Sunday, December 22, 2013

Can David Beckham Make a Bigger Impact on MLS as an Owner than He Did as a Player?

I made no bones about it when I wrote last year that David Beckham's mission as an L.A. Galaxy MLS player was complete. He retired after having won two consecutive MLS Cups.

But, it was Beckham's overall impact on the sport in America that will be remembered more than those two championships.  He brought relevance to pro Soccer in the U.S. at the same level or even greater than the great Pelé did many years before in the NASL and I wrote about that, as well.

Now, interestingly, Beckham can surpass his playing accomplishments by being a successful MLS franchise owner.  When Beckham gets his Miami franchise up and running, he will bring more attention to the sport and the MLS profile will surely get a boost.

If LeBron James is part of the ownership, than Beckham has succeeded once again in providing more support to pro Soccer in the U.S.  LeBron James is arguably the most notable athlete in the world.  Their partnership gives more credibility to the franchise and will help with its branding.

LeBron and Beckham won't let their franchise fail and they know that they will need lots of talent on the field. With their connections, don't be surprised to see players like Ronaldo or Zlatan Ibrahimovic quickly installed into the starting eleven.

They'll be looking for stars on defense, the midfield, and most of all, goal-scorers.  They will want the best scoring duo ever in MLS history to play for them.  

LeBron and Beckham, with their reputations for excellence, may see this franchise as their baby to rear and to become a feared futbol club internationally.

There is a strong likelihood Atlanta and Minneapolis will join Miami as the metropolises added to get to the number of 24 that commissioner Don Garber promised by 2020.  Other franchises may follow soon after to add more clubs to the League.  Probably Chivas USA from Los Angeles will get relocated, as well.

When the South Beach cultural charm of Miami becomes a soccer power and has an emotional outpouring of supporters and with the additions of the other cities, it is likely Tv ratings will be higher.

Tv will want to follow the Beckham/LeBron exploits closely.  Get ready, MLS.  David Beckham is just getting started in making MLS a household acronym.

Originally published in November/2013

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