CINCINNATI (CBS13) – It looks like Cincinnati is getting the remaining Major League Soccer expansion team.
The MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, is holding a live event and news conference in Cincinnati on Tuesday, May 29. He will be joined by Carl H. Linder III, the majority owner and CEO of FC Cincinnati, Mayor John Cranley, and Jeff Berding, the President and General Manager of FC Cincinnati for a “special event” regarding Cincinnati’s soccer future.
The Sacramento Republic FC released a statement Thursday afternoon:
“We remain laser-focused on our objective of bringing MLS to Sacramento and the news today does not deter our efforts nor does it hurt our chances of reaching our goal. Our bid to join MLS is alive and well. We are in late-stage discussions with investors and continue to work closely with Commissioner Garber and Mayor Steinberg. We want to thank our indomitable fans for their passion and continued support of this club and this city as we work to bring this process to the finish line.”
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg also issued a statement Thursday:
“Assuming that the media reports this morning are accurate, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the City of Cincinnati and Mayor John Cranley. I can also assure our community that this does not change anything for Sacramento’s quest to become a Major League Soccer expansion city. We control our own destiny and remain firmly in the game. We continue to work with the Sacramento Republic to recruit new investors to bolster the overall strength and capacity of our ownership group. We also remain in on-going communication with Commissioner Garber’s Office and could not be more appreciative of all of their efforts.
Over the last few months, we have made a lot of great progress, and I am confident that we will have a positive update for our community in the near future.”
Cincinnati was a finalist for expansion, along with Sacramento and Detroit.
Nashville was awarded a team in December. At the time, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Sacramento “has some things to finalize with their ownership group.”
In April Cincinnati City Council approved a stadium funding plan.
At one point Sacramento was considered a front-runner to get an expansion team. The Sacramento Republic FS currently plays in the USL.
Earlier this month the President and Founder of Sacramento Republic FC, Warren Smith, announced he was leaving the team to become a Senior Adviser to Energy FC- the USL franchise in Oklahoma City.