There is still plenty of skepticism about how well Miami will work in MLS. South Florida isn’t the best area for professional sports, and soccer can be a hard sell even in the most fertile markets. So, that’s two strikes going in.
But here’s the thing as Major League Soccer and David Beckham continue to push for that franchise in Miami: if anyone can make it work, it’s Beckham.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but if the MLS brand is ever going to catch fire in South Florida, this is its best shot.
That’s not because Beckham has cracked the code on how to sell the spot here, although he’s a clever fellow, and certainly one who knows how to align himself with other smarties. Rather, it’s because of the forces Beckham can muster.
For instance, today we see news that musical chart toppers Jay-Z and his wife ¬Beyoncé have been recruited for the effort. The story out of England says namey name musician and actors are in line to be among the club’s limited investors.
If Beckham and friends can truly make their stadium the place to be, creating something like what the Lakers have going out in Los Angeles, it gives the operation lots of momentum right from the start. Having figures such as Labron James and Tom Cruise – they’re already friends or potential business partners or both – and musical luminaries Tweeting out the team’s message and bringing their image power will help make the team immediately relevant in the local culture.
No franchise can survive on star power alone, of course. They have to win at some point (right, Toronto FC?) and they have to make the right marketing moves. But having the star power that Beckham and Simon Fuller can import certainly helps create the opportunities.
Think of them as charcoal that makes starting the fire so, so much easier.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.