Much Adu about MLS

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

Richard Peddie does not know what Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber will say today when addressing Toronto's future bid for a new team, but the president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. isn't fearful of bad news.

In response to several media inquiries since MLSEL got in the hunt for an MLS club to play out of the proposed York University Stadium in 2007, Garber has said he will discuss Toronto's situation today with the media.

"We've exchanged credentials with Don and we're on good terms," Peddie said. "I didn't realize he was going to speak, but maybe he heard about the stories regarding us and the Toronto Lynx."

LYNX UPSET

The Lynx, one of three Canadian teams in the United Soccer League, is upset at the Canadian Soccer Association for backing the MLS push for York in what the Lynx thought was going to be its new home stadium.

Peddie thought a key part of the MLS's eventual decision on a Toronto team would be whether the league thinks it's ready to go beyond the American border.

But the MLS, which launches its 10th season on April 2, has become more financially viable. Although two teams folded last year, the league has launched two other teams to bring the league back to 12 teams overall. The MLS intends to have from 18 to 20 teams by 2010.

The league's best-known player might be Freddy Adu, who joined the league in late 2003 as a 14-year-old and plays for D.C. United.

Garber, 47, took over as commissioner at the end of the 1999 season after he spent 16 years in various marketing positions with the National Football League. Along with Toronto, possible new franchises are being considered for Cleveland, Houston, San Antonio and Seattle.

"(With) the fact that there are more fans turning out to games, more games on TV, more sponsors spending money and more stadiums being built," Garber said, "the international clubs are looking at this league and saying: 'Boy, maybe this is it. After all these years trying to capture the U.S. opportunity, maybe these guys (MLS) have figured out how to grow the market.' "


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