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Cranley 'hopeful' for positive FC Cincinnati announcement this week

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 05, 2018

CINCINNATI -- Will Major League Soccer accept FC Cincinnati's bid to join the league? And,  whatever the answer is, when will we find out?

If Mayor John Cranley knows anything, he's staying tight-lipped about it.

"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you," Cranley joked Friday.

However, the mayor said he is hopeful FC Cincinnati will be accepted into the top tier of professional soccer in the U.S.

MLS officials announced last month that they were accepting Nashville's bid, leaving Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento vying for one last expansion slot.

Cranley said he's hopeful an announcement could come as soon as this week. 

Cranley was having a conversation Friday with WCPO anchor Craig McKee and politics reporters Paula Christian and Amanda Seitz for Sunday's edition of "This Week in Cincinnati" when he made the comments about FC Cincinnati. 

Here's a transcript of the relevant portion of the conversation:

Seitz: Does FC Cincinnati get a bid this year?

Cranley: I think it's going to. You know, I was there in New York for the pitch. I think it's extremely exciting - the quality of life, it's really taken the city by storm. Carl Lindner and Scott Farmer and Jeff Berding, they really did an amazing job with the Major League Soccer expansion team. I know they were deeply impressed by our presentation. I don't know, but I'm predicting that we get an expansion team.

Christian: But here, or in Northern Kentucky?

Cranley: If I'm in charge, if I have any say, it'll be in Cincinnati.

McKee: There have been a lot of rumors and speculation, over the past 24 hours in fact, that an announcement will come this next week. Do you have any insight into any of that, or are you kept out in the dark like everyone else?

Cranley: I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. No... (laughter) I am hopeful that there will be an announcement next week and I'm hopeful that it will say that we're going to get a team.