Michelle Kaufman

Michelle Kaufman: David Beckham not ready to give up on MLS: ‘Miami will happen’

Update to come: David Beckham, shown speaking to the Miami Herald Editorial Board on May 8, is still working on bringing a new MLS team to Miami.
Update to come: David Beckham, shown speaking to the Miami Herald Editorial Board on May 8, is still working on bringing a new MLS team to Miami. EL NUEVO HERALD

Despite running into repeated roadblocks with his downtown Miami waterfront stadium plans, soccer star David Beckham declared “Miami will happen,” on a Bloomberg Television interview.

“I said I want to bring a team here, and I will take a team to Miami,” Beckham said Wednesday. “There are speed bumps along the way and we’ve come up against those.”

The Beckham group initially proposed a Major League Soccer stadium at the Port of Miami, but that was shot down. The second proposal, on Biscayne Boulevard next to AmericanAirlines Arena, also was rejected.

“I’ve been very cheeky in a way because I’ve gone into Miami and I said, ‘OK, I want to build Old Trafford [the storied Manchester United stadium] or Wembley stadium next to Buckingham Palace,” he said. “My dream was to have our stadium on a waterfront. It’s not worked out like that and we have alternate sites. It will happen.”

Sources have said to expect an update from Beckham’s group by the end of September.

▪ Galaxy on fire: Landon Donovan returns to San Jose, California, on Sunday for the last time as a player, back to where his MLS career began, but the retiring star is ineligible to play against the Earthquakes because of an accumulation of yellow cards.

His Los Angeles Galaxy team is on an impressive tear, outscoring opponents 17-3 in the past five matches. The team’s plus-27 goal differential for the season tops the league and is scoring more than two goals per game. The Galaxy has scored a league-high 54 goals and allowed a league-low 27.

“If Barcelona or Arsenal scored some of the goals we scored this week, people would be talking about it for months on end,” Donovan told reporters. “I think it’s impressive to see what we’ve done. I’m enjoying it and I think all the guys are enjoying it. I think everybody watching is enjoying it.”

Donovan, 32, is having a ball as his professional career comes to a close.

“It’s just been fun,” he said. “I can’t remember a stretch when we’ve been this good. We’ve certainly won games in a row like this, but not in this fashion. We want to keep going and keep enjoying it. When it’s like this, it’s fun. People don’t want to come out, they just want to keep playing.”

▪ Jones’ MLS start: U.S. World Cup standout Jermaine Jones signed with the New England Revolution on Aug.24, and though he has been a bit rusty, he is making his presence known. He had the assist on Charlie Davies’ goal in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire, and the Revs have three wins over nine days since Jones joined the team.

▪ Wright-Phillips on roll: The MLS season still has a few weeks to go, but the Golden Boot leader right now is Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls. Wright-Phillips, a 29-year-old Englishman, is the son of former Arsenal and England player Ian Wright and the younger brother of Queens Park Rangers’ Shawn Wright-Phillips.

He has scored 21 goals for the Red Bulls, playing alongside French star Thierry Henry, who has set up many of his goals. Wright-Phillips signed with New York in 2013 after unspectacular stops at English clubs Charlton Athletic and Brentford.

“I’d definitely underestimated [MLS] before, you know? Or not really thought about it … and then I got here and watched a few games and teams really try to play and knock it about a bit,” Wright-Phillips told The Guardian.

“And of course, being in New York, there’s no better city to be in, and the facilities are the best since I was at Manchester City or Southampton. So I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I just embraced it.”

Who’s leading

MLS: East – DC (47), Kansas City (42), New England (39). West – Seattle (51), Los Angeles (50), Salt Lake (46).

NASL: San Antonio (22), Minnesota (18), Tampa Bay (16), Edmonton (14), New York (13).

English Premier League: Chelsea, Swansea City (9), Aston Villa (7), Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham (6).

French Ligue 1: Bordeaux (10), PSG and Lille (8), Marseille, Rennes, Lorient, Nantes, ASSE (7).

On the tube

Sunday: Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers (11 a.m., NBCSN), Parma vs. Milan (2:45 p.m., BeINSport USA), San Jose vs. L.A. Galaxy (3 p.m., Univision).

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