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MLS confirms David Beckham plans expansion soccer team in Miami

MLS confirms David Beckham plans expansion soccer team in Miami
Former Galaxy star David Beckham announces at a news conference Wednesday that he will exercise his option to purchase a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami. (Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Major League Soccer on Wednesday confirmed that David Beckham has exercised his option for an MLS expansion team to play in Miami.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday at downtown Miami's museum plaza. Beckham and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also attended.

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Beckham's ownership group now will work with the league and local officials in building a privately funded stadium, MLS said in confirming earlier media reports that Beckham planned a team in Miami.

"Miami is a vibrant, diverse community that thrives on the same type of energy that fuels the international appeal of soccer, and I look forward to a dedicated, long-term partnership with this dynamic city and Major League Soccer," Beckham said in a statement.

The soccer superstar would become the first former MLS player to own a team in the league.

Beckham, 38, the former captain of England's national team whose 20-year career included playing for the Galaxy from 2007 through 2012, retired last May after a stint with Paris-St. Germain of France.

"We appreciate all that David has done as a player, an ambassador and as a global icon to help grow Major League Soccer," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

The league currently has 19 teams with expansion clubs in New York and Orlando scheduled to begin play next year. The MLS also plans to add three additional expansion teams by 2020, including Beckham's team.

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