Recent reports out of Spain have FC Barcelona reevaluating their bid to operate one of the next MLS expansion teams in Miami due to the worldwide economic downturn. According to SI.com, Barcelona General Director Joan Olive told Spanish daily newspaper Sport that they are still interested in joining the league, "but not at the cost of financial risk."
"The chances of us not joining are higher" than when they initially accounted their bid, a joint-partnership between the legendary Spanish team and Bolivian-born Marcelo Claure, owner of Brightstar mobile phone company. Originally expecting to join MLS in time for the 2010 season, Olive insisted that the two prospective ownership groups need to further "evaluate whether or not the change in the economy in the United States renders our model still viable."
Other MLS expansion options are Vancouver, Ottawa, Portland and St. Louis, with Atlanta and Montreal having withdrawn their bids. The league is scheduled to announce which two bids have qualified for the next round of expansion qualification next month, writes Ewan MacDonald.