By Michelle Kaufman
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.’’
Jurgen Klinsmann announced his roster for upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Ireland. The match will be extra-special for Colombian-American Alejandro Bedoya of Weston, whose father and grandfather played professionally in Colombia.
Here are the details from US Soccer...
CHICAGO (Nov. 10, 2014) - U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 25 players into camp for the final matches of the 2014 campaign. The U.S. will first meet No. 3-ranked Colombia on Friday, Nov. 14, in London. More than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the USA's first match at Craven Cottage, the home of Fulham FC (TICKETS). Kickoff is set for 2:45 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN and UniMas.
Four days later, the United States will play on the Republic of Ireland's soil for the first since 2002 when it faces the home side at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. ESPN2 and Univision begin coverage at 2:45 p.m. ET. Fans can follow both matches on Twitter @ussoccer.
U.S. MNT ROSTER BY POSITION - DETAILED ROSTER GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) DEFENDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC) MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution) FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
"We want to finish 2014 on a high note and continue to try to meet the top teams eye to eye," said Klinsmann. "In these last two games we want our veterans to really become mentors both on and off the field, and we want to see our youngsters take advantage of the opportunity to make their case and grow from the experience. These performances will set the tone for 2015."
Klinsmann has once again chosen to blend youth and experience. A total of 16 players were part the squad that reached the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, led by four-time tournament veteran DaMarcus Beasley. At the other end of the spectrum, there are 12 players with 10 caps or less and an equal number that is 24 years old or younger.
U.S. MNT ROSTER NOTES
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TOP FIVE SUN LIFE STADIUM SOCCER CROWDS:
ATT. MATCH (DATE)
1. 73,429 Brazil-Colombia (Sept. 5, 2014)
2. 71,124 Brazil-Honduras (Nov. 16, 2013)
3. 70,080 Barcelona-Chivas (Aug. 3, 2011)
4. 67,273 International Champions Cup Day 2 (Aug. 7, 2013)
5. 57,748 Chelsea-AC Milan (July 28, 2012)
A state of Florida record crowd of 73,429 showed up at Sun Life Stadium last night for a spicy showdown between Brazil and Colombia! It was a rematch of their contentious World Cup quarterfinal. Brazil won on Friday, 1-0, on a free kick by Neymar.
Here is the story...
And here are some photos...
In case you haven't heard, Brazil and Colombia are playing a friendly Sept. 5 at Sun Life Stadium, and the game will feature many World Cup stars.
The Brazil roster announced by new coach Dunga features 10 of the 23 World Cup players, including Neymar, Hulk, Oscar and David Luiz. It will be their first match since their humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semifinals.
Tickets for the match are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling the stadium box office at 305-943-6311.
Brazilian National Team Roster
Goalkeepers -Jefferson (Botafogo), Rafael Cabral (Napoli)
Defenders - David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Gil (Corinthians), Miranda (Atletico Madrid), Maicon (Roma), Filipe Luis (Chelsea), Alex Sandro (FC Porto), Danilo (FC Porto)
Midfielders - Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Elias (Corinthians), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Everton Ribeiro (Cruzeiro), Oscar (Chelsea), Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Forwards - Ricardo Goulart (Cruzeiro), Hulk (Zenit), Neymar (Barcelona), Diego Tardelli (Atletico MG)
Got this press release re: Chilean roster for Sept. 9 game vs. Haiti at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale...
Chilean Coach Jorge Sampaoli unveiled the list of 18 players from abroad who will participate in the two friendlies scheduled to be played in the United States during the month of September.
The biggest surprise was the inclusion of the 19 year old Chilean-Swiss midfielder Francisco Rodriguez from FC Zurich who is being called up to the Chilean National Team for the first time. His brother, defender Ricardo Rodriguez, played for Switzerland in the World Cup.
The list also includes 16 players who were part of the 2014 World Cup squad in Brazil and Rodrigo Millar, who missed out on the final cut.
1 Claudio Bravo - F. C. Barcelona (Spain)
2 Miiko Albornoz - Hannover 96 (Germany)
3 Mauritius - Queens Park Rangers F.C. (England)
4 Gary Medel - F. C. Internazionale (Italy)
5 Eugenio Mena - Santos F. C. (Brazil)
6 Gonzalo Jara - FSV Mainz (Germany)
7 Charles Aránguiz - Sport Club Internacional (Brazil)
8 Marcelo Díaz - Basel F. C. (Switzerland)
9 Arturo Vidal - Juventus F.C. (Italy)
10 Fabian Orellana - Celta de Vigo (Spain)
11 Eduardo Vargas - S.S.C. Napoli (Italy)
12 Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal F.C. (England)
13 Mauricio Pinilla - CFC Genoa (Italy)
14 Carlos Carmona - Atalanta Calcio (Italy)
15 Francisco Silva - Club Atlético Osasuna (Spain)
16 Rodrigo Millar - Atlas de Guadalajara (Mexico)
17 José Pedro Fuenzalida - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
18 Francisco Rodriguez - F. C. Zürich (Switzerland)
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...
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!