MLS

Ever Ready?

Another tease on squad building from IMCF HQ. A late night meeting to pitch to another player, the kind of effort which can probably only mean it’s another potential Designated Player target. But does this contain a clue big enough to connect the dots back to the possible target?

I am an empanada enthusiast and who isn’t? And who doesn’t love Graziano’s? Product placement or a hint to the player’s nationality? Let’s assume the latter. An Argentine DP for IMCF makes a massive amount of sense. Anyone who gets out to games in Miami knows that Argentineans show up for soccer and they love being in a stadium watching the game live. South Florida may not have the big numbers of Argentineans as it does Cubans, Colombians or Venezuelans but you can’t go to a game without seeing a River or Boca jersey or maybe someone chilling with their maté. A lot of names have been touted as striking options but if you are IMCF you would absolutely be looking at filling your #10 jersey with a DP. The #10 jersey is always a great thing to see on the back of an Argentine player. Maradona… Messi…

Looking at the profile of Cavani as a target. Is there someone out there with a contract expiring, a big enough profile to wake people up and who would be stellar in MLS? Why yes there is and that man is Éver Banega.

Banega is the kind of technician that the team needs in the midfield engine room. A wonderful player on the ball capable of creating chances and controlling the game. He is a fantastic playmaker. Coming to the end of his career in Europe in La Liga with Sevilla he was the player Unai Emery built his Europa League winning team around. The rumours in the Spanish press are that Los Rojiblancos might be looking to cash in early. Turkish club Galatasaray had a little interest while the transfer window was open. What this means is that for a few million dollars IMCF might be able to land Banega in the winter market, so he could join up with the franchise for the start of the MLS season.

It’s a move that makes a lot of sense for the club but possibly the player as well. Banega is currently 31 years old so the security of a 3-4 year contract on a DP salary might turn his head. Éver might also be considering a return to his home country but the unique challenge of being the main man in the 305 is something that might very well interest him at this stage in his career. The possibilities are there. Might you find yourself in line at Graziano’s in 2020, turn around and see Señor Banega? Maybe.

BREAKING: City of Fort Lauderdale commission gives final approval to Inter Miami CF construction at Lockhart Stadium site

The City of Fort Lauderdale commission Tuesday evening gave approval for Inter Miami CF to construct a new stadium at the previous site of Lockhart Stadium. Photo via mlssoccer.com

Less than six months after the proposal was introduced, and less than two months after demolition began, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s commission Tuesday night gave final approval to the construction of a stadium at the site of Lockhart Stadium for the use of Inter Miami CF.

The vote, which was unanimous and took only a few minutes of deliberation, now guarantees that Inter Miami CF will have a home to play in when it begins its first Major League Soccer campaign.

There are still wrinkles to iron out. Most notably, the Federal Aviation Administration will have say over the construction process, due to the lot’s proximity to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. According to Chris Wittyngham, who spoke to a team official after the vote, the team is ready to start building as soon as that approval is given.

September start?

640 the Hurricane radio host Andy Slater spoke to the team before the vote. A spokesperson stated that they believe the FAA approval could come in September.

The FAA has been a speed bump on construction at the Lockhart Stadium site before. A long-proposed water park next to the stadium was scuttled because of FAA regulations.

Ownership has routinely stated that they expect the stadium to be completed by the start of the 2020 MLS season.

Is Cavani “Edin” for Miami?

Cavani considering his options as his career continues. Could Miami be a destination? Photo: cavaniofficial21 - Instagram

Edinson Cavani is one of my favorite players. In the modern game reliable goalscoring centre forwards are hard to find, especially at the top level. It’s a simple joy for a football fan to watch a player who just loves to score goals. And score good goals too. We’ve all had that player we wanted to emulate when we were a kid. For me it was the great Mark Hughes. For Cavani himself it was the phenom Gabriel Batistuta. Could kids in the 305 begin idolizing the Uruguayan marksman? It all stems from this, A follow on twitter.

Report: Inter Miami have signed Argentine striker Julián Carranza

Inter Miami FC is interested in a training facility at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. Image via Inter Miami CF.

News broke over the weekend that Inter Miami will soon announce the signing of their first player, Julián Carranza of Argentine club Banfield.

