What LeBron James' decision means to MLS in Miami

USA TODAY Sports

It's not helping, that's for sure.

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David Beckham's star-studded Miami Major League Soccer ownership group appears to have gotten just a little bit dimmer. Or, at least that's the working assumption after LeBron James announced that he was leaving the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Either way, he's probably not the most popular person in Miami anyway.

James, as you may remember, had expressed some significant interest in being a part owner of a still-unnamed Miami MLS team. Beckham, who apparently knows James reasonably well, had reciprocated that interest. Combine two of the world's most famous athletes with what was promised to be a water-front stadium that could match the beauty of "Magic City" and it wasn't hard to imagine Miami becoming the latest MLS success story.

Unless it was done very much on the sly, James never formally joined Beckham's ownership group, though. And that is just the latest blow Beckham's group has suffered in recent weeks.

That downtown water-front stadium? It's starting to look more and more like it's just a pipe dream. Various private and government interests have balked at the previously suggested locations and now Beckham has proclaimed that he'll consider stadium locations in Broward County. Yes, that's the same Broward County where the previous MLS franchise played before folding after just three seasons. Yes, that's the same Broward County which MLS officials made clear to point out IS NOT MIAMI. Yes, that's the same Broward County where the NASL's Ft. Lauderdale Strikers are already trying to get a stadium built.

Is Broward County just being used as leverage in order to convince Miami politicians to reconsider Beckham's preferred sites? That's entirely possible.

Since James was never officially part of the Miami ownership group, his leaving may not be a huge blow. But taken in conjunction with the stadium news and it's clear that this MLS team is quickly running out of lifelines.

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