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Why Did MLS Drop Montreal?

Mystery still surrounds the decision of Major League Soccer to reject the bid of the Montreal Impact to join the league in 2011. The president of the United Soccer Leagues club, Joey Saputo, said Monday that the Impact had been dropped "without explanation," and that he was "disappointed" by the decision.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced Friday that Montreal had withdrawn its bid because it was having trouble raising money for the $40 million expansion free. But Garber later revised that statement to say that the bid had not been retained by the league.

"Does MLS really want Montreal?" asked Saputo. "I don't know." He said the Impact's bid had been $45 million Canadian dollars (around $36.3 million), plus the cost of expanding Saputo Stadium, which has a current capacity of around 13,000.

"We were OK with that [amount]," said Saputo, "without hurting where we are today and without hurting our plans for the future. We thought we had a sound bid." He also questioned whether the six other cities still in the bidding for the two 2011 expansion spots -- Ottawa, Vancouver, St. Louis, Miami, Atlanta and Portland, Ore. -- are really ready to pay $40 million, claiming that some had not included a fee in their bids. "Maybe the mistake I made was to put in a price," he said.

 

Read the whole story at Canadian Press »

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