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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The Gateway to the West is in the running for a Major League Soccer team and may even be leading the pack. The MLS Commissioner
says St. Louis is a front runner for expansion.

One big reason St. Louis could score a Major League Soccer team is the fact that the Rams are gone. Local soccer analyst Bill McDermott says St. Louis soccer fans should be feeling optimistic about the chances of the MLS choosing St. Louis in the next round of expansion.

The league commissioner visited St. Louis earlier this year. He says the league is talking with potential investors for a St. Louis team and believes the Rams departure makes for the perfect fit for a new downtown soccer stadium.

"If indeed there is going to be a professional soccer league in the United States. St. Louis should have been involved in it in 1996 at the inception. However, the two problems were there no soccer specific stadium and no ownership group." said Bill McDermott.

The group MLS2STL is spearheading the effort to bring an expansion team to St. Louis. They are withholding comment for now. There`s been no public announcement regarding an ownership group or a definitive site for a stadium.

How a new stadium would be paid for remains unanswered. McDermott is convinced there`s enough support for an expansion to St. Louis.

Sacramento is the other city the MLS Commissioner says is a front runner. If expansion does come here a team could be playing here as soon as 2020.