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Franchise Notes

In L.A., Kevin Baxter wrote the Sounders' Concacaf Champions League title last week "should end any debate over which club is the marquee franchise in MLS." The club has not "missed the postseason since joining the league" in '09 and has "played in four of the last six MLS Cup finals." The Sounders have "done it by managing their resources well." GM Garth Lagerwey said that he has "benefitted from a supportive ownership and a loyal, educated fan base" which has "allowed him to sign the most talented players rather than chase the biggest name" (L.A. TIMES, 5/10).

LONDON CALLING: In Toronto, Rob Longley writes the Blue Jays have "long had a coast-to-coast appeal in Canada." Longley: "Is it time to try to expand that reach to the home of the British monarchy?" With MLB announcing this week that it is "committed to playing regular-season games in London" in '23, '24 and '26, "don’t be surprised if the Jays find themselves in the running for one of the cross-ocean road trips currently being planned." There "already are indications" that the team is "interested." It would not "be a surprise" if the Blue Jays "submitted a detailed proposal bidding to be part of an initiative that has the power to enhance the global appeal of both the sport and the teams involved." The team is an "also-ran for such initiatives because of the league’s overall indifference to the Canadian market." But with the "natural colonial ties and a team whose recognition is growing around the game," the timing "may be right" (TORONTO SUN, 5/11).

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