Cincinnati on MLS offensive, Columbus on defense

Columbus Crew fans show their support for their team as they play against Toronto FC during the first half of an MLS Eastern Conference championship soccer match Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. The Crew's owner has recently threatened to move the team after the 2018 season. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Political and business leaders in Cincinnati are pushing toward their goal of scoring a Major League Soccer franchise, while in Ohio's capital city, soccer supporters are on defense as they try to keep theirs.

Cincinnati was just named one of four finalists for two 2020 expansion teams. But in Columbus, the owner of one of the original MLS franchises is threatening to move the Crew to Austin, Texas, if the team doesn't get a new stadium.

The 22-year-old league is seeing more growing attendance figures as it aims to eventually expand from 22 teams last season to 28. But Columbus officials are expressing frustration about lack of commitment to keeping the Crew there, while Cincinnati officials have been scrambling to put together an attractive expansion bid.

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