Beckham's MLS franchise to play in Miami

Feb. 5, 2014 at 1:08 PM
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MIAMI, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- David Beckham will exercise an option to form a Major League Soccer expansion and will put the franchise in Miami, the league said Wednesday.

The ownership led by Beckham next must work with MLS and local officials in south Florida to put together a deal for a new soccer stadium.

Beckham obtained the right to form an expansion team when he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy as an MLS "designated player" in 2007. He played in the league for six seasons.

"We appreciate all that David has done as a player, an ambassador and as a global icon to help grow Major League Soccer," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "We are thrilled that he will be an owner and we look forward to him helping us achieve our goal of being one of the top soccer leagues in the world."

"From the beginning of my career in England to today in Miami, my journey has always been driven by my incredible passion for the game," Beckham said.

"Miami is a vibrant, diverse community that thrives on the same type of energy that fuels the international appeal of soccer, and I look forward to a dedicated, long-term partnership with this dynamic city and Major League Soccer."

MLS currently has 19 teams with expansion franchises scheduled to begin play in New York and Orlando, Fla., in 2015. The league previously announced expansion plans to reach 24 teams by 2020.

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