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Sporting Kansas City To Return To Western Conference

Ryan Knapp

Sporting Kansas City will leave Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference and join the Western Conference in 2015, the MLS announced Monday.

The move will be a homecoming of sorts for Sporting KC, which played in the Western Conference from 1996 to 2005. 

The shift comes on the heels of an MLS expansion in the east. Two teams — Orlando City SC and New York City FC — will join the Eastern Conference for their inaugural seasons in 2015. A new team is expected to be announced this week for Los Angeles that will begin play in 2017.

“We’ve established some great rivalries in the East. Now we have to re-establish new rivalries in the West,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said of the move. “This move is a product of the league’s great growth and continued success.”

The Western Conference will be: Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Huston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Eastern Conference will be: Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC.

The 2015 season has been highly anticipated for MLS. The league will introduce a new identity and crest and begin an eight-year media agreement with ESPN, Fox and Univision.

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