David Beckham is coming back to MLS -- as an owner.
On Wednesday, the former LA Galaxy midfielder and MLS announced that Beckham had exercised his option to become an own an MLS expansion team and has selected the city of Miami to place the new franchise. With Beckham's announcement, MLS will return to Miami for the first time since 2001 when the league was forced to fold the Miami Fusion who played between 1997-2001.
According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade County has already begun negotiations with Beckham's ownership group about the team's potential sites for the team's soccer stadium. During his press conference on Wednesday, Beckham was adamant that the ownership group does not want to use public funds to finance the stadium.
“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,” said Beckham in a statement. “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. My experience with the Galaxy is what convinced me that I wanted to one day own an MLS team and it is thrilling to now see that dream coming true.”
“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 in a league statement. “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.”