It is here, it is finally here. Welcome to the official start of the 2018 soccer season in the Magic City. As fate would have it, the first match pits two of our local clubs against each other. Local NPSL powerhouse Miami United get to take on the NPSL newcomers Miami FC 2. The #MagicCityClasico will surely be one of the determining factors of who moves on to the NPSL playoffs and tops the table at the end of the year. Let’s take a look at both teams that have a chance to lift the newest trophy in the battle for Miami.
Team members from The Miami City 2, Miami United FC and fans are appearing at Bru’s Room on Bird Road tonight for a joint press conference to promote the opening game of both teams, the Magic City Clásico. You can watch the live stream of the event promoting a Dade Derby here!
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A professional team loses its place among the professional ranks and the team has to find its way back to glory by ascending the ranks again beginning in an amateur league. Have you? No? I haven’t either, and it’s not a script that Hollywood would think to write off the cuff. It almost seems entirely opposite to the classic sports tale. But that’s where we find ourselves for this 2018 Miami FC 2 season.
After receiving permission from the United States Soccer Federation to participate in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, The Miami FC 2 and FC Miami City of the Premier Development League will square off in a “play-in” cup match.
In a development that would’ve been totally unexpected even two weeks ago, The Miami FC Open Cup possibilities are still alive. The Miami FC 2 has been granted admission into the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. New York Cosmos B and Jacksonville Armada has also been granted admission.
In a statement, the Open Cup Committee said:
“The Committee carefully considered the teams’ exceptional situation which involved all three moving from Professional Division II status in 2017 to solely Open Division league participation earlier this year. Since the move occurred after the Open Division league’s 2018 Open Cup entry deadline in mid-2017, the Committee decided to allow the three teams the opportunity to compete in the 2018 edition of the U.S. Open Cup.”
The teams will have until 4 p.m. on April 2 to confirm that they are participating. Once they have been confirmed, the three teams will enter the competition via a “Play-In Round” scheduled for the weekend of May 5-6. The winners of the play-in round will advance to the First Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 9.
It was pretty well understood that The Miami FC would not be partcipating in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament. After all, when the Open Cup handbook was released two weeks ago, Miami FC was not among the names listed. There was a good reason for this: There was no Miami FC competing in American soccer in 2018, becaues the league if formerly competed in was not sanctioned. There was a The Miami FC 2, but it was in the NPSL, and hasn’t officially kicked off this year.
However, that didn’t deter the club. On March 16, CEO Sean Flynn requested a sitdown with U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro to discuss Miami FC’s participation. On this very website, it was described as a “last-ditch effort.”
While Flynn apparently didn’t get the sitdown, it does appear there is some momentum building towards the idea of including Miami FC and New York Cosmos in the 2018 tournament after all.
In an apparent last-ditch effort to gain entry into the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, The Miami FC CEO Sean Flynn sent a letter to U.S. Soccer Federation president and fellow Miami resident Carlos Cordeiro.
In a way, most of the people who were told about the North American Soccer League’s decision to cancel the 2018 season were ready for that outcome. It almost seemed as if it was destined to happen after all of the events leading up to this point. Hell, the most pessimistic supporter of an NASL club could have told you the writing was on the wall after the tumultuous offseason of 2016-17. Be that as it may, Miami currently has zero professional clubs ready to play in a professional league for the 2018 season.
Losing anything isn’t nice. Losing a soccer match can hurt. Losing your keys is annoying. But there’s nothing like losing your sanity as you follow a legal battle between the league your soccer team plays in and the nation’s soccer federation. A battle that leaves a team without a league, players without jobs and supporters with a lot of summertime weekends free.
During this offseason of uncertainty, Magic City Soccer writer Drew Housman is helping you keep up-to-date. Below you can find Drew’s “Off-Season Player Tracker,” which lists the known status of every current (or now former) The Miami FC player. The Miami FC Player Tracker updates you with inbound and outbound player movement. You can find more information by visiting the subreddit.