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Volume 24 No. 116

Leagues and Governing Bodies

David Beckham is "preparing to take advantage of a reduced-price ownership option that MLS gave him" when he signed with the Galaxy in '07, and his involvement is "central to league conversations about expanding for the ninth time in a little more than a decade," according to Steve Wieberg in a special to USA TODAY. Beckham has "set his sights on Miami, visiting in recent months with local officials and checking out stadium options." MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, "David is very focused in looking at Miami. We're working with him to determine if the market makes sense. We've got a lot of work to do before we can come to that conclusion." Wieberg notes in addition to Miami, expansion speculation "focuses on Orlando, Atlanta and San Antonio, along with Minneapolis, St. Louis and Phoenix, among other cities." Garber yesterday reiterated that further expansion is "nearly certain," but gave no timetable. The league's BOG "will meet all day" tomorrow in advance of the MLS All-Star Game in K.C. However, Garber said that "no decisions would be made" at the event. Garber: "There's no rush in this. No need. ... I've said this before. It's not an 'if.' It's more 'when'" (USA TODAY, 7/30).

STATE OF THE LEAGUE: Garber said that that the U.S. men's national team's CONCACAF Gold Cup victory is "further evidence that MLS is succeeding in producing the next line of stars." Garber: "When I look at their recent success in the Gold Cup, with a core of MLS players, it just proves the point that we're right on track." Meanwhile, Garber said that discussions for MLS' future TV contracts will "begin early this fall," as the league's deals with ESPN, NBC and Univision are set to expire after the '14 season (AP, 7/29).

The NBPA on Sunday "pushed back strongly" against a report that it was "down to four finalists for the Executive Director job, which opened up after the union fired Billy Hunter in February," according to sources cited by David Aldridge of A union source said, "That couldn't be further from the truth. There's been no process where there have been any candidates vetted, much less those four." Nets G and NBPA VP Jerry Stackhouse said, "The process is moving. But we haven't narrowed anything down to any four candidates. These are some of the names that are popping up out there more than others, and we recognize that. But the process of getting a search firm hasn't even been completed yet." More union members want to "grow its influence beyond just being the collective bargaining unit for the players." New union officials such as Warriors F Andre Iguodala have said that it is "time to work more with the league to grow the financial pie." Stackhouse said that any candidate for the position "will have to articulate his or her vision for expanding the union's capacities" (, 7/29).