Can an MLS team soon come to Midrange City? That's the question local supporters and city councilmen will grappling with in the coming months.
According to sources, soccer enthusiasts around the city have flooded City Hall with requests to take steps to ensure the next Major League Soccer expansion team will call Midrange City its new home.
"Normally we only get one call a day, usually from an angry resident complaining about a pothole, or murder, or some other such nonsense." said a City Hall employee who wished to remain anonymous.
"But now, we're absolutely flooded. I'm fielding as many as ten calls a week, all asking about whether the city has any plans to build a soccer stadium. I told them we have a very nice NFL stadium they can borrow during the offseason once the South Midrange Ladies Badminton League is done with it."
Naturally, Midrange Mayor John Smith has said that their city is "perfect" for an MLS team, given the rich history of Midrange adult recreational leagues that date all the way back to 1999.
"What you have here in Midrange is a passionate group of fans that must number in the dozens, if not hundreds, and all are willing to step up with the city and make this happen. How much can it cost anyway? MLS teams don't go for more than a couple thousand dollars. I think we can manage to make this happen with a bake sale and maybe a raffle or two."
MLS expansion has been a hot topic ever since League Commissioner Don Garber announced that four teams will be added to the league's ever growing list of cities. In the months since the announcement, tiny towns and charming hamlets across the nation have all thrown their hats in the MLS expansion team race.
With such competition, will Midrange City be able to court the needed investment to make the team happen?
"Absolutely," said Mayor Smith, "the city has a population of almost 300,000, we're pretty much right up there with New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. To the soccer lover, it's a no-brainer to set up a team in a city with no soccer specific stadium, no private investment, and small TV market numbers. Didn't soccer start as a grassroots sport? Why discontinue that wonderful tradition now? Stick to your roots, I always say."
When asked during a press conference about Midrange's MLS aspirations, Commissioner Don Garber was seen coughing slightly, before snickering under his breath and hiding his face behind a sheet of paper. After a few minutes, he said to the assembled press:
"We have many options on the table, with some good looking cities all making strong cases. The league is going to take its time and determine the proper course of action.
Midrange is making an admirable bid, but they have to consider we have received a comparable bid from both Odessa, Texas and Bismarck, North Dakota. It will be a while before we will reach a decision."
Food for Thought:
Which city seems the most likely to be the last expansion winner? Orlando, Miami are practically guaranteed and Atlanta seems well ahead in the race. I bet St. Louis.