David Beckham's new team in Miami will not take to the pitch until at least 2017, the billionaire investor in the ambitious project says, dashing hopes of an earlier start.
Bolivian entrepreneur Marcelo Claure, a major partner in Beckham's move into football ownership, said there was simply too much to do in building a club from top to bottom.
There had been high hopes among Miami's football-starved community -- which has not had a top-level soccer team for more than a decade -- that the as-yet-unnamed franchise might be ready in 2016.
"Three years, three years, 2017," Claure said, after Beckham confirmed he would be bringing football back to Miami. "That's the idea if it all works out like we hope."
Beckham, Claure and their ownership team -- which also includes British pop music and television impresario Simon Fuller -- reportedly paid $25m for the Major League Soccer franchise.
"Three years is the objective because we're creating a soccer team from scratch," Claure told reporters.
"We have to pick coaches, we have to involve the community, we have to pick a name, pick a jersey, we have to convince big-name players to come play for us."