MLS plans to announce two expansion teams 'around Dec. 19-20'

Major League Soccer will announce its next two expansion teams in mid-December, a league spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.

MLS is currently in the process of evaluating bids from 12 expansion candidate cities to fill four slots. The league has long planned to make the announcement regarding the first two near the end of the year, with the last two to be announced at date to be determined.

But on Thursday, commissioner Don Garber cast some doubt on that timetable while speaking at Goldman Sachs' "Talks with GS" series. According to Ian Thomas of the Sports Business Journal, Garber indicated that MLS might wait beyond 2017 to announce the first two teams.

However, a league spokesman clarified Garber's remarks, indicating via text message, that MLS remains on track to name two teams in December, with an announcement "likely around Dec. 19-20."

The 12 candidate cities are Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.