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Major Link Soccer: Bienvenido a Miami

Becks arrives to rally, skepticism, plus news of the 'International Champions Cup,' the MLS All-Star Game, a tough injury for Crew, and more.

Once upon a time they had an MLS team in Miami - even had the Carlos Valderrama on the roster.
Once upon a time they had an MLS team in Miami - even had the Carlos Valderrama on the roster.

With the pain of the U.S. Open Cup loss behind us, it's a great time to read some really interesting stuff going on around Major League Soccer.

On the news front, David Beckham arrives in Miami today, where a rally will be held at 4 p.m. Eastern time to encourage him to choose that city as the place to exercise his option for an MLS expansion franchise. This piece from the local CBS station reports the news, but then goes on to opine that MLS in Miami probably wouldn't be successful. Funny.

It was almost exactly two years ago to the day when Bolivian Marcelo Claure announced he was bringing MLS back to Miami. At the time he was supposedly working with Barcelona executive Ferran Soriano. Soriano moved on to become CEO of Manchester City and now has his followed through with his dream of investing in MLS with New York City FC.

Some reports have Beckham meeting with Claure today, while other reports have said he is working with executives of the Miami Dolphins.

Meanwhile, one columnist says Beckham shouldn't focus on Miami, but on the northern suburbs, i.e. Fort Lauderdale, where they Strikers already have several thousand fans at every game.

Miami is definitely "the scene" for Euros in the U.S. for some reason, though. All of the final games for the "International Champions Cup" exhibition tourney this summer will be held there. The tourney includes Real Madrid, Chelsea, Inter and AC Milan, Juventus, Everton, Valencia, and, of course, L.A. Galaxy. Maybe this is why the Galaxy acted like the Open Cup was just a hassle they wanted no part of.

The Manchester City-to-New York rumors have already started, too, with a British paper reporting that Man City midfielder Gareth Barry will sign a new contract that promises he will be loaned to NYCFC when the team starts playing in MLS in 2015.

The league has announced MLS All-Stars will face AS Roma in the All-Star Game this year in Kansas. I'm reading mixed reactions around the web.

A day after the Vancouver Whitecaps lost the Canadian Championship to Montreal, coach Martin Rennie got a "vote of confidence" from Bob Lenarduzzi. In other sports that's almost universally a sign of trouble for the coach. I guess we'll see if it means something different in Canada.

The Canadian Soccer Association is pushing the MLS to count Canadians the same as Americans - as "domestic players." They hope to open up more opportunities for Canadians in a league that they point out has three Canadian teams. Interesting concept; imagine if you will if MLS did this with Canadians, and then followed suit with Mexicans - the NAFTA of soccer. OK, the Mexicans idea is not part of the proposal, but it might help draw more Mexicans north and increase the level of play in MLS. Thoughts?

Toronto FC officials have officially denied a report that they are making a bid for Carlos Tevez. Meanwhile, longtime MLS starting centerback Danny Califf is languishing on the bench there, apparently now the fifth choice for coach Ryan Nelsen in the center of defense.

Califf used to play for the Union, where today they are lauding the performance of 21-year-old Leo Fernandes in the team's Open Cup win.

Bad news in Columbus, where Eddie Gaven tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Wednesday's Open Cup match and will miss the remainder of the 2013 season.

And finally for your Friday, the homegrown player movement in MLS continues with Red Bull announcing the signing of Matt Miazga, a 17-year-old product of the team's academy and a member of the U.S. under-18 national squad. Miazga, a centerback, had committed to the University of Michigan but chose instead to sign his first pro contract.

- Scott Ayers

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