Episode 52: Miami United claims the Magic City Clásico Cup, and we speak to Chris Wittyngham

Magic City Soccer podcast

We finally have a result, as Miami United FC claims the Magic City Clásico crown and advances in the U.S. Open Cup at the expense of The Miami FC 2. Plus, we get to speak in-depth with Chris Wittyngham, who is launching the Pitch Invasion podcast. Join us, won’t you? Thanks to our sponsor, Groundhopper, for helping to make this Magic City Soccer episode happen!

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Indoor Soccer Pro opens in Miami Gardens as South Florida’s largest futsal facility

City of Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Erhabor Ighodaro, right, and Indoor Soccer Pro owner Davide Veglia cut the ribbon to celebrate Indoor Soccer Pro's grand opening on May 20, 2018. Photo by Natasha Moya.

Indoor Soccer Pro hosted its grand opening Sunday, as kids kicked around the courts and the Vice Mayor of Miami Gardens paid tribute to the new futsal venue.

Futsal, which is a soccer variant typically played as a five-a-side game on a smaller court, has tremendous popularity in South America. While it can be played on an outdoor court, its defining feature is that it can be moved indoors to a basketball-sized court. A rainy day like Sunday provided the perfect opportunity for Indoor Soccer Pro to shine.

“It gives an opportunity for children to practice on techniques, on spacing and on technical areas of soccer that would be impossible outdoors during the summer,” owner Davide Veglia said.

The 17,000-square-foot facility features three courts for competition, as well as a set of foosball tables and a ping-pong table for those who may be waiting to jump on a court. There is also a party area with two video game consoles set up with EA Sports’ FIFA 18 waiting to be played.

Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Erhabor Ighodaro spoke at the ribbon-cutting, paying tribute to the importance of the facility on the community.

“I see all these beautiful children just playing, having fun,” Vice Mayor Ighodaro said before reading a commendation from the city council. “We’re preparing the next generation of … World Cup soccer-caliber talent in Miami Gardens.”

Picture-perfect rainy day

While the grand opening took place Sunday, the recent inflow of tropical moisture has provided the perfect opportunity for the management of the facility to get to know its customer base better. Youth programs around the facility called to request time to use the courts due to the heavy rains in South Florida.

“This is a passion, and I think the biggest factor you see is on children,” Veglia said. “If you teach them something good about sports, or about values or becoming a good citizen, they respond. This is a place for them.”

The 2018 FC Miami City PDL Preview

FC Miami City will begin its PDL Southeast Division season hosting the Lakeland Tropics in Miami on Saturday 6PM at Tropical Park. This will start a 3 match homestand to open the PDL season. The club look to be in top shape after a vigorous pre-season playing NPSL clubs Boca Raton and Miami United. If that competition wasn’t stiff enough, City had to match up against Miami FC in the US Open Cup play-in round. To close the preseason they also faced the U.S. Men’s National U-20 team at Central Broward Regional Park. 

Neymar Jr’s Five coming to Miami for qualifiers, before United States final

Neymar Jr’s Five

Neymar Jr’s Five, a worldwide five-a-side tournament organized by the Brazilian superstar and Red Bull, will be coming to Miami for a qualifier this Saturday, with an encore performance and much more on the line just three weeks later.

The tournament is hosting qualifiers in 61 countries on six continents. In the United States, there are 17 qualifiers looking for teams to participate in the national final. On Saturday, there will be mixed and women’s qualifying at Urban Soccer 5 in Miami.

The winner of those tournaments will have a home-field advantage of sorts, as all of the qualifiers will travel to Wynwood Market Place in Miami for the national final on June 8 and 9.

International competition

Winners of national tournaments will travel to Brazil and play in the World Final at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr, Brazil on July 21.

The rules for this tournament are unique. Each match is 10 minutes. Each team can have up to seven male or female players, but only five play at a time. Because it’s a small-field competition, there’s no goalkeeper. When a team gives up a goal, they lose a player. The team that is leading after 10 minutes or can still field a player wins.

