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MLS mulls expansion

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Major League Soccer will announce within three months whether the league plans to expand for the 2003 season.

MLS commissioner Don Garber, in his state-of-the-league address before Saturday's All-Star game, said the league is meeting with investors from 10 potential sites for expansion. A decision will be made by Oct. 21, the date of the MLS Cup championship match.

The areas under consideration are Milwaukee; Philadelphia; Rochester, N.Y.; Atlanta; Louisville, Ky.; Houston; St. Louis; Seattle; New York City; and the Carolinas.

"There's no question that we need to expand our national footprint for television and for media support," Garber said. "However, we will only expand when important criteria have been met."

Garber said any successful expansion bid will contain three elements: plans for a soccer-specific stadium; investors "devoted to the sport for the long term"; and a market with a history of supporting soccer "both professionally and on the grass-roots level."