David Beckham heads to Tallahassee, as Miami stadium deal heats up

1 Comment

David Beckham is heading to Tallahassee, Florida to try and get Florida state legislators on his side.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, Beckham is gathering up support for Major League Soccer’s 22nd franchise in Miami, which he owns along with a business group he’s put together.

Plans for an ambitious stadium for the franchise holding up to 35,000 people on the Miami waterfront were unveiled on Monday, as Beckham aims to bring a stadium close to the heart of the PortMiami complex, much to the annoyance of cruise ship companies.

Speaking with reporters on Monday, Beckham was upbeat but considerate when discussing his plans to bring a downtown soccer-specific stadium to Miami. The former LA Galaxy, Manchester United and Real Madrid star wants to get cruise ship companies on his side, despite intending to build Miami’s MLS stadium on the site that cruise companies have earmarked for future expansion of the world’s busiest cruise port.

“I want to change their minds,” Beckham said. “I don’t want to be an enemy to the people that are opposed to the stadium. I want to work with them.”

(MORE: After Miami’s entry to MLS, big question remains – where will the stadium be?)

Beckham is heading to Tallahassee to ask for state aid for the stadium on Tuesday, after the global soccer icon insisted during the franchises unveiling that he will not seek local money to build the stadium, as he and his consortium will fund the stadium privately. However the Englishman has hired a lobbyist and is reportedly seeking around $2 million per year for the stadium, the same amount that the recently developed SunLife and American Airlines arena received from the state.

“We want to be treated like every other franchise,” Beckham said. “We’re not asking for anything more or anything less.”

The ambitious plans for the stunning complex will see fans walking across a footbridge over the water to the stadium, and the sweeping roof design will place it as an iconic building in the heart of downtown Miami. It will be an incredible addition to MIA and will put MLS at the heart of the city.

However, like any project of this stature, there are several speed bumps in the road. Let’s see if Becks can get through one of the first and get the state of Florida on board to help with funding.

VIDEO: Gerrard’s juggle and finish leads Liverpool legends past Real Madrid

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
Leave a comment

Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.

The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).

[ MORE: Under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.

Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.

On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).

Ozil bristles at talk of Arsenal selling him

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mesut Ozil is on international break, and bristling at reports that Arsenal is going to sell him.

The midfielder’s absence from the lineup last week had plenty speculating on his future, even more than usual. His contract expires in 2018, and several reports claimed he’d join Alexis Sanchez as players destined for elsewhere.

[ MORE: Under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

Ozil was not called up by Germany, and has missed four of his last nine Premier League matches. Three of those were for illness, and he missed last week’s loss to West Brom with a hamstring injury.

From Metro:

“And you think Wenger tells the journalist before he tells me? Then I know him differently,” Ozil told German outlet Welt.

“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”

Metro notes that Ozil also said he wants to win the Champions League, something that can only happen with Arsenal remaining in the Top Four. We suppose you could make snarky inferences from his “comfortable in London” phrasing, but we’ll leave it there.

Sydney FC clinches first place in A-League

Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images
Leave a comment

SYDNEY (AP) After clinching first place in Australia’s A-League without taking the field, Sydney FC enhanced its record achievement with a 3-0 win over the Perth Glory on Sunday.

Sydney FC won the Premiers Plate as regular-season champions after the second-place Melbourne Victory lost 1-0 to Brisbane on Saturday, when Sydney had a night off.

The Brisbane win left Sydney with an unassailable 11-point lead in first place with three rounds to play.

[ MORE: An under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

The Sydney side also created some history: it became the only team to have remained in outright first position in the standings for an entire season.

In the other match Sunday, the Wellington Phoenix beat Newcastle 5-0 to remain within five points of sixth-place Western Sydney for the final playoff spot.

Walking Dead? Star fittingly sees Exeter’s implausible comeback (video)

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Leave a comment

As Rick Grimes, actor Andrew Lincoln regularly battles the undead on his show “The Walking Dead”.

As a friend of Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale, Lincoln was probably pretty happy to watch a team that would not die.

Exeter went down 3-0 when Yeovil Town broke a scoreless drought with a trio of tallies between the 62nd and 78th minutes.

[ MORE: An under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

But Exeter’s David Wheeler scored in the 88th minute, and Troy Brown and Reuben Reid scored a minute apart at the beginning of stoppage time to earn a point for the League Two playoff hopeful.

Couple things on this video, too:

— Check out the shove on the goalkeeper when trying to collect the ball after the first goal of the fight back.

— Watch the man with his baby behind the net after the third goal. Did Mom know how safe her little one was?