NEW YORK – Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber visited Montreal Wednesday to meet with Montreal Impact President Joey Saputo and government officials to discuss possible MLS expansion into Canada’s second-largest market. Commissioner Garber, who was joined by MLS President Mark Abbott for the meetings, met with Joey Saputo last night and then traveled this morning with the Impact President to meet with Quebec Minister of Finance Raymond Bachand and Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.
“We continued our discussions with the Saputo family about a future MLS expansion team in Montreal and had very productive meetings with Minister Bachand about securing funding for the expansion of Saputo Stadium,” Garber said following his morning meetings. “We’ve stated many times that Montreal would be a great market for MLS and we look forward to continuing our discussions.”
“We are very happy with the visit of the MLS executives in Montreal,” declared Impact President Joey Saputo. “The meetings this morning with Minister Bachand and Mayor Tremblay were very positive. It’s clear for us, and now more than ever, that the arrival of MLS in Montreal is only a question of time. We are hoping to have news in the first quarter of 2010.”
The second-division Montreal Impact currently play their home matches in Saputo Stadium, a 13,034-seat venue that opened in May 2008. Saputo Stadium was designed to be able to increase capacity to meet MLS standards.
The 2010 MLS season will feature the debut of the League’s newest expansion club, Philadelphia Union. In 2011, the League will grow to 18 teams when Portland and Vancouver enter the League.