Bayern Munich returns to Miami-Dade, more than 25 years after its first trip

Members of Bayern Munich train before matches in Miami in 1991. Photo via Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Fans of Bayern Munich in Miami-Dade County have a lot to be excited about this week. Die Roten are playing at Hard Rock Stadium on Friday night, facing off against Manchester City. But for some of the Bavarian faithful in the Magic City, it’s a long-awaited return appearance.

While the Cityzens have never played in Miami, Bayern Munich has. In 1991, as part of the Miami Cup, Bayern played two matches. On Feb. 1, Bayern and the Colombian National Team (club vs. country friendlies were much more common at the time than they are now) squared off at the Miami Orange Bowl. In a tense matchup, the teams drew 0-0.

Bayern spanks the Yanks

In the team’s second match of the Cup, also at the Orange Bowl, they easily dispatched the U.S. Men’s National Team. The Americans, fresh off their appearance in the 1990 World Cup, fell 4-0.

“The Untied States — basically a collegiate all-star team — played on the of the world’s finest club teams. Bayern Munich has six players from the West German World Cup championship team,” Steve Wyche wrote in the Miami Herald after the game.

“We’re not technically as sophisticated as they are or as tightly knit as a team,” U.S. coach Bob Gansler said after the game. “Those guys have been playing forever; this is just our second game this year.”

Roland Wohlfarth scored twice in 13 minutes before halftime (25′, 38′) to seal the game, but Manfred Schwabl (39′) and Roland Grahammer (76′) also got in on the action.

The Miami Cup would never be held again at the Orange Bowl, replaced by a Joe Robbie Cup in 1994 at then-Joe Robbie Stadium. That tournament would run through intermittently through 2001, never again attracting a European club the size of Bayern Munich. It took more than 25 years for another Miami-based tournament, the International Champions Cup, to bring the club back.

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