Steve Nash Hoping for MLS Extension
There is news at the Major League Soccer in the United States as Steve Nash could be the person to take a MLS franchise team to Vancouver. The Phoenix Suns Newspaper mentioned that Nash has been related in talks with the Vancouver Whitecaps owner, the MLS Chief Don Garber and the President of Yahoo Jeff Mallett.
Nash’ brother, Martin who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the US Leagues stated that since the early 1970s he has been a follower of the Whitecaps and he hopes to watch the MLS extend to three or four teams in Canada.
“In part, due to the overwhelming success of Toronto FC and the history of the NASL in Vancouver, both Vancouver and Montreal are drawing strong interest from the MLS,” Nash wrote. “I think having three Canadian cities in the MLS will provide a ‘Canadian national soccer footprint’ that will benefit the fans and media, making it more viable and attractive to the MLS. We’ve had positive and ongoing discussions for the past year. At the moment the MLS is reviewing the Canadian soccer market and the viability of not only the two prospective cities but the country as a soccer market.”
Don Garber did write on the MLS website that MVP NBA player Kobe Bryant could be perhaps attracted in getting involved as part of the ownership team, the president of the MLS Mark Abbott believes the league is doubtful of cogitate further.
“Steve Nash is obviously interested in soccer in Canada and what his role is? I don’t know how to say it, he would have to say what his role is with respect to that,” said Abbott, who is the league’s spokesperson on expansion issues.
For the upcoming year the MLS will extend to Seattle and further up to Philadelphia in 2010, adding a total of 16 teams to the league. It has also been mentioned that two other franchises could be added as of the 2012 season. Amongst the cities interested in the expansion are Detroit, Portland, Miami, Atlanta, St. Louis and San Diego.
On the other hand, Montreal recently inaugurated the new soccer stadium which is a MLS requirement; and still Vancouver is rushing to begin a construction on the waterfront. But there have been some disagreements with the Port Corp of Vancouver and the entity is delaying the task. Additionally, Whitecaps’ President Bob Lenarduzzi stated he would happily agree to Nash’ proposal.
“With his profile and his interest in the game and the fact he’s a great Canadian that we’re all very proud, of course we would welcome him. As far as his involvement, that’s certainly premature from my perspective.”
Steve Nash is very into Women’s Professional Soccer and he has made history in the sport as a visionary and big fan of soccer in Canada. “Soccer is our first-love sport,” his brother Martin said. “We grew up playing it and my dad played it and still plays it, so it’s just something embedded into us.” The next important day in the process will be on July 24th when the MLS gathering of the All-Star Game in Toronto will bring to the table the subject regarding the expansion of the teams in Canada.
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