MLS to give Sacramento groups time to come together for bid

February 1, 2017 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Soccer will give rival groups in Sacramento, California, more time to come together in the city’s bid for an expansion team that would start play in 2020.

A group that included San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York, Sacramento Kings minority owner Kevin Nagle and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman was among 12 areas that submitted bids Tuesday.

The Sacramento Republic of the second-tier United Soccer League and its team president, Warren Smith, weren’t included. The Republic said in a statement Wednesday that a Sacramento bid without the USL team “was in violation of our agreements and without our authorization.”

Speaking during a conference call Wednesday, MLS President Mark Abbott said talks between the groups will continue and “from the league’s perspective we should give those discussions time to play out, so I’d like to minimize some of the brouhaha and hysteria around this.”

MLS intends to select two winning bids this year.