Major League Soccer, still the only professional sport with a Pizza Hut Park, is expanding, and our own Albert Pujols wants to get in on the action. The National League MVP-elect (there's an inauguration, right?) is throwing his weight behind St. Louis' bid to bring an MLS franchise through the Arch, or at least reasonably nearby. Pujols, a native of the Dominican Republic who grew up in New York and Missouri, has joined the ownership group for the proposed St. Louis MLS franchise. It is one of seven cities jockeying for the selection.

A master plan and design for a $400 million soccer, retail and entertainment complex in Collinsville, Ill. has been completed by the firm of Suttle Mindlin Architects, said Jeff Cooper, an East Alton, Ill. lawyer who is lead investor. It will include 14 fields for use by area youth and school teams. Collinsville is a collar community for St. Louis, just on the east side of the Mississippi River. As MLS soccer-specific stadiums go, Cooper said the Collinsville site is closer to the downtown area than most. "We are eight miles and eight minutes, all highway from downtown St. Louis," Cooper said. "You can stand on the ground at our site and you have a beautiful view of downtown and the Arch. It is as an easy place to get to.

Good to see someone is adding jobs these days. I thought the MLS was in trouble when it moved the San Jose Earthquakes to Houston; if you can't have a viable pro soccer franchise in San Jose, there's no real hope for expansion anywhere. But then all became right with the world when a brand new Earthquakes showed up in San Jose this year. From what I understand soccer is big in St. Louis, so best of luck, and please no mooning. Pujols Hopes To Bring MLS To St. Louis [MLS.com]