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Jul 16, 2013

Beckham hopes to unveil MLS plans

David Beckham hopes to make an announcement later this year about his plans to launch an MLS expansion franchise.

The former England captain, who spent four years at LA Galaxy before retiring after a short spell at Paris Saint-Germain last season, visited Miami last month to explore the option of founding a new team in Florida.

The 38-year-old had a clause in his contract from his time as a player at LA Galaxy giving him the option to take up ownership of a club in the MLS for a set fee of $25 million.

Beckham was joined on that visit by Bolivia-born billionaire Marcelo Claure, who tried unsuccessfully to launch an MLS franchise in Florida in partnership with Spanish giants Barcelona back in 2009. However, the prospect of a Beckham-led operation enhances the prospects of success this time around.

"It will be in a few months maybe but it's important to get it right," Beckham is quoted as saying in The Sun. "This is a big decision where I'll have my franchise and how I'm going to do it. It's something I'm excited about."

There is not currently an MLS franchise in Florida, nor any of the closest dozen or so states in the region. The closest clubs to Miami are Houston Dynamo to the west and DC United to the north. The last time the state had any MLS franchises was in 2001, the year both the Fort Lauderdale-based Miami Fusion and the Tampa Bay Mutiny folded.

New York City FC, the joint venture between Premier League side Manchester City and baseball giants New York Yankees, will enter the MLS in 2015 as the league's 20th franchise.

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