NEW YORK – Major League Soccer is hopeful an agreement can be finalized within the next four or five months to bring a team to Philadelphia, commissioner Don Garber said today.
Garber, meeting with members of the Associated Press Sports Editors, said Philadelphia was at the top of the league's list of potential expansion sites.
MLS has 13 teams with the recent addition of Toronto and hopes to expand to 16 by 2010. The league also wants to put another team in the New York area, Garber said.
"We're bullish about Philly," he said. "Right now it's just a matter of closing the deal."
Philadelphia has long been on MLS' radar, but Garber acknowledged the league might have to look elsewhere if a deal cannot be reached soon.
Among the criteria for a franchise is a $30 million league fee.
Last spring, MLS had agreed to work with Rowan University on plans to build a soccer specific stadium that would house a team by 2009. Those plans were eventually scuttled because of a funding shortfall.