Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beckham will have "significant'' Miami MLS news by summer

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

David Beckham does not plan to make any announcements during his visit to Miami this week, but according to a source close to his camp, the soccer icon hopes to have “significant’’ news to share “before summer’’ regarding the finalizing of his team ownership group, a name for his Miami Major League Soccer club and the proposed debut season -- maybe 2017, but more likely 2018.

Beckham’s group has narrowed down four or five stadium sites “he quite likes,’’ but the more immediate issue, said the source, is trying to secure additional financing to be able to impress the soccer-savvy South Florida market with a state-of-the-art stadium, international marquee players the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, and a world-class soccer academy that would attract top young talent from all over the Americas.

“The narrative has centered around the stadium site, and that is a priority, but it is a bit of a red herring,’’ said the source. “The group has very big ambitions and big-picture decisions to make; so the reason this is taking so long is that they decided to take a step back from the stadium site issue and focus on what kind of football club we can be, how deep are our pockets, how much money can we spend?

“Will we be a rich stable club or a very rich club that attracts a Ronaldo or a Messi, the caliber of player that would really excite fans in Miami. Will we build a 20,000-seat stadium or can we afford 60,000? Public land or private? Will our academy be the envy of MLS or the envy of all of Latin America? We have to compete with NYCFC and the L.A. Galaxy, and the new Orlando team, and that requires deep pockets.’’

MLS commissioner Don Garber has remained in close contact with Beckham’s group, and plans to re-visit Miami soon.

“David and his partners are continuing to work hard to finalize plans for a new stadium, and we are supporting them in their efforts,” said Garber, who was headed to Minneapolis for a Wednesday announcement of a 23rd MLS franchise in that city.  “As we have said previously, we believe that with the right stadium and David’s passion, leadership and business acumen, Miami will be a great MLS market.  We plan to visit Miami in the coming months and will meet with David and local officials.’’

Beckham and his manager/business partner Simon Fuller have spent the past several months talking to potential investors all over the world.

“Just because (Beckham) hasn’t been seen in Miami doesn’t mean he has lost interest,’’ said the source. “That is not true at all. He has been talking to investors in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, who are very interested in Miami and attaching themselves to the team. He is narrowing down the right partners, trying to find partners who share his vision and integrity. Once he knows how much money he has to spend, then he can start planning all the rest of it. That really has to come first.’’

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Obrigada, Brasil!

Bom Dia from the Rio airport...5 a.m. here..on my my way home after 35 days in Brasil.

It's been a very memorable tournament -- on and off the field!

Thanks so much for visiting the blog. Hope you enjoyed the coverage. Here are my two stories from today...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/13/4234638/mario-goetze-sends-germany-home.html

and...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/13/4234548/michelle-kaufman-besides-finalists.html#morer

There's always a down period after the World Cup, but soccer goes on....MLS (64,000 showed up for Seattle v Portland last night!), European leagues, Champions League, ICC in Miami...

Keep coming back. And please share your views on the World Cup!

Obrigada,

Michelle.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Newest Beckham stadium plans

David Beckham's group on Thursday unveiled their new plans for a downtown #MLS stadium and waterfront park at the FEC boat slip between AmericanAirlines Arena and Museum Park. It would join the museum area with the arena and create a continuous green space along the water that, in my opinion, would be much more attractive than what is there now. In my mind, it would enhance the waterfront area and make it more of an attraction. Right now, the FEC slip area is underutilized, there is no nature there, and there are beer cans and garbage floating in the water. The project still has a long way to go, and voters will get to decide in November. Stay tuned.

Donovan reaction to snub, Klinsmann quote

World Cup Countdown: 20 Days to Go!

I am still stunned with the news that Landon Donovan was left off the US World Cup team. Is he as fast and fit as in his younger years? No. Is he still a better choice for a World Cup team than an 18-year-old German kid whose international experience consists of one half of one game, who does not play on his club team's first team, and who spent almost no time in this country? Yes, I believe Landon would have contributed more to this team -- on AND off the field -- than Julian Green. I'm sure Green is a great kid, and has a bright future, but Donovan is the face of American soccer, a leader, and even if he isn't a starter, he could have added creativity, vision and experience off the bench. Klinsmann obviously knows more about soccer than I do, but this move seems strange and may backfire.

Here is Klinsmann's explanation:

"This is certainly one of the toughest decisions — the toughest decision in my coaching career – to tell a player like him with everything he’s done and what he represents, to tell him that you’re not part of those 23 right now,” Klinsmann said in a video released Thursday by US Soccer. “I just see some other players slightly ahead of him.”

