Miami (CBSMiami) – Major League Soccer has officially arrived in Miami. David Beckham and his business partners will launch their franchise in the 2020 season, as announced Monday at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center.
But what sort of team will take the pitch in 2020? While declaring his excitement for the South Florida community and its fans, Beckham also dropped a few hints as to how he’d like the roster to be constructed.
“From the moment we announced we were coming to Miami, I’ve had many phone calls from many different top players saying, ‘I’m in,'” Beckham said. “And yes, we want to bring great players from Europe and top players from Europe. But the thing we’re more interested in is the home grown talent.”
Beckham’s vision is to start developing prospects from the youth level the way the top clubs in Europe do. Beckham signed with the Manchester United youth club at the age of 16. Prior, he had attended Tottenham Hotspur’s School of Excellence.
“We will build a state of the art academy,” Beckham declared. “We will build an academy like I’ve grown up on in Europe. I’ve seen that when you bring home-grown talented kids into a team like this, that’s when a community is built and that’s when people become proud to be supporters of a team. You see young kids from the ages of 11, 12 and 13 go from being young, talented players into full-grown professionals. And then they go represent their countries. This is when we’re going to be proud of our team.”
Beckham says his ownership group is eager to invest “not just in this team and this city, but in this hotbed of young talent that runs in this city.”
Beckham’s goal will likely be to recreate a situation much like his transition from Real Madrid to the LA Galaxy over a decade ago. In 2007 he was an aging player, but still one of Europe’s most elite and influential soccer talents. He left La Liga for the MLS in hopes to mentor young players while becoming an ambassador for soccer in the United States. Perhaps he can find another aging superstar to do the same for Miami.