MLS commissioner Don Garber may have opened the floodgates to new MLS hopefuls when he announced last summer that the league plans to expand by another four teams by 2020, but Atlanta, Indianapolis, Orlando, and Miami have nothing on this one:
State Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas wants to transform downtown Albuquerque through a popular sport.
“There’s a market for soccer,” Maestas said.
He wants to see a Major League Soccer team call the duke city home.
“We’re as good a city as the next to get a team down the road,” Maestas said.
Well, no, you’re probably not — Albuquerque-Santa Fe’s media market size is 47th in the nation, right behind Austin and Greensboro — but sure, can’t hurt to try, right? And at the very least, it gets Antonio “Moe” Maestas’ (“Moe”?) name in the news. Maestas further told KRQE that MLS wants “to do at some point, 10 years down the road, a 32-team model similar to the NFL and so we just have to jump into that top 32” (news to me, but that certainly seems where they’re headed at this rate), and “stadiums just add a vibrancy to a city and we’re as deserving as anyone else to have that.”
Albuquerque is currently home to the Albuquerque Sol, which begins play this year in the USL Premier Development League, which is the fourth tier of U.S. soccer. If you’re wondering what level of play that is, KRQE helpfully reports:
More than 100 people came to try out and another tryout is expected this year.
In other words, it’s every bit as professional as this.