David Beckham's MLS pitch still in play

Deadline will pass without announcement from soccer league


MIAMI – Although there may not be an MLS expansion announcement from David Beckham by New Year's Eve, a new report on the expansion update shows that missing the league's Dec. 31 deadline won't have any tangible impact on his push for a Miami stadium.

Former England captain David Beckham is expected to place his team in Miami, and he has visited several times over the past few months. The league and its former star want the stadium in an urban setting.

According to Sports Illustrated, securing land and funding for a new facility in time to meet the original terms of Beckham's $25 million expansion option was always going to be a tall order for the former midfielder.

Beckham has been working with Bolivian telecommunications mogul Marcelo Claure and continues to make progress with local authorities, sources told SI.com.

Miami-Dade County commissioners voted earlier in December to allow Mayor Carlos Gimenez to find locations in or near downtown to build a soccer-specific stadium for the new Major League Soccer franchise.

In October, The Associated Press reported that Beckman picked Miami as the destination for his MLS franchise. The option of becoming a team owner was included in the MLS contract he signed when joining the Galaxy in 2007.

LeBron James, who owns a stake in Liverpool, has had preliminary talks with Beckham about a team in Miami.

There are currently 19 MLS teams, and league officials hopes to expand to 24 teams by the 2020 season.

A 20th team is already in place to begin playing in 2015 after Premier League club Manchester City and its partner, the New York Yankees, paid an expansion fee of $100 million to launch New York City FC. Orlando is the 21st team, which will also begin play in 2015. Atlanta is rumored to be another potential expansion franchise.