Whitecaps submit MLS application

Click Here to see Bob Lenarduzzi's Comments on the Application Vancouver Whitecaps FC announce that they are one of seven prospective ownership groups to have submitted an application for a future Major League Soccer expansion franchise. MLS president Mark Abbott unveiled on Wednesday three Canadian and four American markets where the prospective ownership groups are looking to bring a franchise on the MLS’ official website, MLSnet.com. MLS intends to add two more clubs in the next few years, bringing the league to 18 teams. Seattle Sounders FC begin play in 2009 as the 15th team in MLS, while Philadelphia will join as the league’s 16th team in 2010. The following ownership groups, listed in alphabetical order by market, submitted applications to the MLS office in New York City prior to the league’s 2:00 p.m. PT deadline on Wednesday: Market      Ownership Group Atlanta       Arthur Blank Miami         FC Barcelona and Marcelo Claure Montreal     The Saputo and Gillett families Ottawa        Eugene Melnyk Portland      The Paulson family St. Louis     Investment group led by Jeff Cooper Vancouver   Greg Kerfoot, Steve Luczo, Jeff Mallett and Steve Nash The MLS expansion application required prospective owners to provide information, such as details about the applicant’s proposed ownership group, stadium plan and financing, and an analysis of the potential expansion market. The applications will be reviewed by the league office and the MLS expansion committee. An announcement regarding which markets will receive the next two expansion clubs will take place during the fourth quarter of 2008 or the first quarter of 2009. About Major League Soccer Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, and features many stars from North America and around the world. Now in its 13th season, the 14 teams in MLS are: Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, DC United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Toronto FC. Seattle Sounders FC will join the league in 2009 and a Philadelphia expansion team will debut in 2010.