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By ESPN Staff

Steve Nash joins push to bring Whitecaps into MLS

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- NBA superstar Steve Nash one of the country's most visible athletes, is joining the reclusive owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps in a bid to buy a Major League Soccer franchise.

The Whitecaps hope to bring an MLS team to Vancouver when the league grants two new franchises in 2011.

The Phoenix Suns point guard, speaking from New York via telephone, told the news conference he will not be a majority owner, but will put a significant amount of money toward the project. Nash will join current owner Greg Kerfoot.

"I'm investing my own money, a considerable amount," the Phoenix Suns' guard said via telephone from New York. "While I will definitely be far from a majority owner I will have a stake in the club.

"For me the money is part of it. It's only a token of the passion and commitment that I have to see the club come to Vancouver."

An MLS franchise will cost at least $30 million.

The Vancouver Whitecaps are currently a Canadian professional soccer team, part of the United Soccer League's first division.

The MLS currently has 14 teams, with Seattle becoming the 15th team next season and Philadelphia joining in 2010.

Joey Saputo, president of the USL's Montreal Impact, said he will bid on a franchise for the city. The MLS has also met with Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk to discuss a possible team in that city.

Toronto FC became Canada's first MLS expansion team in 2007.


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