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A new season reminds us of the weird, magical world of MLS expansion

We spend so much of our time and energy playing metaphysical soccer. What if this, what if that, what if they? Here it happens for real.

5 min read

One of the best parts of loving MLS is that there's more to love every year.

The pros and cons of promotion and relegation have been pulverized by decades of back and forth; it's time to recognize the relatively unheralded charms of expansion. How exceptional it is to experience the creation of a new top-flight soccer team where previously there had been none. Perhaps a supporters group willed them into existence. Perhaps they stood on the shoulders of a lower division team, before likely crowding them out. No matter how much it happens, it's a soccer miracle, one that's being enacted in this country at a truly astounding rate on both the men's and women's sides.

This week it's St. Louis City SC's turn, who will play its first ever MLS game on Saturday against Austin FC. More accurately, this whole year has been its turn. This week is just when we finally get to see the payoff.

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