RALEIGH North Carolina Football Club announced on Tuesday that it will be hosting Major League Soccer President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott in the Triangle on Wednesday, July 19.After meeting with business leaders and government officials from the Raleigh area, NCFC is set to hold a “MLS Rally” to showcase the market and fledgling fan base. It’s the latest attempt to convince the MLS it should come to the Triangle after submitting a bid on January 31.”We are excited to host Major League Soccer next week,” NCFC owner Steve Malik said in a statement. “We have a full slate of events planned for them and hope they will see the Triangle’s passion for soccer and desire to bring an MLS team to the area.”The rally will be held from 5 p.m. through 7 p.m. next Wednesday at 214 E. Martin Street in Downtown Raleigh. Directly next to Moore Square, the team is hoping the area will prove with a massive crowd that the Triangle area is prepared for an MLS club “in their backyard.”It’s the latest stop for the MLS, which has been visiting each of the 12 potential host cities for the next expansion of the league. The list includes Charlotte, Sacramento, San Diego, Cincinnati, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Phoenix, San Antonio, Indianapolis and St. Louis.Currently at 22 teams, the league is expected to move to 28 teams, but only four of the cities mentioned will earn a bid. Los Angeles FC is already confirmed as the 23rd team in 2018 while Miami and David Beckham are simply waiting on stadium approval to become the 24th team.In order for any city to make the final cut, it will need to prove it has solid ownership, strength of the market, firm stadium plans and financial stability. The last two are crucial for NCFC, which already has a great owner in Malik and a booming market in Raleigh. Coming up with exact stadium plans along with proof it can cover the reported $150 million expansion fee will be critical.But none of that means anything if the fans don’t show out for the team with MLS executives coming to town. So follow along with the NCFC’s social media campaign to find out more information about how the fans can help next Wednesday evening.
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