Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 30th 2018 Contents sports A37
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Beckham’s MLS team is born
MIAMI—David Beckham had a
speech prepared and well-re-
hearsed for the event four years
in the making, then abandoned
his script shortly after taking the
Fitting, since nothing in his
quest went as planned.
“Bringing an MLS club to
Miami,” Beckham said, “has been
a hell of a journey.”
The journey is now complete.
Beckham has his team, and Miami
is back in Major League Soccer.
Beckham and MLS announced
yesterday that the long-awaited
franchise is now born. It took
Beckham nearly four years just to
get this far with Miami, and there’s
a slew of details still to come—such
as the team name, logo and when
it will start play.
All that can wait. The deal is
done, and a team is on the way.
The team will play in a 25,000-
seat, privately funded stadium
to be built in the city’s Overtown
neighbourhood, designed by a
firm that has worked on several
MLS venues in recent years. Part
of the deal also is that Beckham’s
group will build a training center
and an academy focused on devel-
oping local players.
Beckham is a global icon—in the
soccer world, the entertainment
world, even the fashion world. He
started his career with Manches-
ter United and also played for Real
Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy, AC
Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
He was a fixture in international
matches for England for years,
and won four championships in
four different leagues around the
12-year-old, a coach told him that
he wouldn’t play professionally or
for England. He persevered any-
way, became perhaps the biggest
name in the game when his play-
ing career was at its peak—and the
same doggedness was necessary
to get a deal done in Miami, after
the quest for a franchise nearly
failed several times along the way.
Yesterday’s event—more pep
rally than news conference, with
a few hundred fans in attendance
and a red carpet interview area
snaking through the media room—
was intentionally benign in many
respects. The MLS logo for all the
signage had a black background,
with the word “Miami” printed
below it in white.
In the beginning of this Beck-
ham-Miami plan, some people in-
volved in the talks predicted that
the team would begin play in 2017.
Getting on the field in time
for 2020 season might even be a
challenge now. But it is coming,
which is all the ardent soccer fans
of Miami have wanted to hear for
Momentum truly started build-
ing last spring, when Miami-Dade
County commissioners approved
a deal to sell Beckham nearly
three acres of county land for $9
million—the last parcel needed for
the nine-acre site on which the
planned 25,000-seat stadium will
be built. MLS officials said even
then they hoped to announce the
team’s official inclusion into MLS
last summer. (AP)
After failed election,
Italian FA faces
ROME—Already in serious cri-
sis following the Azzurri’s failure
to qualify for the World Cup, the
Italian football federation is facing
emergency measures after four
failed votes to elect a new presi-
The election assembly fell apart
yesterday when amateur leagues
president Cosimo Sibilia ordered
his supporters to leave their bal-
lots empty in the final round.
In the third round, Sibilia led
with 39 percent of the votes,
slightly ahead of Serie C president
Gabriele Gravina with 38 percent.
Players’ Association president Da-
miano Tommasi, a reform candi-
date and former Roma player, was
eliminated with 21 percent.
A majority was needed to win.
While there was no hope for a
winner, a fourth vote was held that
resulted in Gravina leading with 39
percent and Sibilia with 2 percent.
The Italian Olympic Committee,
which oversees all sports in Italy,
will likely impose an emergency
leader for the federation. (AP)
contract until 2020
has extended his contract at Man-
chester United, tying him to the
Premier League club until at least
United announced the new deal
for its manager on Thursday.
Mourinho was hired in 2016 on a
three-year deal with the option of
an extra 12 months. In his first year
in charge, he won the League Cup
and the Europa League.
Mourinho also has the option to
stay for a further year. (AP)
David Beckham speaks at an event where it was announced that Major
League Soccer is bringing an expansion team to Miami, yesterday, in Miami.
The team is backed by Beckham and a team of investors.
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