Matthew Bunch

Matthew Bunch has lived in Miami since 2005, covering a variety of collegiate and professional sports. As Editor in Chief of The Miami Hurricanes, the student newspaper of the University of Miami, Matthew and his staff won the paper's first ACP Pacemaker Award since 1992. With the return of professional soccer to Miami-Dade County in 2016, Matthew channeled his professional interest with his personal passion for the Beautiful Game. You can contact Matthew at bunch.mcs@gmail.com.

LaLiga announces league games in North America in partnership with Relevant Sports; Miami a likely destination

Hard Rock Stadium is pictured during an International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid of LaLiga and Manchester United of the Premier League in Miami Gardens on July 31, 2018. Photo courtesy Real Madrid.

In a tectonic shift for the world of international soccer, LaLiga announced Thursday morning that it intends to bring league matches to North America as part of “LaLiga North America,” a partnership between the league and the Miami-based Relevant Sports. While no announcements of specific cities has been made, it’s virtually a certainty that Miami will host some of these games.

Magic City Soccer Episode 60: The Miami FC 2 fights for a national title, while Fútbol Miami MLS puts together its team

Magic City Soccer podcast

Matt and Omar discuss the hiring of Paul McDonough as Sporting Director of Fútbol Miami MLS, the International Champions Cup and The Miami FC 2’s run to a national title. Join us, won’t you?

Thanks to our sponsor, Groundhopper, for helping to make this Magic City Soccer episode happen!

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Fútbol Miami MLS confirms Paul McDonough as Sporting Director

Paul McDonough, announced Wednesday as the new Sporting Director of Fútbol Miami MLS, sits with Atlanta United president Darren Eales. Photo via Darren Eales' Twitter account.

Fútbol Miami MLS confirmed through its Twitter account Wednesday morning that Paul McDonough, formerly of Atlanta United, will be joining the team as Sporting Director.

“Paul shares our dream for making Miami the League’s Global Team,” co-owner Jorge Mas said through the team’s Twitter account. “And is uniquely positioned to recruit and develop the talent on and off the field to make this a reality.”

“Paul played a critical role in the building of our club and we are very appreciative of his hard work and dedication in making Atlanta United a success,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a statement released by the club. “We wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”

Response

Reaction to the hire was generally positive.

Miami United plans no affiliation with US Premiership

Roberto Sacca, general manager of Miami United FC, categorically denied any connection to the US Premiership, a new club league launched on Monday.

Contrary to some circulated reports on Twitter on Tuesday, Sacca stated the club has no intention to have any affiliation with the league, either involving its senior team or a reserve team.

“No truth,” Sacca told Magic City Soccer on Tuesday night. “We don’t have anything to do with that.”

The Palm Beach-based Premiership has acquired the Texas Premier Soccer League.

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.