David Beckham returned to Miami on Thursday afternoon to begin work on his new Major League Soccer team. His first order of business — a Cuban sandwich from Versailles.
He then sat down with his partners Jorge and Jose Mas to continue strategizing about the team’s local and global branding; sponsorship; the playing philosophy and style; and the unveiling of the team name, logo, and colors. He plans to be in town until Saturday.
Beckham said fans can expect news about the logo, name and colors by early-April. They are working with a New York-based creative arts company on those designs and fans will be invited to have some input.
Plans for a state-of-the-art youth academy are scheduled to be revealed sometime over the summer, and the Mas brothers have begun connecting with local youth clubs. The ownership group has been exploring stadium sites other than the agreed-upon Overtown site, “just to see what all the options are,” said Jorge Mas, who feels a bigger footprint is needed to build the kind of high-tech stadium he has in mind.
Beckham said he has also been consulting with managers and former players from his long career to come up with a style of play that suits South Florida’s diverse soccer-crazed population.
“You have to adapt to the climate of where we are, and the passion of the fans here in Miami and how they see their team playing — it has to be exciting, it has to be something where it’s all about attack,” Beckham told the Miami Herald by phone from the meeting. “That is how we want our team perceived not just in MLS, but around the world. Of course, the defending part is very important, but the Miami team has got to be about flair, simple as that. That’s what we’re looking for in style of play and players. It’s not going to be a boring type of play.”
He has been fielding calls from players from his past who are interested in perhaps playing for his Miami team, but he said it is too early for those conversations.
“In a year’s time, we can have those talks, I don’t think it’s before then,” Beckham said. “I’ve been approached by many different players from many different teams I’ve played with or against, and there’s interest there, but you can’t really have those conversations yet until closer to next year.”
He stressed that the team philosophy is a critical part of the launch of his team.
“It’s important we get the team philosophy right because that will last beyond any manager, any coach that comes in,” Beckham said. “Hopefully, we’ll have one coach for many, many years. But if we have the right philosophy in place, it doesn’t matter if a manager comes and then leaves, there’s a style of play which is how we want to play in the club and academy, and that is very important.”
Beckham promised fans will be engaged every step of the way. “We don’t want to be quiet, and not give fans the news they want,” he said. “We want fans to be involved in the work we’re doing.”