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MLS starts stadium site search for possible St. Louis expansion

MLS has started its search for a new stadium in St. Louis and will try to find financiers immediately, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

League commissioner Don Garber expressed his excitement of an expansion team playing on the St. Louis riverfront, which is where the proposed new Rams stadium would have been if not for the team moving to Los Angeles.

Garber did not promise MLS would put a team in St. Louis, but he claims now is the time to find out.

“This is a unique moment in time where we can really, finally see if St. Louis is MLS-ready,” Garber said. “With an expansion team, you can actually build a club that is born in St. Louis. The team can build fans over generations."

The MLS added two teams in 2015 — Orlando City SC and New York City FC — which expanded the league to 20 teams. Atlanta United will join the league in 2017 with LAFC to follow in 2018. Garber said a team in St. Louis could open as soon as 2020.

“Nobody argues that St. Louis is not a great soccer market,” Garber said. "It has a passionate fan base, and a great soccer history. But in the past, it had a harder time pinning down local owners and finding the correct stadium site.

"The stadium site is key."