New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday that Minnesota has been awarded an expansion team that will begin play in 2018.
Dr. Bill McGuire will lead an ownership group that includes Robert Pohlad, Jim Pohlad, Wendy Carlson Nelson and Glen Taylor, and the team will play in a new soccer-specific stadium in Minneapolis.
"We are proud to welcome Minnesota to Major League Soccer," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement. "The ownership group's commitment to soccer and the community, the area's growing millennial population and the region's rich tradition of supporting soccer at all levels in Minnesota were key indicators that this was the right market. The passionate soccer fans in Minnesota will soon have a world-class, downtown soccer stadium that will serve as the home for the new MLS team and become a destination for marquee international sports events."
McGuire is the former CEO of UnitedHealth Group, and he is the current owner of Minnesota United FC of the North American Soccer League, which he purchased in 2012.
"I want to thank MLS commissioner Don Garber and the league's owners for helping us bring Major League Soccer to Minnesota," McGuire said. "As a group of Minnesotans who love this state and have made a commitment to bring this vision to life, this is a momentous day that we've all been waiting for."
The addition of Minnesota in 2018 will give MLS 23 clubs, with the league stating its intention to reach 24 teams by 2020.