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MLS's hot-cold courtship with San Diego

San Diego enjoyed some of the highest television ratings for World Cup broadcasts -- the USA-England game drew a whopping 14.0 on ABC -- but that doesn't mean it's ready for MLS expansion.

San Diego was an expansion target going all the way back to the days of MLS's first commissioner, Doug Logan, in 1996, and his successor, Don Garber, last week mentioned San Diego as a possible candidate for the league's 20th team.

But is San Diego a realistic possibility? Mark Ziegler examines MLS's four criteria for expansion -- ownership, stadium, market and fan base -- and finds the city lacking in the first two. San Diego is a strong market with a large international community and excellent youth soccer network.

As far as fan base goes, Ziegler cautions that the World Cup ratings don't tell the entire story.The local Nielsen rating for last week's MLS All-Star Game on ESPN was 0.14 -- one-one hundredth the audience for the USA-England game and 48th out of 56 markets surveyed.

Read the whole story at San Diego Union Tribune »

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