The North American Soccer League announced today that there will be a 12th team, located in Miami, Florida, joining in 2016. "International entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and world-renowned soccer superstar Paolo Maldini" are the owners of the new, Miami FC. Miami FC will be the 12th team in the league and the 4th in Florida.
While many in the soccer community believe that the NASL needs to expand West due to the USSF's sanctioning requirements, this move seems to be a strategic move for the league for another reason. While MLS, Don Garber, and David Beckham are still searching for a place for the English superstar's franchise, the NASL has moved in to try and take that market. No statement has been made by anyone involved with the Miami MLS team but this NASL franchise will probably not stop MLS from trying to place a team in South Beach anyways. With the team slated to start play in 2016, this gives them a few years to establish themselves before a Beckham MLS team would be able to start play.
If Miami FC can replicate what San Antonio, Indy, Jacksonville, & Ottawa have done as far in terms of expansion franchises, then they will be a success. On the field results may or may not come immediately, but entering the soccer landscape the right way will be paramount for the success of the club and the league. The league cannot afford another OKC or Virginia expansion debacle. (We're still waiting on the official release stating that those two teams won't be in the league...)
It will be interesting to see all of this unfold. Will Miami FC be a success? Will Beckham ever get his MLS team in Miami? If he does, what does that mean for the future of Miami FC? All of these questions will be answered eventually. As for now, we can all welcome Miami FC into the league and look for more expansion...preferably Westward.
Welcome, Miami FC!
Soccer On -ASC
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