May 29 (UPI) -- Major League Soccer announced that FC Cincinnati will join the league as an expansion team Tuesday in Cincinnati.
MLS commissioner Don Garber, Cincinnati mayor John Cranley, FC Cincinnati majority owner Carl Linder III and ESPN soccer broadcasters Taylor Twellman and Adrian Healey were in attendance. Fans lined Rhinegeist Brewery in Over the Rhine for the big news, which was relayed at a news conference.
"We all came together," Linder said. "We worked for something that's bigger than us. And we are here today because of that connection and that common goal. We are all excited to be part of Major League Soccer's tremendous future that is ahead."
FC Cincinnati has played in the United Soccer League since 2016. They play their home games at Nipper Stadium on the University of Cincinnati campus. FC Cincinnati will continue to play games at the stadium until its new stadium in constructed. The team will start MLS play in 2019.
MLS newcomers Miami and Nashville are set to begin play in 2020. The MLS announced Miami's team in January. Nashville was awarded its slot in December.
FC Cincinnati's new stadium is planned for the West End neighborhood in the Queen City. The club led the USL in attendance last season, drawing 21,199 per game in 16 home bouts.
Garber compared the FC Cincinnati stadium site to Real Madrid's Bernabeu and Liverpool's Anfield.
"You have a stadium that is going to be built in a great part of the community," Garber said."
The MLS is committed to fielding 24 teams next season.
"To your incredible fans, you folks have shocked the world and showed us that if you have the right city, the right ownership and management and if you have the right public support and you have the ability to bring fans together around this sport for a new America, great things can happen and the world has taken notice," Garber said. "So I want to say congratulations to all of you."