Rowdies Out Of The Running For Expansion This Year
Major League Soccer plans to add to two more teams to the roster in 2017.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies were left behind as the MLS moves onto their final four for their 2017 expansion picks.
Selection started with 12 teams nationwide and until Wednesday morning, the St. Petersburg-based team was still in the running.
The league will pick two teams out of bids from the Sacramento Republic, Nashville SC, FC Cincinnati and Detroit.
In response, Rowdies’ owner Bill Edwards said, "I am very proud of what we have accomplished on and off the pitch. I firmly believe that this MLS expansion will come to pass.”
In his statement Edwards mentioned his health issues. “I personally had a medical setback that put us behind – but undaunted,” Edwards said, referring to the installation of his pacemaker earlier this year.
The Rowdies plan to continue to update their stadium to make the team competitive in the next expansion round. The eight teams eliminated in this round will be joined by the two teams eliminated from the final four in bidding for two more expansion slots that will be announced no earlier than next year.
MLS has stated it will keep the Rowdies in mind as the league continues to grow.
This year's two expansion teams are expected to join MLS in 2020.