ST. LOUIS — Over half a year after St. Louis voters decided against funding a potential soccer stadium downtown, Major League Soccer has seemingly moved past the Gateway City.
The MLS announced early Wednesday that Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacremento as the four competing for the next two expansion slots to join America's top soccer league.
The next two MLS expansion teams will be selected before the end of the year. Two more expansion teams will be picked later. In 2015, MLS announced plans to expand to 28 teams. Los Angeles Football Club begins play in 2018, becoming the league's 23rd team. Discussions continue for a MLS expansion team in Miami.
Although St. Louis did not make the final cut, MLS is still considering the city for the following two expansion clubs. Among the competing cities are Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St. Petersburg.
In a statement, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, in part, "The leaders of the Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento MLS expansion ownership groups have bold visions and innovative plans for their clubs, stadiums and their involvement in their respective communities."
Like Sacramento, both Cincinnati and Nashville have soccer clubs in the United Soccer League. Detroit, meanwhile, has a team in the National Premier Soccer League.
The groups representing each prospective team will present bids on December 6 to Garber and the league's expansion committee. Sacramento's bid is led by Kings minority owners Kevin Nagle and Mark Friedman and San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York. Nagle is the chairman and CEO of the Sacramento Republic FC.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.