Whitecaps formally announce bid to join MLS - The Province

Marc Weber

Steve Nash offers financial backing

The Vancouver Whitecaps officially announced Friday morning their intention to submit an application for a Major League Soccer franchise, and NBA star Steve Nash announced his support for the bid and financial commitment as a minority owner with Greg Kerfoot.

MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed Thursday that his league will add two teams -- franchises 17 and 18 -- by 2011.

"We wanted to get a head start and come out of the blocks quickly," said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi on Friday.

Nine teams are vying for two spots: Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Portland, St. Louis, a second team in New York, Montreal and Ottawa.

Nash stated: "I'm excited to bring the Vancouver Whitecpas to the highlest level of soccer in North America. We deserve this bid and we'll have a team in the near future."

MLS could announce its newest franchises at the MLS Cup on Nov. 23.

© The Vancouver Province 2008