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Soccer League Confirms: No Kickoff Until '96

November 17, 1994

NEW YORK — Alan Rothenberg, who put together the 1994 World Cup tournament that was the most profitable in soccer history, confirmed Wednesday that Major League Soccer will not get under way in the United States until April 1996.

The delay is the second for the fledgling outdoor professional league whose development was mandated by FIFA, the sport's world governing body, when it granted the '94 World Cup to the United States. Original plans called for MLS to start in 1995, although FIFA originally wanted a league in place before the World Cup.

"From the beginning we have all said it is far more important that we launch Major League Soccer right than we do it on any particular preordained timetable," Rothenberg said.

Tampa and Chicago were added to the list of Boston; Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles, New Jersey (Giants Stadium), San Jose and Washington, which were announced in June.

A ninth team, Long Island (N.Y.), announced in the summer, will not begin play until 1997 at the earliest because of stadium problems.

Investors for the Los Angeles, New Jersey and Washington teams, as well as a fourth investor for a yet-undetermined franchise, also were introduced.

Top candidates for the remaining two franchises are Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, San Diego, Seattle and Tulsa.

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