Friday's soccer news starts with the Austin, Texas city council passing a resolution to help find a city-owned site for a relocated Columbus Crew. The Austin American-Statesman's Kevin Lyttle has the details. Key to what Austin is doing is not committing city money to building a stadium and not limiting the potential relocated club to only the Crew. That last bit might rankle MLS fans in other cities, but there's no link to Austin except with the Crew.
"We are encouraged by Council’s decision and look forward to working with city staff to find an appropriate site with the potential to provide extensive community benefits to greater Austin and its residents," Crew investor/operator Precourt Sports Ventures said in a statement. "With the right site, Precourt Sports Ventures remains committed to privately funding the construction of a soccer-specific facility. We appreciate the warm welcome from the Austin community and thank Council for its leadership and support of bringing Major League Soccer to Austin."
It's not lost on anybody that the Crew on the field remain alive as one of the final four teams in the MLS playoffs. What that on-field success may or may not have to do with the proposed move is an open question. An increase in local support for Columbus is obviously a good thing in showing that the city will support the club. That runs alongside a city blindsided by the proposed move. SB Nation's Elliott Turner looks at the Crew's financial situation.
Also in MLS expansion news, BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury reports that MLS is close to approving the Miami expansion. The David Beckham consortium has been working for three years to expand to Miami, finally getting a stadium site earlier this year.
MLSsoccer.com's Matthew Doyle's take on the four teams left in the MLS playoffs. FourFourTwo's Steve Davis wonders if Toronto's weakness is obvious following their series with the Red Bulls. SBI Soccer's Ryan Tolmich on the challenge facing Brad Friedel in New England. The Washington Post's Steven Goff talks to Chris Rolfe about his retirement due to concussion issues.
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