MIAMI — After years of toil and effort, English soccer great (or “footballer,” if you will) David Beckham has finally launched his eagerly awaited Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.
Beckham made his grand announcement at a press conference Monday afternoon.
“This is something that has been a dream for many, many years,” the legendary athlete said. “To bring an MLS club to Miami has been a hell of a journey.”
Beckham isn’t overstating it; his efforts to purchase an MLS expansion began in 2007 when he left the European club Real Madrid to join the Los Angeles Galaxy. The enterprising footballer had an option in his contract to purchase an MLS franchise anywhere other than New York City.
It was five years before a hinted opportunity in Miami emerged when MLS commissioner Don Garber announced in November of 2012 that MLS was interested in a Miami franchise.
“We continue to believe Florida needs an MLS team,” Garber said at the time. “At some point, I think, it would make sense for a team in Miami.”
That point, it seems, is now. Garber accepted the new team into the league, and joined Beckham at his press conference.
“These are the days that really warm our hearts and make us so proud,” the commissioner said. “Great things come to those who wait. A day that will go down as one of the historic days in our league.” This will be the first Major League Soccer team in the Miami area since the prior team closed up shop due to low attendance in 2001. Their run was short, having only begun in 1998.
Beckham doesn’t anticipate that problem again, having promised in 2014 to assemble the world’s best players into a team that would be “loved by millions of people.”
A bold statement to be sure, but if anyone can do it, it’s Beckham. Sports fans in Miami have a lot to look forward to!