The MLS (Major League Soccer) plans to add another three teams by 2020, which would see the North American league expand to 26 team overall in that event. According to online sportsbooks in USA, the newest member of the league – which is slated to make its debut in 2020 – would be Miami, a club that’s fronted by former England legend David Beckham and his business partners.
Will a second attempt of a Miami club be more successful?
Despite the Miami franchise on track to be unveiled in two years time, Beckham commented that it wasn’t all easy to kick off a brand new club in the MLS, as countless road blocks had to be overcome to realize this goal.
There were times we sat back and said ‘this is not going to happen. It’s too difficult. There are too many bumps in the road.’ But I don’t give up, said the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player.
The popular south Floridian town used to have a club called Miami Fusion between 1997-2001, however as part of the league’s efforts to scale down operational expenses, the club couldn’t actually maintain “fusion” and ended up folding. So the questions now is whether David Beckham – who already transformed MLS into a serious destination for top football stars – can make Miami a success under his guidance.
As part of his LA Galaxy contract that he signed in 2007, Beckham had a clause that stipulated he could start his own franchise after his playing days were over, at a greatly discounted rate. The standard rate for starting an MLS club nowadays stands at $150m, while Beckham was able to kick off his Miami football franchise for a “mere” $25m.
Backham has vast experience in the MLS, having made nearly 120 appearances for LA Galaxy
But before Miami officially becomes a part of the league and turns into a success, the iconic midfielder stressed the need for marquee players to join his club – perhaps hoping they would create a similar effect to his arrival in the MLS more than a decade ago.
I think Miami needs a star, said Beckham.
You have to realise the audience we have and Miami would expect us to bring in a star. That’s what we plan on doing.
Beckham’s impact in the MLS
The former England international joined MLS side LA Galaxy in the summer of 2007 – midway through the 2007 MLS season – from Real Madrid at the age of 32, as reported by providers of internet betting in USA. He made immediate headlines around the world and essentially proved to be the catalyst behind the growth in popularity of the MLS, as soon afterwards big-name players started joining the league in greater numbers. Albeit, most of these players were past their prime and spent their final playing days in what is perceived to be a lower tier of football that’s not as competitive compared to the greater challenge that football in Europe poses.
Between 2007 and 2012, Beckham has made a total of 118 appearances for the California-based club, scoring 20 goals in the process and providing countless assists. He helped LA Galaxy clinch the MLS Cup on two occasions (2011 and 2012), the Western Conference Playoffs three times (2009, 2011 and 2012) and the Western Conference Regular Season on another three occasions (2009, 2010 and 2011). But most importantly, the now 42-year-old is viewed as the main reason why the MLS has managed to grow as a competitive league – hence the expansion – that’s able to attract top stars across the globe.