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MLS executives planning trip to Queen City, FC Cincinnati says

Posted at 3:04 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 15:04:24-04

CINCINNATI -- The head honchos of Major League Soccer are scheduling a visit to Cincinnati. Could an announcement on the future of FC Cincinnati finally be coming?

FC Cincinnati's leaders said the team is still working on their bid for a MLS expansion slot.

Club owners Carl Linder III and David Thompson and GM Jeff Berding discussed their bid with MLS executives in Los Angeles Sunday at the opening of Los Angeles FC's new stadium, FC Cincinnati said in a written statement Wednesday.

"While extraordinary progress has been made, all of our work must be finalized – including various legal agreements with the City, Port, County and CPS and an assessment of our interim MLS Nippert Stadium plan – before our bid will be 100 percent complete for final review," FC Cincinnati said in the statement.

MLS picked Nashville as the first of two expansion teams in December. League officials had previously said they hoped to announced the expansion team by the time the 2018 season opened. That date came and went in March, with no announcement.

But MLS Commissioner Don Garber and other executives will visit the Queen City at an unspecified date, according to the team's statement. During the visit, they will meet with FC Cincinnati's owners. 

FC Cincinnati has been working toward building a controversial new soccer stadium in the West End, which would meet the requirements MLS officials have previously said they're looking for. 

"We’ve come extraordinarily far in such a short time, but before we have the opportunity to earn a place in Major League Soccer, we must have complete due diligence to ensure a success and we’re focused on that at this time," the team said.