Expansion in Los Angeles (Chivas USA) and Utah (Real Salt Lake) gives the league 12 teams for the first time since 2001, when Miami and Tampa Bay were contracted. At least two more teams will be added in the coming years, with Houston, Seattle, San Antonio, Toronto, Cleveland and Rochester, N.Y., in the running.
Expanded rosters (from 24 to 28) will allow teams to field reserve squads, moving MLS closer to the rest of pro soccer around the world. Each reserve team will play 12 games against its counterpart, with most of United's home matches set for Sunday mornings at the RFK auxiliary field.
Fernando Clavijo will try to lead the Rapids to the playoffs.
(Luis M. Alvarez - Associated Press)
_____By the Numbers_____
Players on an MLS roster every season since 1996
Players with same team since '96 ( Cobi Jones, Los Angeles)
Original teams that have never played in MLS Cup (MetroStars, Crew, FC Dallas)
Teenagers on 2005 rosters
Players over age 40 (Preki of Kansas City, who will be 42 in June)
Current or former United players on Soccer America magazine's MLS all-time team (Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno, Jeff Agoos, Eddie Pope)
Coaches in the MetroStars' 10-year history
Days in the MLS regular season (compared with 181 for Major League Baseball)
Each team will play 32 regular season games, an increase of two. The length of the season will be about the same, but teams will also have to jam in U.S. Open Cup matches and exhibitions.
Dallas will unveil its new 21,000-seat stadium in suburban Frisco, Tex., in August. While it waits, the club will have to play 13 of its first 19 games on the road and its first six home matches at the dreary Cotton Bowl.
Besides shedding its old stadium, Dallas is also dumping its nickname, the Burn. The team will now be known as FC Dallas -- the FC stands for Football Club, a traditional label throughout international soccer. Not sure what the city's other football team, the Cowboys, thinks of that.
Fernando Clavijo, a former coach of New England and the Haitian national team, will guide Colorado following Tim Hankinson's dismissal. Clavijo played on the 1994 U.S. World Cup team.
-- Steven Goff