David Beckham making 'progress' over Miami franchise - Don Garber

MANCHESTER, England -- David Beckham could make an announcement that a stadium will be built for his new Miami club by the end of the year, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber believes.

The former England captain, who was an MLS winner during his time with Los Angeles Galaxy, is trying to establish a franchise in Florida. And Garber thinks Beckham is close to sealing a deal that will bring MLS to Miami.

"They are making a lot of progress," he said at the Soccerex convention in Manchester. "David has been part of our world for six years. He is very smart, very focused, loves our country, loves our league and wants to own a team.

"He has had a lot of fits and starts in trying to build a stadium. You have got to have the right building. We have got to create that new story. David is making progress more so than ever before, a site at the former Orange Bowl and adjacent to where the Marlins [baseball team] play."

MLS now has 20 teams, and whereas the Miami Fusion, a previous attempt to form a franchise, was contracted in 2002, Garber is enjoying the expansion, which he feels will help attract fans in areas that have been unrepresented.

"It was really hard to fold a team in Miami and here we are talking about getting back there with a great guy like David Beckham as owner," he said.

"Three more teams are coming in by the end of the decade. Atlanta has been announced. [Los Angeles] FC will come in 2018; they have a stadium in downtown LA. Minneapolis could be the 23rd team and David Beckham's Miami will be 24.

"The NFL has the ratings because it covers every area. We have really big cities that do not have an MLS team."