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Portland could know Major League Soccer fate by fall

    Portland might know as early as this fall if it will join Major League Soccer in 2011.

    The league on Thursday announced the timeline for awarding its next two expansion franchises. Interested parties must apply by Oct. 15. Selections will be made either this year or in the first quarter of 2009, the league said.

    The response by Merritt Paulson, who is leading the effort to bring top-tier soccer to Portland: We’re going for it. Paulson owns the Portland Timbers and Portland Beavers minor league teams that play soccer and baseball, respectively, at PGE Park.

    Portland is among eight cities in the United States and Canada seeking the two expansion slots. The other possible locations are Atlanta, Las Vegas, Montreal, a second team for New York, St. Louis, Ottawa and Vancouver, B.C. The 14-team league will grow to 15 with Seattle joining next season and to 16 in 2010 with the addition of Philadelphia.

    — Excerpt from The Oregonian, August 1, 2008


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