Featuring an expansion update, injection of Targeted Allocation Money funds and a playoff structure that will stay the same for at least another year.

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TORONTO — This is an MLS Cup of firsts, as league commissioner Don Garber pointed out throughout the introduction of his “state of the league” address on Friday afternoon at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Saturday night’s MLS Cup, between the Sounders and Toronto FC at BMO Field, is the first to be held in Canada – the first to feature a Canadian team, period. This league championship, to be broadcast nationally on FOX, will be the first this decade to air on English-language network television.

And perhaps mostly tellingly of all, the 2016 MLS Cup will be the first to feature two expansion teams, without a single original franchise represented. The matchup, in that sense, is appropriate.

Both Seattle and Toronto were part of the wave of successful expansion franchises that have accelerated Major League Soccer’s growth.

Toronto FC, which joined the league two years prior to the Sounders in 2007, hasn’t always matched its MLS Cup opponent in on-field success. But in many ways, TFC provided the rough draft Seattle was able to improve upon in hitting the ground running in 2009: Playing in a downtown stadium, in front of a passionate and vocal core following and with an ownership group that bought into the major-league part of MLS.

“I think what Toronto did when they came in,” Garber said, “is show the North American market in many ways what an environment of passionate soccer supporters can be.

“I think that was a pretty big talisman that they held up.”

– Garber confirmed that the league will raise the Targeted Allocated Money pool to $1.2 million per team in 2017, as first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl and an increase of $400,000 per club.

Targeted Allocated Money essentially allows teams to target player signings that slot in below the biggest stars (Designated Players) but above the league’s rank-and-file (most often accounted for by General Allocation Money).

Confused yet? In layman’s terms, the injection of funds will allow teams to bolster the league’s upper-middle-class — the Osvaldo Alonsos and Roman Torres’ of the world.

“Our roster rules can be complicated,” Garber said. “But so are the roster rules of other leagues: The (Larry) Bird Exception and Franchise Tags – major franchise tags and minor franchise tags. All leagues have roster structure that allow them to effectively manage their rosters. I don’t subscribe to the fact that it’s too complicated.”

The commissioner did, however, at least allow that the league could stand to be more transparent about its wage structure.

– Garber did not provide a definitive update on league expansion, but one could come as early as next Thursday. The league’s annual board meeting is next week, and the commissioner expects to roll out expansion timelines for teams 25 through 28 as early as next Thursday afternoon.

Atlanta and Minnesota will join MLS season, followed in 2018 by Los Angeles FC and David Beckham’s Moby Dick of a Miami franchise – provided the latter can finally nail down a stadium deal.

“There is a deadline on the Miami deal. I’m not going to share that deadline,” Garber said. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We need to resolve the Miami situation so that we can go forward with our expansion plans for 25-28, because they’re team 24. If they’re not going to be 24, there are a lot of things that will have to shuffle around.”

Cities that have been floated as potential expansion candidates: Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Detroit and San Diego.

– Video review will be tested out during the first half of next season and implemented following the All-Star Break. Garber referred to the program VAR (Video Assistant Referee), because this league just can’t get enough of its acronyms.

– There will be no changes to league’s playoff format in 2017 despite the addition of an extra team in each conference. Beyond that? “I’m not afraid to make changes,” Garber said. “… We’ll continue to work on it.”