If you are interested in the Miami qualifier, you can visit the Facebook page here.

Magic City Soccer Episode 51.5: The Neymar Jr’s Five minisode!

Magic City Soccer podcast

A minisode! We aren’t able to give you the full #MagicCityClásico breakdown you deserve due to some scheduling issues, so we’re going to delay that discussion until next week. In the meantime, Matt got a chance to talk to Eddie Salcedo, who is the tournament director of Neymar Jr’s Five in the United States. A five-a-side tournament, the Five will be coming to Miami on Saturday for preliminary qualification and will return in June for the national final. Are you ready for this? Join us, won’t you? Thanks to our sponsor, Groundhopper, for helping to make this Magic City Soccer episode happen!

To subscribe to Magic City Soccer on iTunes, click here. To subscribe to Magic City Soccer on SoundCloud, click here.
To subscribe on Google Play, Listen on Google Play Music

United Crowned Kings of Miami; Advance to Third Round of Open Cup

The second round of the US Open Cup was a match that many different layers to it. Sure at the top there is the Miami United victory, however, looking back of the match there was a lot that culminated in the result for the NPSL juggernaut. An early goal, high presses that would make your nose bleed, cards galore, and fateful tactical decisions all culminated together to bring Miami FC’s 2018 cup run to an end.

Miami FC 2 v Miami United: Previewing The Match Open Cup Edition

It’s very rare to find derby matches that have shown the strengths and weaknesses of both clubs with so much parity. It’s also very rare to face-off against your cross-town rival three times in one month. That’s what we have here in the 305 and only one club can be crowned as the Magic City’s best. Miami FC and Miami United will clash to settle all the scores. 

Former coach of The Miami FC Alessandro Nesta to lead A.C. Perugia Calcio into Serie A promotion playoff

Alessandro Nesta at A.C. Perugia Calcio

Even though Serie B side A.C. Perugia Calcio warned a spot in the Serie A promotion playoff, that apparently wasn’t enough for the board. Manager Roberto Breda was dismissed. Breda’s loss, however, appears to be the gain of former manager of The Miami FC and Italian legend Alessandro Nesta.

Nesta was announced as Breda’s replacement on Monday, tasked with leading the squad through the playoff. His current contract only lasts through June 30, 2018.

Nesta left Miami FC in November 2017, after guiding the squad to Spring and Fall NASL titles that year, but losing to the New York Cosmos in the Soccer Bowl semifinal. He was replaced by Scotland’s Paul Dalglish.

The SPORTELSummit will offer robust discussion about U.S. soccer, with local representation and some notable absences

SPORTELSummit

Soccer fans in South Florida have an interesting event to look forward to next week. The SPORTELSummit Miami Beach will bring a number of important figures in the sports world together to discuss the issues of the day. However, there are some notable absences that leave participants and followers asking: What happened?

Brazilian legend Ronaldinho joins Miami-based “Ronaldinho’s Pro Footvolley Tour”

Ronaldinho's Pro Footvolley Tour

In a coup for the fledgling league, the Pro Footvolley Tour announced last week that star of club and country soccer Ronaldinho will be joining the tour. It will be renamed “Ronaldinho’s Pro Footvolley Tour.”

According to a story by Luis F. Sanchez of el Nuevo Herald, the agreement was signed in Brazil on Thursday between Amaury Nunes, who runs a team with Menezes, and Ronaldo De Assis Moreira, brother and agent of Ronaldinho.

Footvolley, a combination of soccer and beach volleyball, was developed formally in the mid-1960s in Brazil. The sport was included as an exhibition sport in the 2016 Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro. Menezes, who founded the Pro Footvolley Tour in 2008, was the captain of Team USA.

“The audience that Ronaldinho has on social networks will make it possible to take footvolley to another level,” Menezes told el Nuevo Herald.