Abel Iraola
Abel Iraola

Abel Iraola is a Cuban-American freelance writer and communicator from Hialeah, near Miami, Florida. His writing interests include soccer, history, politics, travel, and food. Previous stints include a winning congressional campaign, U.S. Congress, a local non-profit and the Miami Film Festival, among others. You can contact Abel at abeliraola.mcs@gmail.com.

Rival bid for Lockhart site a new obstacle for Beckham’s MLS and USL dreams

Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium, as pictured in March 2018. Photo by Matthew Bunch.

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.

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.

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.

FC Bayern vs Manchester City in the International Champions Cup: Previewing the Match

Graphic courtesy International Champions Cup

International Champions Cup action continues in Miami this weekend as Manchester City face off against Bayern Munich on Saturday evening.

Both the English and German champions are expected to field weakened teams as they’ve already done in the tournament, with several key players still on vacation following the World Cup.

Olympique Lyonnais Féminin defeat Manchester City Women 3-0 to reach Women’s International Champions Cup Final

Manchester City Women and Olympique Lyonnais Féminin face off in an International Champions Cup friendly. Image courtesy Manchester City Women.

Olympique Lyonnais Féminin will play the North Carolina Courage in the first Women’s International Champions Cup final after the latter bested Manchester City Women 3-0 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

The five-time UEFA Women’s Champions League winners and fifteen-time French first division winners scored three early goals to propel them to a commanding lead over the Citizens.

Lyon forward Eugénie Le Sommer scored just four minutes into the match thanks to an assist by Ada Hegerberg and again in the fourteenth, picking up the ball from a City defender and casually walking it around the English goalkeeper Karen Bardsley before slotting it into the net. Hegerberg made her own contribution to the score sheet two minutes later.

After a period of early domination, Lyon were able to hold on to their clean sheet with a defense that highlighted the difference in quality between the two sides.

Lyon and Manchester City’s women’s sides previously met in two UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals, including one last year. On both occasions, Manchester City fell to the eventual Champions League final winners on aggregate goals.

Que ha pasado con el equipo MLS de David Beckham?

Fútbol Miami MLS is attempting to bring Major League Soccer to Miami. Graphic courtesy Fútbol Miami MLS.

Han pasado ya cuatro años desde que David Beckham anunció su intención de fichar un nuevo equipo de la MLS en Miami, opción que se le había otorgado en 2007 cuando llegó a la liga estadounidense. 

Desde entonces han salido rumores, falsos comienzos, consideraciones de varios sitios para un nuevo estadio y, hasta ahora, poca información sólida. Esto es lo que sabemos.

Hialeah is the surprise best location for Beckham’s MLS team

Hialeah Park, circa 1930

The endless rollercoaster of indecision that is David Beckham’s quest for an MLS franchise has a new twist as of last week. Claro. The Miami Herald reported that Beckham’s group, primarily newly minted owner Jorge Mas, are looking at potential stadium sites other than the Overtown plan which was close to being finalized. The new locations, no less than five according to Mas, span from Downtown to Doral to Hialeah.

They seem to concede that after years of bluffing about requiring a stadium in the “urban core”, MLS doesn’t really care where they put it as long as it’s in the county.

One of the sites that’s making Miamians do a double take is Hialeah Park. And it could be the perfect location for Beckham to base his MLS franchise.

Hear me out, groaning Miamians.

The Men Behind Miami Beckham United: Who are the owners of Miami’s future MLS franchise?

Fútbol Miami MLS is attempting to bring Major League Soccer to Miami. Graphic courtesy Fútbol Miami MLS.

South Florida is rife with excitement following Major League Soccer’s announcement that Miami will be awarded an MLS franchise. After a tumultuous four years, David Beckham has seemingly rounded up the partners and money he needs to bring a first division franchise back to South Florida for the first time in 16 years with the Miami Beckham United group.