Ownership groups representing Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento met last week with MLS owners at the league's headquarters in Manhattan, but no decision was revealed then.
Nashville, one of 12 cities to submit formal bids in January for a total of four expansion slots, was one of four finalists to present before the MLS Expansion Committee on December 6.
A second expansion team will go to Cincinnati, Sacramento or Detroit.
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Cincinnati, Nashville, Sacramento and Detroit are each vying for the two 2020 expansion bids. That means there is only one expansion team left to be awarded.
Falling into the consolation bracket, though, won't sooth the disappointment of Cincinnati or Sacramento fans if their city loses out. Miami's David Beckham-led expansion team, already awarded a franchise, may also start play in 2020, according to reports. That's a valid argument.
The city and team plan to build a 27,500-seat, $275 million stadium at the fairgrounds a few miles south of downtown.
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The announcement is a likely sign that Nashville has been chosen for one of the league's two expansion teams, a bid the city has always been a strong contender for.
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Does St. Louis have any chance at all in the next round of MLS expansion? However, MLS has made it clear the league prefers soccer-specific stadiums, something the city of Detroit does not have.
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The announcement comes amid an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against Richardson. Richardson had previously said that the team would be sold when he died.