On Wednesday, the North American Soccer League announced that the city of Miami will receive an expansion team. The new team will be co-owned by Brazilian media mogul Ricardo Silva and Italian soccer legend Paolo Maldini. Antonio Barreto will be the chief executive officer of the new franchise.
Miami FC will begin play in 2016. The club will also compete in the U.S. Open Cup and will host international tournaments and friendly matches in Miami.
According to team’s press release, Miami FC does not have a designated stadium as of yet. The team will not build a stadium, but instead commit to playing their home games “in one of the existing world-class stadiums of Miami.”
“I’m proud and excited to be part of this venture,” Maldini said in the press release. “I strongly believe in the growth of soccer in the USA, and this is the perfect project to develop a top-class soccer team in one of the most important cities in the world. We are glad not only to bring a professional soccer team to Miami, but also to support all of its communities through our social responsibility commitment. We believe that the fast-growing NASL will be the perfect platform to develop a successful team and a valuable business. Miami has been my second home for 15 years, so I look forward to spending more and more time here as Co-owner of Miami FC, giving my enthusiastic contribution for its success.”
Soccer superstar David Beckham and Major League Soccer have been looking to expand in the Miami area, but have been unsuccessful in finding a suitable site to build a soccer stadium. Ever since Beckham announced over a year ago that he exercised an option to purchase an MLS team, little progress has been made.
If Miami eventually gets an MLS team, the NASL will have a healthy head start on their competition. On their press release, the NASL says that Miami FC will be “the site’s only professional soccer club” and right now they are the only professional soccer team in Miami.