Football News

Former Manchester United player awarded Miami MLS expansion team

Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham is the newest owner in Major League Soccer. The retired football superstar was award the latest MLS expansion side as the league pushes toward 25 teams. Beckham will now head a team currently dubbed as Miami-Beckham United; although an official name will be announced soon. The Miami MLS expansion team has been a long time coming, and at one time, many fans didn’t believe this day would come.

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Despite taking several years to take shape, Beckham and his co-owners have been awarded the 25th franchise in MLS. It is expected the club will play its first league game in 2020. The club will be started from scratch and Beckham’s team is in the process of getting approval for a self-funded stadium in the city. The Miami MLS expansion team hopes to have a 25,000-seat stadium when it is finished.

Beckham played for Los Angeles Galaxy from 2007 to 2012, and he is credited with turning around the fortunes of the North American league. Prior to Beckham’s arrival in MLS, the league featured just 13 teams. In 2018, MLS will welcome its 23rd team, Los Angeles Football Club.

In Beckham’s original MLS deal, the football player was given the option of owning a franchise following his retirement. The incentive was one of the sweeteners put into the contract that lured the former England international to the States.

“Our mission to bring an MLS club to Miami is now complete, and we are deeply satisfied, grateful and excited,” Beckham said in a statement released by the MLS.
Miami had an MLS franchise in the early days of the football league. In 1998, Miami was awarded a club known as the Fusion. However, just four years later due to a lack of fan interest and an inability to find a permanent stadium in the city, MLS contracted the franchise.
Since 2002, the city has been ripe with minor league teams and is the current home of second division North American Soccer League club Miami FC. In 2017, the club was coached by AC Milan legend Alessandro Nesta. However, with the lack of promotion and relegation in American soccer, there is no ability for the NASL Miami franchise to play in the top-flight of American soccer.
Although Beckham made his intentions know that he would become an owner back in 2014, the process to gain the expansion side has been difficult. The club now hope to start play for the 2020 season.