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Ancelotti to coach Beckham’s MLS team in Miami?

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After moving to Miami full time, David Beckham is reportedly looking at appointing Carlo Ancelotti as the first-ever manager of his Miami franchise in Major League Soccer.

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According to a report from the Daily Mirror in the UK, Beckham remains close friends with Ancelotti, 58, and sees him as his main coaching target for the team which is expected to start play in 2020.

Of course, the biggest hurdle for Beckham and his ownership group to get over in the short-term remains nailing down a stadium deal, but focusing on naming a new head coach will be right at the top of their to-do list.

Per the report, Beckham is also keen on Bruce Arena (his former boss at the LA Galaxy) and former Real Madrid teammate Zinedine Zidane but Ancelotti appears to be the top target and given his pedigree it is easy to understand why.

The Italian coach has won major trophies with AC Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich, including three Champions League titles, but is out of work after leaving Bayern in September 2017.

Ancelotti has been spotted in London over the past few months with his name linked to both the Arsenal and Chelsea jobs, and it feels like the former Italian national team defender fancies one last crack at a big job in the Premier League.

That could scupper Beckham’s plans to have Ancelotti in charge in Miami — he’d likely want to get someone in charge by the summer of 2019 at the latest — but given the latter spending plenty of time in North America in recent years and seeming to come towards the twilight of his managerial career, it could work.

Ancelotti, along with Beckham, would be able to entice plenty of his former players to Miami to work with him again (would you really need much persuading if you’re a player to move to Miami? Probs not, but still…) and his coaching record and persona speaks for itself. He is a classy individual who has won everything he can in Europe and now may be a good time to try something completely different.

Report: Miami soccer stadium search may be re-opened

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You can’t be serious.

Less than five weeks since being awarded an expansion franchise, with an ownership group and a stadium plot of land in hand, it appears the stadium search is back on the table.

Speaking to the Miami Herald, co-owner Jorge Mas said he wanted to build one of the “most technologically advanced, futuristic stadium’s” in the country, and that couldn’t be done on the nine acres the club currently owns in the Overtown neighborhood in Miami.

“Obviously, you need more than nine acres for that,” Mas said. “We’ve been exploring the surrounding area in terms of: What can we do to put this all together?”

The news is another punch in the gut to MLS fans in South Florida, who have been waiting more than five years since Beckham first announced he would be exercising his MLS ownership option to find a stadium location. It appeared that Beckham had finally landed on building a stadium in Overtown but now it appears the Mas brothers have bigger plans.

The Herald reports that the Mas brothers have discussed a large range of sites, including an area next to Marlins Park, an old boat yard by the Miami River, and even outside of the city on a 24-acre site in Doral.

The longer the delays on a stadium, the longer Beckham’s expansion team will go before actually taking the field, even if they play their first few seasons in a temporary venue, such as Marlins Park or on the campus of Florida International University.

Beckham’s MLS stadium in Miami hits another snag

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David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise in Miami was officially announced last month in a glitzy ceremony in MIA, but there are still a few loose ends to tie up on the stadium deal in Overtown.

The search for land for a 25,000 capacity stadium almost ended Beckham’s dream to own an MLS franchise, along with other investors, but land in Overtown (less than 2 miles from downtown Miami) has now been purchased and everything looked to be moving ahead smoothly ahead of a 2020 entry in MLS.

Think again.

A report from the Miami Herald states that an appeal has been filed against Beckham and the land his ownership group purchased from Miami-Dade County.

More from the Herald below, as wealthy activist Bruce Matheson has appealed the decision to endorse the deal for three acres of county owned land Beckham’s group bought for $9 million as he offered to pay more for the same parcel of land.

“In granting David Beckham and partners a no-bid deal to pay $9 million for three acres of government land for a soccer stadium, Miami-Dade County gave the venture “a secret discount from the taxpayers” by avoiding the chance for better offers, lawyers fighting the proposed Overtown complex said in court papers filed late Monday…

“In 2017, Miami-Dade commissioners agreed to sell the Beckham partnership the three-acre county truck depot for $9 million without seeking other offers, citing the state’s economic-development law to justify the no-bid arrangement. A judge endorsed the deal in an October ruling, but Matheson appealed…

“The county requires developers in exclusive negotiations to pay market rate for government property and to agree to a package of hiring requirements and other benefits to local businesses and residents. The Beckham group agreed to create 50 permanent jobs at its stadium in exchange for the no-bid purchase.”

Here we go again…

Beckham’s bid hasn’t gone smoothly since the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder announced his intentions to host his cut-price MLS expansion side — as part of his playing contract with LA back in 2007 he was allowed to purchase an MLS franchise for $25 million upon retirement from the game. The current expansion fee is over $150 million — in Miami in 2014.

Several stadium sites have come and gone since then and at the event last month to unveil the franchise, Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure revealed he and Beckham were ready to throw in the towel after years of searching unsuccessfully for a stadium site in Miami.

Then local construction magnates Jorge and Jose Mas stepped in to join the ownership group and help finalize the bid last November, with the expansion franchise officially awarded earlier this month.

How serious is this? It seems to be no more than a slight speed bump which could delay the final deal as Beckham’s group have until June to close on the county land.

