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Report: Tim Leiweke to Join MLS to Miami Group

The current Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment President appears to have found his next gig, as a member of the group looking to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

All of the talk around Toronto sports has centred around who will replace outgoing president of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Tim Leiweke, with little mention of where he will go next. That part of the story appears to have been revealed today, as Leiweke will once again be heading south to join the man that helped make him famous.

Reports originated from the Miami Herald that Leiweke is set to join the investment group, headed by David Beckham, trying to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami, Florida.

Leiweke has been the president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies and Toronto FC, since June 30, 2013.

In August 2014 it was announced that Leiweke would be leaving the role when MLSE found a replacement. That was expected to take place by this summer, but more than a year has gone by with Leiweke remaining as the interim president.

It is not surprising then, as rumours start to heat up about Leiweke's successor being named, the 58-year-old is reportedly close to taking a new job.

Joining Miami's MLS expansion group is a perfect fit for Leiweke, who has several years of experience managing MLS clubs, and a big addition for David Beckham's group.

Leiweke, when he was part of Anschutz Entertainment Group was crucial to bringing in Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy. With Beckham in the lineup, the Galaxy won back-to-back MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012.

Since joining Toronto FC, Leiweke has adopted a similar philosophy, bringing in several international star players including Jermain Defoe, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Julio Cesar and Sebastian Giovinco.

He was also instrumental to the current stadium renovations that BMO Field is undergoing, including the Toronto Argonauts becoming tenants.

Having a background in stadium construction will be incredibly important for Leiweke, as this has been a major factor in the Miami bid. The group has had difficulty with getting a soccer specific stadium constructed in Miami, something Major League Soccer finds crucial to expansion.

The group has currently found a site near the Miami Marlins ballpark and are still in negotiations with the city to purchase the land. The vote for the stadium by the Miami city commission is set to take place in December.

Before completing the renovations to BMO Field, Leiweke had to convince city council to provide funding and permission for the construction project. The stadium is owned by the City of Toronto, but operated by MLSE.

With Toronto FC clinching the playoffs this past Wednesday, all four MLSE teams made the playoffs under Leiweke, some of them after significant droughts. The Miami group will be hoping he can bring similar success to their project, which hasn't always seen smooth sailing.

For Toronto FC, the question becomes who will take over Leiweke's job, and whether or not they will share the same passion for the sport as he has.