St. Louis MLS debut pushed back to 2023


Major League Soccer, citing the difficulties in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, has pushed back the first season of expansion teams in St. Louis, Sacramento, and Charlotte by one year.  MLS is now indicating that St. Louis and Sacramento will begin play in 2023, with Charlotte coming in a year earlier in 2022.

A fourth expansion team is slated to become the first major pro sports franchise in the capital city of Texas, Austin.  That franchise remains on track to begin in 2021, with MLS officials noting that Austin FC had made “significant progress” before the pandemic struck.

“It is important for each club to take the necessary time to launch their inaugural MLS seasons the way their fans and communities deserve,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “With the extra year to make up for what has been a challenging 2020, these teams will be well-positioned for their debuts and for long-term success.”

MLS teams had played two games each when the coronavirus caused a shutdown on March 12. Twenty-four teams are part of a resumption tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, that started July 8. Dallas and Nashville withdrew after numerous players tested positive for COVID-19.
On Monday, St. Louis’ Major League Soccer franchise announced that the unveiling of the team’s name, colors, and crest will occur in a virtual event on August 13th.