David Beckham’s Miami franchise finally set for official launch before the end of January

David Beckham’s long-awaited Miami soccer franchise is seemingly just days away from its official launch. The club’s official launch is expected to take place by the end of January, according to one of the new members of Beckham’s ownership group.

Jorge and Jose Mas joined the Beckham United group in December, along with Japanese businessman Masayoshi Son. The Mas brothers met with Beckham and fellow investor Marcelo Claure in Kansas City last week, with official confirmation of the franchise’s launch now apparently very close.

“We had super, super productive meetings in KC,” Jorge Mas told the Miami Herald on Saturday. “I’m very excited for what we can bring the Miami soccer fan, and we’ll have some big news to announce in Miami in the near future.

“Being a native, I’m a Miami guy 1,000 percent, and I want to make this a really special team with a really special fan experience.”

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If the official unveiling does indeed take place before the end of the month, the team’s official name and preliminary kit designs should be revealed for the first time. MLS Commissioner Don Garber would be expected to host the event, along with Beckham and his business partners.

Worth the wait?

It’s been just short of four years since this process began for Beckham. MLS announced that Beckham had exercised an option to launch his own expansion team for the discounted fee of $25 million back in February 2014, less than a year after his retirement from football.

The agreement to launch his own franchise for a reduced cost was written into his LA Galaxy contract that he penned ten years ago. But Beckham has suffered countless setbacks in the hunt for a stadium site for any potential team over the past few years.

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However, it now seems his dream is set to become a reality. The ownership group are preparing to begin building a 25,000-square-foot stadium in Overtown, just west of downtown Miami. Although the team would potentially have to play their first season at a temporary site if the stadium is not built in time.

The club are expected to enter MLS for the beginning of the 2020 season, although this will be confirmed at the official launch event. An event that finally appears to be imminent.

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Don Garber: MLS has ‘total belief’ in latest expansion franchise Minnesota United FC

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber strongly believes that the latest expansion franchise to be revealed, Minnesota United FC, will succeed as they represent everything that is spurring the growth of MLS.

Minnesota United FC were officially announced as the league’s 23rd expansion franchise on Wednesday afternoon and will enter the league by 2018 at the latest.

It’s a fascinating turnaround of fortunes for Minnesota United, who currently play in the NASL, as the club almost ceased from existence two years ago.

Uncertainty had surrounded soccer in Minnesota for years and after changing team names, league’s and ownership several times, Dr. Bill McGuire came in to save the club in November 2012.

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“[The owners] are totally committed,” Garber said at Wednesday’s expansion announcement from Target Field. “They love this game, they love this city and they’ve got a great plan for a building.

“They represent exactly what we want and what we need to continue this momentum that we have, that’s really stimulating the growth of our league.”

Don’t Miss: EXCLUSIVE: Minnesota United’s ‘Dark Clouds’ on MLS dream

Garber and the people at the top of the MLS pyramid chose Minnesota as the 23rd expansion franchise despite solid bids from Sacramento Republic, Las Vegas and a second one from Minnesota headed by the NFL’s Vikings ownership.

And the decision to award the latest MLS expansion slot to Minnesota United FC is something the MLS Commissioner thinks will go down as a great one.

“We have total belief in the Twin Cities. This is a market that is young, that is diverse, that has more people riding their bicycles around than they do in Brooklyn, and Brooklyn is a pretty hip place.

“It has an incredible international flair too. It is a city that represents all of the things that we have been able to capitalize on that are allowing our league to be a sport for a new America. It’s diverse, it’s young and it is empowered by people who are the next generation of great sports fans.”

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United are set to enter MLS in time for the start of the 2018 season but could come in a year earlier, depending on developments with LAFC and their stadium plans, though Garber admitted that the date of entry had nothing to do with David Beckham’s proposed Miami franchise.

“It could be as early as 2017. We have a number of moving pieces. That’s part of the dynamic with a young sports league. The target is no later than ‘18 and it could be as early as 2017.

“Los Angeles is coming into our league and they are either ’17 or ’18 and Minnesota will be either ’17 or ’18. It’s not related to Miami.”

Will Minnesota United FC take MLS by storm when they enter the league in the next three years?

David Beckham Miami update: It’s been delayed but “it will happen”

David Beckham has spoken again, giving us another update as to what exactly is going on with his proposed Miami Major League Soccer franchise.

The former LA Galaxy star has seen two stadium plans rejected over the past year but Beckham has reiterated once again that the plans to get Miami in MLS are very much on track, despite the delays.

We’re making some really good progress, some real positive progress, so at some point in the next couple of months there will be some announcements,” he told the BBC.

“Miami obviously doesn’t have a stadium at the moment, and we’ll continue to work hard on that. So it’s hard work, of course, but nothing in life is easy. We’re focusing on that and then we’ll announce it when ready.”

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Reports at the start of January revealed that a major announcement regarding the plans for Miami was to be revealed by the end of March. That still looks to be the case but hearing Beckham speak positively about the plans is obviously important along the way.

“I mean, delays are always frustrating, but to get it right, sometimes there are delays.

“We will get it right and it will happen. It’s taken a little bit longer than we thought. But it will happen,” he said with confidence.

Beckham was speaking from an event today announcing his extension as the UNICEF goodwill ambassador – a role he has filled for 10 years now.

Atlanta and Los Angeles FC are set to join the league in 2017 and with Don Garber’s plans to have 24 teams by the end of the decade still very much intact, we can expect to see Beckham’s Miami franchise playing sooner rather than later.

A date will be announced at some stage but for now the priority remains to find the team a home, even if that is a temporary one to get the club up and running.