The outlet TyC Sports was first to report that the 19-year-old will be heading to Miami following a $6 million deal with Banfield for the striker. Carranza will remain with the club for a couple of months before Miami’s inaugural season kicks off in March 2020.

The young forward was formed in Banfield’s academy and rose up into the senior team, scoring 5 goals in 14 appearances during his 2017/18 debut season, as well as making three appearances in that season’s Copa Libertadores campaign. Carranza is an exciting prospect with reports of having been scouted by Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, and Manchester United, per Argentine radio outlet Radio Continental.

When Carranza finally makes his way here, he’ll likely come with some tips for life in South Florida from his former team captain, ex Miami FC striker Dario Cvitanich. “Super Dario” Cvitanich was FC’s first-ever goalscorer and returned to Banfield, his youth club, in January 2017.

His return coincided with Carranza’s rise into the senior team, where he played deputy to Cvitanich before taking over duties following Cvitanich’s departure to Racing Club earlier this year.

FXE Futbol, LLC files lawsuit against Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beckham United

FXE Futbol, LLC, the group that challenged Inter Miami CF for the right to redevelop Lockhart Stadium, has sued the City of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beckham United, LLC (the holding organization behind Inter Miami). Image via Broward Clerk of Courts.

What would the Miami MLS saga be without yet another lawsuit? This time, FXE Futbol is getting in on the action.

FXE Futbol, LLC, the group that challenged Inter Miami CF for the right to redevelop Lockhart Stadium, has sued the City of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beckham United, LLC (the holding organization behind Inter Miami). The lawsuit was first reported by the Miami Herald.

While the complaint discusses topics we have seen before, there is one wild twist that is being alleged. Perhaps the battle for Lockhart stadium isn’t quite over.

At first glance the complaint, filed by attorney David J. Winker, requests that the court review the Public-Private Partnership Process with regards to the Lockhart site and the city’s decision to award the project to Inter Miami.

“This is an action challenging the validity and effect of the frantic and, ultimately, statutorily inadequate, Public-Private Partnership Process undertaken pursuant to Fla. Stat. Sec. 255.065 by Defendant CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE”

FXE Futbol is seeking a writ of mandamus and civil action against not only the City of Fort Lauderdale but Miami Beckham United, citing damages of over $15,000. While this has been par for the course, this is the first time a competitor has filed a claim seeking to reverse the decision by a local government.

Asbestos questions

Where the petition really begins to get interesting is on line item 13. According to FXE Futbol, Inter Miami was spreading falsehoods regarding the level of asbestos present at Lockhart in its current state. FXE Futbol has outlined that Inter Miami was advising the city council that there was “a tremendous amount of asbestos present at the stadium” and therefore revitalization or renovation was not actually possible.

The complaint discusses how procedural violations were made by the City of Fort Lauderdale throughout the process, which is much like what we have seen argued and alleged against Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. Due to this being the first complaint being filed by a competing interest, FXE Futbol is seeking monetary damages in the amount of “lost profits”.

With March 2020 coming closer with each passing day, Inter Miami cannot afford another lengthy court battle that stalls the process of acquiring permits, clearance, and the demolition of Lockhart stadium. With the timeline already being questioned by the public, if this judgement is granted in favor of the plaintiffs we could see a real snag in Inter Miami’s plans to open in 2020.

 

Author’s Note: Omar Moubayed is not an attorney and does not claim to be an active member of the Florida Bar Association. Any and all information in this news story is neither his legal opinion nor the legal opinion of Magic City Soccer.

BREAKING: Initial appeal brief filed against Miami Freedom Park

Inter Miami CF has been thrown another curveball in the journey for a permanent home. Last week, Miami Beckham United, LLC (the ownership group that controls Inter Miami CF) decidedly beat out FXE Futbol to acquire the negotiating rights to reconstruct Lockhart Stadium in their image. As the focus begins to shift back into Miami-Dade County, Mas was confident during our conversations with him on Monday to secure a deal for the Melreese site. Just seven hours after that conversation, an appeal was filed by Miami-based attorney William Douglas Muir, seeking revision of the City of Miami’s ability to negotiate with Mas on a closed-bid deal for Miami Freedom Park.