One of soccer’s greatest goalkeepers, Gordon Banks, passed peacefully in his sleep last night at the age of 81. Banks was a World Cup winner with England in 1966 and part of the original NASL revolution in the 1970s. Banks was the goalkeeper for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in their infancy playing on the NASL roster alongside a whole load of greats including Gerd Müller, Teófilo Cubillas, Elías Figueroa and George Best.
Fernando Clavijo, a Uruguayan-born defender who rose to prominence in the United States as a player, manager and director, passed away Friday after a nearly five-year battle with multiple myeloma.
Fernando Clavijo came to the United States in 1979 to join the New York Apollo of the American Soccer League. He would stay in the U.S., eventually gaining American citizenship in 1987. That decision led to the unlikely role he played in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where a 38-year-old Clavijo would start three of four games for the host Americans.
Clavijo’s coaching career began as a player-coach in 1991, but he would spend most of the rest of his life on the sidelines. His first journey to South Florida came in 1998, when he led the Florida ThunderCats of the National Professional Soccer League, an indoor team based at what is now the BB&T Center in Broward County.
He would spend time leading two Major League Soccer clubs (New England Revolution 2000-2002, Colorado Rapids 2005-2008) and one national team (Haiti 2003-2005).
After his stint with Colorado, he took a job with Traffic Sports USA, serving as the Director of Soccer for the company and for Miami FC, its entry into the United Soccer League.
From there, Clavijo became FC Dallas’ Technical Director. He remained in that position until his death in Fort Lauderdale on Friday.
Looking at the two Miami teams you saw a real contrast. Miami United had come out of the gate well and had a great run in the cup which ended with a match up against an MLS side. The Miami FC 2 had labored early on but had grown as the season progressed. United’s season was over in the Sunshine Conference playoff semi. Dispatched comfortably by Armada by a 4-1 scoreline. It was to be the final many people expected at the start of the season in the Sunshine Conference. FC vs Armada.
The Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted unanimously Tuesday evening to begin accepting proposals for the renovation of Lockhart Stadium and Fort Lauderdale Stadium. These proposals will include Inter Miami CF’s plan for its youth academy and USL team, as well as an independent USL bid revealed on Monday.
The resolution will start a 21-day window in which proposals could be submitted to the city. It is unknown whether other proposals will be submitted.
To watch video of the commission meeting, click above.
Nothing in Miami is ever easy. And getting their way in Fort Lauderdale just got even harder for Miami Beckham United.
On Monday, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Brittany Wallman revealed on twitter that a second party is competing for the Lockhart Stadium site in Fort Lauderdale. The site is the same one Inter Miami intend to use as the base for their academy and training facility.
According to details reported by Wallman, a company named FXE Futbol LLC is claiming to have signed a letter of intent with USL for a franchise in the second tier of U.S. soccer (USL Championship) if they are able to acquire the Lockhart site, which is currently unused. The owner of FXE Futbol is reported to be John P. Reynal, CEO of OnSide Entertainment, a Miami-based sports event production company with a recent history of bringing well-known international and club sides to face off in Florida.
FXE Futbol releases renderings of its proposed $100 million remake of Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium. The USL franchise hopes to win the site away from David Beckham et al's @InterMiamiCF pic.twitter.com/jsOcRtOIkF
— Brittany Wallman (@BrittanyWallman) February 4, 2019
OnSide Entertainment’s website boasts about having “won a bid alongside Premier Parks to operate a 20,000 seat stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.” Premier Parks intended to operate a water park at the site but that project was scuttled last year after the potential operator determined it could not afford the renovations required.
Despite their partner’s exit, it seems OnSide has kept up its interest in Lockhart, insisting that it has an agreement with USL and is moving forward on a bid for use of the site.
FXE Futbol, a licensed USL franchise, says it worked 2 years on project for 65-acre Lockhart Stadium site & will bid. Of @InterMiamiCF: “They have the Beckham name and the star power, but what they're proposing is a Miami project brought to Fort Lauderdale at the last minute.’’
— Brittany Wallman (@BrittanyWallman) February 4, 2019
All of these developments come just over a week after Inter Miami announced sweeping proposal for the City of Fort Lauderdale that included a total renovation of the site, including a running track, playground, and fields for public use. Under Inter’s plan, the site would host technical staff and training facilities for both the MLS side and their USL affiliate.
Wallman also reported on Tuesday that Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said “there may be room for both soccer proposals” at the site. However, it is unlikely that USL will allow competing franchises in an MLS market.
Reynal, the OnSide CEO, has previously been supportive of Major League Soccer’s efforts in South Florida. In a January 2017 interview with Negocios Magazine, he said MLS would “add a lot” to Miami.
“It would be excellent if it happens, I hope it happens.”
For more on Inter Miami’s plans for Lockhart, see our previous reporting here.
This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.
Jason Kreis, the former Major League Soccer most valuable player and a former manager for Real Salt Lake, New York City FC and Orlando City SC, will head upstairs and join Inter Miami CF as a consultant to the team’s technical department, headed by sporting director Paul McDonough.
It was part of a larger announcement yesterday, but largely overlooked. As part of its proposal to the City of Fort Lauderdale for a redevelopment of Lockhart Stadium and surrounding land, Inter Miami CF shared its intention to form a United Soccer League (USL) team in Broward County.
In a unexpected turn of events, it appears that Inter Miami CF is planning on locating its youth academy in Broward County, setting its sights on a redevelopment of Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium, the club announced in a statement Monday afternoon.
“Inter Miami proposes to build and operate a state of the-art soccer training facility, a world class professional soccer stadium and a soccer-centric community destination,” the cover letter to the proposal reads.
Miami Soccer Academy defeated Miami United by four goals to two in the final of the inaugural South Florida Champions Cup.
In this episode of the Magic City Soccer podcast, Matt and Drew discuss Miami United’s 2-2 draw with Uruguayan champions Peñarol, break down The Miami FC’s new roster acquisitions, touch on Inter Miami CF’s youth academy and preview Copa America 2019. Join us, won’t you?