Beckham has stuck to his plans to house an MLS franchise in Miami up until now and is unlikely this legal appeal will see him pull out with a senior adviser to Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez quoted by the Herald as saying the deal was a “transparent process based on solid legal grounds.”

That said, Matheson previously fought plans to expand the Miami Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne and won, with the tournament since moving to Miami Gardens, so Beckham and Co. will be wary.

David Beckham’s Miami franchise arrives in MLS

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David Beckham owning a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami is no longer a dream.

It became a reality on Monday.

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A glitzy announcement took place at the Adrienne Arsht Center but MLS said “additional news and information on the club – including its debut season in MLS, team name, logo and staff – will be announced in the future” on the expansion franchise.

The team was first announced in February 2014 but has seen plenty of difficulties along the way, particularly when it came to a stadium site.

During the announcement Beckham and his partners admitted that “just 60 days ago” they had a breakfast which was the end of the bid and they thought it was all over, while local businessman Jorge Mas revealed that he stepped in to become a partner and help save the bid. Two months later the franchise is a reality.

It has been stated by local media outlets that the team will begin play in 2020, with the team to play at a temporary home until 2021 when their stadium is ready, while the colors and team badge will be picked with the help of fans in the coming months.

Miami hasn’t had an MLS team since the Miami Fusion folded in 2002 and they will become the second current MLS team in the State of Florida after Orlando City SC. With Nashville announced as MLS’ 24th team in December 2017 and Atlanta United joining for their inaugural season in 2017, the South East of the United States of America is fast emerging as a soccer hotbed.

Speaking alongside MLS Commissioner Don Garber and both the Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez at the event on Monday, Beckham was delighted to make his franchise officially official.

“Our mission to bring an MLS club to Miami is now complete, and we are deeply satisfied, grateful and excited,” Beckham said. “Our pledge to our fans in Miami and around the world is simple: your team will always strive to make you proud on the pitch, our stadium will be a place that you cherish visiting, and our impact in the community and on South Florida’s youth will run deep.”

A video featuring several superstars was played during the announcement with Jay-Z, Neymar, Will Smith, Serena Williams and others sending their congratulations.

Garber said it was “a day that will go day as one of the historic days in our league and the history of sports in Miami” before adding the following in a league release.

“It is with tremendous pride that we welcome Miami to Major League Soccer,” Garber said. “With David Beckham, Marcelo Claure, Jorge and Jose Mas, Masayoshi Son and Simon Fuller leading the way, we know the right people are in place and the time is right for Miami to become a great Major League Soccer city. This ownership is committed to bringing Miami the elite-level soccer team, stadium and fan experience it richly deserves. We look forward to working with the entire organization on a strategic and successful launch for Miami’s MLS club.”

An initial announcement came in Miami on Feb. 5 2014 that Beckham had triggered a clause in his previous playing contract with MLS — he joined LA Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007 — which stated he could buy an expansion franchise for the reduced fee of $25 million (that expansion fee is now over $140 million). He picked Miami as his preferred destination for a team in 2013.

Since then Beckham has battled with finding a stadium site near Downtown Miami to build a soccer-specific venue, but failed with multiple sites.

However, a site in Overtown, less than two miles from Downtown MIA, has now been found and all of the remaining parcels of land have now been purchased for over $28 million to allow development to start.

The stadium is expected to hold 25,000 fans and Beckham and his ownership group, which includes Simon Fuller, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, Tim Leiweke, plus Jorge and Jose Mas and Masayoshi Son who were added in December 2017, will fund the stadium privately.

Miami’s arrival in MLS will see the league grow to 26 teams with 25 now confirmed and one of Detroit, Sacramento or Cincinnati to be confirmed later in 2018.

Beckham’s Miami team to be announced Monday… finally

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MIAMI (AP) David Beckham can finally see the goal in Miami, and his Major League Soccer team is about to be born.

The soccer icon and his group of partners announced plans for a news conference Monday, saying they will make “an important announcement on the future of soccer in Miami.”

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Beckham is ready to draw his first Miami crowd, too: The event at a downtown arts center will be open to fans. MLS, which will stream the event live on its website, said they were participating in what will be “a special announcement.”

MLS Commissioner Don Garber is among those expected to attend, along with several Miami-Dade County political officials. Other members of Beckham’s group include Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, entertainment entrepreneur Simon Fuller and South Florida businessman Jorge Mas — who tried unsuccessfully to buy the Miami Marlins last year.

Beckham has spent the last four years trying to bring MLS back to South Florida. The Miami Fusion played from 1998-2001, folding because of poor attendance.

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Beckham’s plans for Miami were delayed because of ongoing challenges regarding where he could build a stadium for his new team. His group originally wanted a waterfront site, then settled on a plot of land in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood — a deal that has faced legal challenges, even after he spent $9 million to purchase a needed piece of land from the county.

There will be 23 MLS clubs this season, and the league is in the midst of trying to grow to 28 teams. Miami has long been considered the provisional 24th franchise, not having official status because of the stadium questions.

Those questions are apparently answered now to MLS’s satisfaction.

Nashville was recently awarded an expansion franchise, and when that team and Miami commence play it give MLS four franchises in the Southeast portion of the U.S. – with those clubs joining Orlando and Atlanta.

MLS is planning to choose another expansion club in Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento.