team, and we thank all of you who supported this effort. Sign up at https://t.co/hYuRTTwtfn for more news on our team. #MLS4THELOU pic.twitter.com/KO6JYBurnr— MLS4TheLou (@MLS4theLou) August 20, 2019
St. Louis follows Miami (2020), Nashville (2020) and Austin (2021) in helping the league grow to 28 teams. The latter two sides have already hired their coaches, while Inter Miami just signed the first two players to its roster. MLS has stated its intention to build to 30 teams–though has not committed to stopping there for good–which leaves the likes of other expansion contenders like Sacramento, Charlotte, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Detroit, Indianapolis, San Diego and others vying for two places.
St. Louis's team name, crest, colors, technical staff and personnel will follow in the coming months and years leading into its inaugural season.