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Soccer Odds: Beckham Brings Miami Closer to MLS Deal

David Beckham seeks Miami MLS deal
By Brian MInkoff-London Pixels (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Miami-Dade Commission recently approved a momentous deal allowing David Beckham and his gang to purchase the last piece of land required for a 25,000-seat stadium by the Miami River.

The former Manchester United and England star hopes to take the MLS to Miami, and the land and stadium deal was the largest obstacle standing in his way. Now that the land has been approved for purchase, an MLS franchise deal is looking very likely.

As the MLS looks to expand, Miami seems like an obvious choice. It’s a major US city with a huge Central and South American population, and Orlando City SC has already shown that Florida is a soccer-crazed state.

Unlike the Marlins and the Heat, there will be no municipal bonds, tax breaks, or taxpayer-built stadium for the Miami MLS team. The ownership group, Miami Beckham United, will fork the bill for a privately-funded home-ground. That makes for a very expensive project, but Beckham has some very moneyed folks in his corner.

The plan is to have the stadium built and an MLS team ready by 2020. I don’t want to make you feel old, but that’s just a few years away. Will they make it in time? Who will they sign? Which other cities might be granted a franchise deal? Let’s explore the odds.

Miami Beckham United Odds

Odds Miami has an MLS team by 2020: 1/3

The MLS is growing at a rapid rate and it’s only a matter of time until Miami is included in the Eastern Conference. Beckham and his crew have already cleared their biggest hurdle, so it’s relatively smooth sailing from here.

Odds on Miami’s MLS team name

  • Miami Current: 7/1
  • Miami Vice: 8/1
  • Miami FC: 9/1
  • Miami SC: 9/1
  • Miami United: 10/1
  • Miami City: 10/1
  • Miami Beckham United: 25/1

When the ownership group made their pitch to city officials and potential investors, they floated two possible team names: Miami Vice and Miami Current. However, “Miami Vice” is already the name of a television show, movie, and video game. And “Miami Current” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

There’s the generic club names — Miami FC, Miami SC, Miami United, Miami City — which are always safe picks. And if they’re feeling adventurous, they could always stick with the ownership group name, Miami Beckham United, but it’s always a little risky to tie a multi-million dollar venture to a single person.

Odds to be signed by Miami’s MLS team

  • Oscar: 9/1
  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 15/1
  • Christian Pulisic: 25/1
  • James Rodriguez: 30/1
  • Diego Costa: 30/1

Former Chelsea Midfielder Oscar left Europe for the Chinese Super League last year. He’s not exactly playing at the highest level anymore, but Shanghai SIPG gave him 60 million convincing reasons to make the move. We can be sure the Miami club will have a heavy wallet as well, so it wouldn’t be so surprising to see him playing stateside.

By 2020, Cristiano Ronaldo will be hitting 35 years old. That’s generally an age when players start leaving the upper echelons of world football, but Ronaldo has been facing questions regarding his age for years and each time he’s silenced his critics. So who knows, maybe he’ll still be tearing it up with Real Madrid in 2020.

The MLS has generally struggled to sign world-class players in their prime, so enticing homegrown wunderkind Christian Pulisic back home would be a momentous occasion. The 18-year-old is the future of American soccer, but could he also be the future of the MLS?

James Rodriguez and Diego Costa would appeal to the large South American population in Miami. It’s unlikely, but maybe Beckham could lure them over.

Odds to be granted an MLS expansion deal by 2020

  • Phoenix: 1/3
  • San Diego: 1/2
  • Tampa Bay: 4/1
  • St. Louis: 6/1
  • San Antonio: 6/1

Phoenix is rumored to be on the cusp of an expansion deal. The franchise bid is backed by 45 political and business leaders from the Phoenix area and there are already plans for a climate-controlled, soccer-specific stadium with light-rail access.

US Men’s National Team superstar Landon Donovan is leading the charge for an expansion deal for San Diego. The bid has the backing of San Diego’s mayor and some high-profile business people.

Tampa Bay, St. Louis, San Antonio, and many other cities have also submitted applications for an expansion deal. With so many cities vying for a seat at the MLS, they’re going to need to find a way to differentiate themselves from the pack.

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