Cincinnati will be the next city added to Major League Soccer after being granted a place in the 2019 league.
The Ohio city’s franchise – FC Cincinnati – will take MLS up to 26 teams, two short of the 28 expected to complete the league once expansion plans are concluded.
Cincinnati has pursued joining MLS for a decade, and soccer has proved to be a massive success with their United Soccer League franchise drawing more than 900,000 supporters through the gates in just over two seasons.
The new team will continue to play at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium until a purpose-built 21,000-seater home for the team is completed in 2021.
MLS currently has 23 teams, with Nashville and Miami – whose franchise is being run by a group including David Beckham – having already been accepted through the expansion process.
Miami are set to join the league in 2020 while Nashville’s entry timescale is yet to be finalised but could also be at the same time as the Florida city.
Sacramento and Detroit were the two other cities who made bids to join the league in this expansion phase and they are also expected to try for the last two remaining places.