Minnesota United: Major League Soccer franchise to play from 2018

Minnesota United
Minnesota United played Swansea City in a pre-season friendly in July

Minnesota United will field a Major League Soccer franchise from 2018 as the league's expansion plans continue.

The MLS has 20 teams but with Atlanta joining and Chivas USA being recreated, Minnesota will become the 23rd side when they join in 2018.

A 24th franchise is expected by 2020 but Minnesota are the first side to be located in the country's Upper Midwest.

The club, founded in 2010 and nicknamed the Loons, play in the second-tier North American Soccer League.

As part of their move into the MLS, Minnesota will finalise plans for a new stadium by 1 July.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said: "The ownership group's commitment to soccer and the community, the area's growing millennial population and the region's rich tradition of supporting soccer at all levels in Minnesota were key indicators that this was the right market."

Garber recently said consideration will be given to expanding "beyond 24 clubs"external-link as groups from Sacramento, Las Vegas, San Antonio and St Louis have made pitches for inclusion.

A Miami proposal underpinned by potential owners David Beckham and Simon Fuller is also under consideration but requires authorities in the city to sanction the building of a new stadium.

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