David Beckham has succeeded in bringing Major League Soccer back to Miami, but it seems as though Becks’ biggest fight is still upon him.
Getting plans to build a soccer stadium on PortMiami land is proving problematic, and then some.
On Friday Miami Mayor Thomas Regalado was quoted by the EFE news agency about the project and it is safe to say that he’s a little miffed about plans for Miami’s new MLS franchise to set up shop in land originally earmarked for port expansion only.
“The clause is very specific and very clear from a legal standpoint. It says that if the port’s lands are not used for port purposes then property reverts to the city of Miami,” Regalado said.
According to the report, Regalado has no intentions of taking the ownership group to court, however he wants the people of Miami to vote on how to use the land. That process would likely hold up Becks’ stunning stadium plans that were revealed last month, as red tape has already embroiled Miami’s newest major league sports franchise.
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The deeds for the parcel of land Beckham wants to build on were handed over almost 20 years ago, and if PortMiami does not use the land specifically for port functions then the city of Miami will take the land back. That could throw a huge spanner into the works, and scupper any stadium deal on the waterfront in downtown MIA. Several cruise lines have expressed concern over the proposed development, with worries over increased traffic and other factors. However it has also been revealed by county spokesman Fernando Figueredo that the piece of land Becks’ people want to build the stadium on cannot be used for cruise liners or cargo ships, as the water is too shallow.
All of this adds up to a major headache for Beckham’s crew, but I’m sure the city of Miami, PortMiami and Becks’ consortium can come to some kind of arrangement to get this deal over the line.
If not, it’s back to the drawing… and fast.
PRAGUE (AP) Former Czech Republic defender Frantisek Rajtoral, who won the domestic league title four times before joining Turkish club Gaziantepspor, died on Sunday. He was 31.
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The Czech football federation said in a statement that Rajtoral had “committed suicide in Turkey.”
His agent Pavel Zika confirmed the player’s death, describing it as a “huge tragedy.”
Gaziantepspor announced Rajtoral’s death in a brief statement on its website.
Rajtoral played 14 international matches for the Czech Republic.
In the top Czech league, he won four titles with Viktoria Plzen and played in the group stage of the Champions League twice for the club. He moved to Hannover in the Bundesliga in 2014 for half of the season, on loan.
He left Viktoria Plzen last year to move to Turkey.
Arsene Wenger has made it clear about Hector Bellerin representing Spain this summer but the Arsenal defender is prepared to go against his manager’s wishes if he is selected.
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The 22-year-old has said he hopes to play for Spain’s Under-21 side this summer during the 2017 European U-21 Championship but Wenger has been weary of Bellerin’s injury status and wants his fullback to maintain a clean bill of health throughout the offseason.
“I really want to play,” Bellerin told IBTimes. “Representing Spain is very important. If [Albert] Celades gives me the chance I’ll be there.
“Those are opinions of the managers. I have to keep working. The truth is that I had a difficult injury but I think that I am at 100% now and I’ll try to prove it when I get the chance.”
Bellerin signed a six-and-a-half year deal with the Gunners in November, where he has resided since coming up in the club’s academy. He has made 102 appearances for Wenger’s team in that span over all competitions.
PESCARA, Italy (AP) Roma boosted its bid for second place in Serie A and automatic entry into the Champions League with a 4-1 win at Pescara, which was mathematically relegated on Monday.
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Roma moved four points clear of third-placed Napoli, which drew against Sassuolo 2-2 on Sunday. Third place in Serie A receives a Champions League playoff.
Pescara remained 15 points behind Empoli. There are only five matches left and Empoli has the better head-to-head record, which is the deciding factor if two teams finish level on points.
There were 48 goals in total in the 33rd round, matching the record set in October 1992.
Roma took control shortly before halftime, with Kevin Strootman breaking the deadlock after Stephan El Shaarawy unselfishly rolled the ball across the area.
Radja Nainggolan, who earlier hit the bar, doubled Roma’s lead two minutes later.
Mohamed Salah extended Roma’s advantage three minutes after the break and the winger doubled his tally on the hour following a swift counterattack.
Ahmad Benali got a consolation for Pescara and a Cristiano Biraghi free kick also hit the post for the home side.
The timing is a bit sudden and certainly leaves many questions up in the air, but Phoenix Rising will have to look for a new manager.
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On Monday, head coach Frank Yallop resigned from his position with the United Soccer League (USL) club less than one day after former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba joined the organization as a player-owner.
With Phoenix seen as one of several lower-level clubs with ambitions of making the leap to MLS over the coming seasons, Yallop’s departure is surely a shock to many.
According to ESPN FC, Rising lead owner Berke Bakay was quite surprised by Yallop’s decision to step down, as was Drogba.
“Didier was as surprised and disappointed as we were that Frank is unable to continue coaching our Club,” Bakay told ESPN FC. “But, we all respect his decision to put his family first.
“Didier’s focus will remain on improving our team as a player and assisting our MLS expansion team ownership group as a co-owner. Frank will be helping with our international search for a new head coach.”
Rick Schantz, the current Rising assistant coach, will head the team’s managerial duties for the interim while the club completes a full search for a new manager.