“The last 10 days he did everything right,” Klinsmann said of Donovan’s performance in training camp. “He was always positive, he took it the best way possible. So his disappointment is huge. I totally understand that. He took it very professional, because he’s an outstanding professional player and he knows that I have the highest respect for him.

“But I have to make the decisions as of today. I have to make the decisions what is good today for this group going into Brazil and I just think that the other guys right now are a little bit ahead of him and I told him that. And he understands it, but obviously he’s very disappointed.”

And here is Donovan's message he posted to fans on Facebook: “It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups. I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision. Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the US in the years to come. Thanks for all your support, Landon.

And here is former MLS player Jimmy Conrad's response on Twitter: Just double checking my math. 1 cap, no 1st team minutes with club team > 156 caps, 5 World Cup goals, best player in U.S. history. Got it.

 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

5 MLS players on Costa Rica roster

31 Days to the World Cup! Costa Rica released its provisional 30-man roster, which includes five MLS players...

COSTA RICA

GOALKEEPERS: Keilor Navas (Levante), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense), Daniel Cambronero (Herediano), Esteban Alvarado (AZ Alkmaar)

DEFENDERS: Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Giancarlo González (Columbus Crew), Michael Umaña (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Brujas), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew), Heiner Mora (Saprissa), Junior Díaz (Mainz 05), Christian Gamboa (Rosenborg), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls), Kendall Waston (Saprissa)

MIDFIELDERS: Celso Borges (AIK), Christian Bolaños (Copenhagen), Oscar Esteban Granados (Herediano), Michael Barrantes (AAlesund), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Diego Calvo (Valerenga), José Miguel Cubero (Herediano), Carlos Hernández (Wellington Phoenix), Ariel Rodríguez (Alajuelense), Hansell Arauz (Saprissa)

FORWARDS: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake), Bryan Ruiz (PSV Eindhoven), Joel Campbell (Olympiakos FC), Randall Brenes (Cartaginés), Marco Ureña (FC Kubán Krasnodar), Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew)

Historic US domestic TV deal announced...

31 Days to the World Cup, and domestic soccer in this country is about to get a lot more high-profile...

MLS and US Soccer announced a new 8-year TV deal with ESPN, Fox and Univision that is reportedly worth $90 million her year, which is triple what they were getting before.

MLS commissioner Don Garber said today at a press conference that the expansion plans for a second NY team and "downtown teams in Miami and Atlanta'' are key because they are major markets and will help the growth of the sport and national TV ratings in the US. Now, if David Beckham could just work out that little waterfront stadium issue...

Here's the TV deal press release...

NEW YORK (May 12, 2014) – Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer have signed new television and media rights partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes, reaching eight-year agreements with the networks to televise MLS and U.S. Soccer matches in the United States through the end of 2022.  The announcement was made today by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer CEO/General Secretary Dan Flynn, ESPN, Inc. President and Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman John Skipper,  FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 General Manager and Chief Operating Officer David Nathanson and Univision Deportes President Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

 For the first time in Major League Soccer’s history, all three television partners will feature an exclusive MLS Match of the Week, providing soccer fans throughout the country with a destination day and time for each network.  The Univision family of networks will televise a game of the week on Friday evenings -- primarily on UniMás -- and a wrap-up show on Sundays.  The Friday night match on the Univision family of networks will be the first time a Spanish-language television network will have its own exclusive night with a major professional sports league based in the United States.

 Soccer fans will be able to enjoy a doubleheader of MLS action every Sunday, as ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will televise back-to-back MLS matches on Sundays at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, respectively.  More than 125 MLS matches will be televised annually on the three networks.

 The new agreements also will include extensive marketing and promotional support from all network partners, including dedicated campaign support and cross-promotion across all three networks for upcoming MLS and U.S. Soccer matches. In addition, ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes will develop multi-platform initiatives to build the profile of MLS and U.S. Soccer players

Thursday, May 08, 2014

David Beckham videos, stories

David Beckham visited the Miami Herald newsroom for two hours on Thursday. He, manager Simon Fuller, and their group met with the editorial board, outlined their plans for a Miami MLS team/stadium and fielded all our questions.

Here are video links and story links of their visit...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7PyMsqs-L0

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/08/4106067/david-beckham-on-miami-mls-team.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDBY9-A9IMU

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/08/4105240/david-beckham-to-sit-down-with.html

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Beckham video at Miami-Dade County Hall

For those of you who can't get enough of the David Beckham-Miami-MLS story...

Here he is, in spiffy suit, arriving at Miami-Dade County Hall Wednesday morning to talk to commissioners about his MLS stadium project. He later expressed interest in Mayor Carlos Gimenez' proposal to consider the boat slip adjacent to AmericanAirlines Arena as a possible waterfront stadium site.