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Beckham, Miami Are #22 Caliber

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Don Garber, David Beckham, Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez

We don’t know exactly when, but Major League Soccer is back in Miami. Just over 12 years after the contraction of MLS’ original South Florida team, the Fusion, the league announced Wednesday morning that its 22nd team, one owned by David Beckham, will join the league….at some point.

No time frame was given, as everything hinges on negotiations for a stadium site (Beckham said during the presser that they won’t be looking for public funding). With Orlando and New York City FC joining in 2015, the league will be at 21 teams. While a symmetrical 22 would be great, it seems highly unlikely for 2015 and more likely for 2016 at the earliest. (Beckham even joked, “Obviously, we can’t build a stadium in two weeks,” even though that’s what Sacramento is apparently planning to do for its USL Pro team.)

Here’s a look at how long MLS’ previous 13 expansion clubs took from their official announcement to their first league match:

# Announced Team Came From? 1st Game Days
22 2/5/2014 Miami Expansion ???? ????
21 11/19/2013 Orlando USL Pro *3/7/2015 473
20 5/21/2013 New York Expansion *3/7/2015 655
19 5/7/2010 Montreal NASL 3/10/2012 673
18 3/20/2009 Portland USL First Division 3/19/2011 729
17 3/18/2009 Vancouver USL First Division 3/19/2011 731
16 2/28/2008 Philadelphia Expansion 3/25/2010 756
15 11/13/2007 Seattle USL First Division 3/19/2009 492
14 7/18/2007 San Jose II Expansion 4/3/2008 260
13 5/11/2006 Toronto Expansion 4/7/2007 331
12 8/2/2004 Chivas USA Expansion 4/2/2005 243
11 7/14/2004 Salt Lake Expansion 4/2/2005 262
12 4/9/1997 Miami# Expansion 3/21/1998 346
11 4/9/1997 Chicago Expansion 3/21/1998 346
*Tentative
#Later contracted along with Tampa Bay

The “from scratch” expansion teams have had an average of about 400 days from announcement to first kick. The “promoted” teams from lower divisions have had about 619 days.

Beckham, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez seemed optimistic that negotiations could go fairly quickly (and when you’re not asking for public money, I guess it helps). How quickly, we’ll see. It’s a funny game.

Written by admin

February 5th, 2014 at 9:17 am

Posted in soccer

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