16 Oct 2008

-'Barca Miami' make bid for MLS franchise

10:02 am on 16 October 2008

The two-times European champions Barcelona have officially lodged their bid for a Major League Soccer franchise in the United States in a joint venture with a Bolivian-born businessman.

The North American league invited bids for two expansion slots for the 2011 season and the Spanish club has linked up with Marcelo Claure, owner of Miami-based wireless communications firm Brightstar, to produce a bid for the Florida city.

If successful, the new club would be the first MLS team to be owned by a European club.

Miami has a big Hispanic community and had an MLS team, the Fusion, from 1998 till 2001 but they played in neighbouring Fort Lauderdale and lost their slot when the league down-sized.