When can we expect to see David Beckham’s Miami franchise in MLS?

David Beckham MLS Miami update: Major announcement coming

David Beckham‘s Miami-based Major League Soccer franchise is heading in the right direction again, and a major announcement is expected before the end of March, reports Tom Hopkins of the Sunday People. 

Beckham announced plans to introduce a Miami expansion franchise into MLS last February but has faced continuous problems with regard to finding a suitable location for a stadium.

Two proposed waterfront sites have fallen through after local residents and businesses refused the plans put forward by Beckham and his team, and Don Garber reiterated in August that the expansion would not go ahead without a suitable stadium plan.

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There still doesn’t appear to be a definite plan but the chances are that the team will groundshare for at least their first season – the Florida International University campus is believed to be an option, while a permanent home is built.

An official statement released by Miami Beckham United on Thursday reiterated that plans are on the right path and things are looking good.

“Things are progressing in Miami, and we are very much on track in our plans,” the statement read. “David Beckham is very positive about the future of the club, and he continues to enjoy incredible support from the people in Miami.”

Aside from stadium plans, Beckham has been finalising plans for the clubs colours, team name and is making sure that the appropriate investors and sponsors are all on board as the former LA Galaxy star looks to kick things up a notch.

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Two expansion franchises New York City FC and Orlando City SC will enter MLS this year, with Atlanta and a second Los Angeles side set to join in 2017.

Don Garber set a target of having 24 teams by the end of the decade and Miami is very much back on track to being the 23rd, leaving one space. Minnesota, Las Vegas, Sacramento, San Antonio, St. Louis and El Paso have all prepared bids to become the 24th.

The major announcement could be anything from a stadium solution, to club colours and a team name or even all of the above and we now wait with excitement for an update from Beckham himself.

Will the Miami franchise be a success in MLS?

5 World Cup winners you may not have known played in America

With the World cup starting on Thursday, we thought we’d pay tribute to five players who have won the trophy and played in America.

Some big names have graced US soccer in recent years but how many of these stars did you know plied their trade stateside?

1. Gerd Müller

The German International won the World Cup in 1974. He won the Golden boot at the 1970 world cup and amassed a staggering total of 68 international goals in 62 appearances.

He made the move to America in 1979 and played for three seasons with Fort Lauderdale Strikers, scoring 38 goals during his spell.

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2. Youri Djorkaeff

World Cup winner with France in 1998, the forward played for New York Red Bulls for two seasons between 2005 and 2006.

He played 40 times, scoring ten goals during his stint in the Big Apple.

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3. Alessandro Nesta

One of the more recent arrivals, Nesta won the 2006 World Cup with Italy, although he was injured in the final group match and sat out for the rest of the tournament.

Nesta is a legend and was a shock addition to the Montreal Impact squad in 2012. He played 31 times for the Canadian side before retiring.

4. Romario

The Brazilian goal scorer won the World cup in 1994 alongside Ronaldo in what was probably the best strike force to play at a World Cup.

Romario moved to Miami in 2006 and played 25 times for them, scoring a very impressive 19 goals.

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5. Denilson

Another Brazilian that made the move to MLS, Denilson was used mainly as a substitute during the 2002 World Cup in which the Brazilians won.

Denilson played for FC Dallas in 2007, making 8 appearances.

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David Beckham, the man with a plan

By Simon Pyne

David Beckham is set to introduce his very own team into Major League Soccer, and after such a great playing career, his Miami side will surely be a success.

There’s not a lot that hasn’t already been written about David Beckham. A true icon of world football and a name synonymous with immense skill and unbridled passion for the game.

From the moment he appeared on the back pages, he was never really off them during his glittering 20-year career.

From his early days in East London, to the success he achieved at Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Paris Saint-German and LA Galaxy, he has always showed the same determination to succeed and has put in the hard work required to achieve his goals.

For the English National team, he always showed a desire and passion to play for his country, and although this has been seen before amongst the likes of Stuart Pearce and Terry Butcher, it has arguably not been seen since.

He collected 115 caps, which was a record for an outfield player, and he still says one of his greatest achievements in football was captaining his country.

A true legend of his time in world football, but what was left for him to strive for once he finally hung his boots up?

He has been an ambassador for the sport and his country, and is carrying out the same role for UNICEF as well as Chinese football, but the desire for success and a new challenge would be gnawing at him internally.

So perhaps we should not be surprised he is now striving to build his own MLS team in Miami and is attacking the challenge with the same passion and enthusiasm he showed during his playing career.

There are huge challenges in store for him, as the problems with the new stadium location are already showing, with local business heavyweights objecting to the current proposal.

Miami Beckham United

Photo: Miami’s proposed soccer stadium (Miami Beckham United)

The new team are hoping to join MLS in 2017 and are perhaps taking the biggest gamble of all due to the previous Florida soccer teams; Dolphins, Panthers and Marlins all struggling with attendance figures in past seasons.

Miami will have to win games and then some in order to draw the fanbase they will require to enable success, and although “Brand Beckham” will be a draw they will still need big name players to bring in the crowds.

Of course Beckham has some great contacts to draw on, after playing for some of the biggest teams on the planet, and this will be a massive boost for the Miami team and MLS in general, as household name players are bound to appear for him.

It should follow that more supporters will be drawn by this influx of stars, so it has to be a win-win situation for the sport and MLS when, and not if, he succeeds in his plan.

One thing is for sure, David Beckham will put his heart and soul into his new venture in the same way he did during his playing career, and if all goes to plan with the stadium, we will all be talking a lot more about MLS and Miami very soon.