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MLS Awards Expansion Team to Beckham, Miami

Major League Soccer on Monday Announced it has awarded a franchise to an ownership group that will base the team in Miami

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After a years-long effort, Miami has landed its soccer team.

The effort, led by former superstar player David Beckham, resulted in Monday’s announcement by MLS that it will welcome the team to the league. A final decision on when it will play its first game, however, is yet to come.

Beckham becomes the first former MLS player to own a team in the league. When he came to MLS as a player with L.A. Galaxy, Beckham negotiated a clause in his contract with the league that gave him a chance to own a team after ending his playing career.

“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,” Beckham said in a statement put out by MLS.  At an event in Miami announcing the team’s birth, Beckham also promised it will be a winner, saying he believes it will be one of the best teams in the league – before changing that to “the best.”

Other members of the ownership group include Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure; telecomm and construction company owners Jorge and Jose Mas; Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son; and entertainment entrepreneur and manager Simon Fuller.

“Today is a proud day for Miami, and for our family,” said Jorge Mas in a statement. “This is the first step in our quest to build one of the top clubs in MLS and the Americas. Our club will be innovative, and our stadium will deliver a world-class experience from the time fans leave home until the conclusion of the match. We will be relentless in our goal to win MLS Cup and other trophies. Our club will have a global vision but our fans in South Florida will always be our first priority reflecting the best of our community.”

“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,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in MLS’ statement.

The group plans to build a 25,000 seat stadium, and build a training center and an academy focused on developing local players.

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