MLS commissioner Don Garber says Charlotte could be the next city to be awarded a franchise.
Garber made the statement at the annual state of the league address, which comes before Sunday's MLS Cup final between the host Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC.
"It's fair to say that Charlotte has done a lot of work, to move their bid really to the front of line," Garber said. "It starts with David Tepper, the owner of the Carolina Panthers. He's a very passionate guy about sport, he's very passionate about Charlotte."
Even Charlotte's too big for soccer stadium, the over 75,000 seat Bank of America Stadium, is no longer seen as a major obstacle for the city getting a team, either.
"There are lots of things happening in Charlotte that are very similar to the things that are happening in Atlanta in terms of the diversity of their fan base and a lot of the corporate energy that's going on down there. We've been engaged with them and will continue to do so. ... I think the Carolinas are a good state for soccer. You know that from the women's soccer perspective and the youth soccer perspective. Should we be able to move forward, and end up with a team in Charlotte, I'm confident we'll be successful," Garber added.
New teams in Miami, Austin, St. Louis, Sacramento and Nashville will be phased in over the next five years as well, the commissioner said.
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