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Report: United FC to be awarded MLS expansion franchise


Major League Soccer's next expansion franchise will be awarded to Minnesota United FC, Northern Pitch reports.

The report coincides with a release from MLS that "an important announcement on the future of soccer in Minnesota" will be made during a press conference at Target Field at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

United owner Bill McGuire, along with members of the club's management team, will join MLS Commissioner Don Garber for the announcement, Northern Pitch added.

MLS confirmed last week that United and MLS were in "advanced discussions" about bringing a team to Minnesota, but an official announcement wasn't expected for another 30-45 days, MLS said.

United FC currently plays in the North American Soccer League.

McGuire is backed on the bid for an MLS franchise by Minnesota Twins owners, the Pohlad family, and Minnesota Timberwolves owner, Glen Taylor.

The Minnesota Vikings, led by owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, were hoping to bring an MLS team to their new multipurpose stadium, but MLS officials preferred the idea of an outdoor, soccer-specific stadium, which is what McGuire's group aims to provide in downtown Minneapolis.

According to Pro Soccer Talk, MLS has a goal to reach 24 teams by 2020. The league currently stands at 20 teams, but with expansion franchises coming in Atlanta and Los Angeles, the league could reach 23 teams – with the addition of Minnesota – in the near future.

There is no word yet on when Minnesota's expansion franchise would debut.

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