On this Magic City Soccer Podcast, Matt, Drew and Lee welcome in the new year by breaking down lots of news. Diego Alonso will lead Inter Miami CF into its first season, while The Miami FC will take on a familiar foe in its USL Championship home debut. Plus, we answer listener questions. Join us, won’t you?
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2019. As the decade closes, Inter Miami CF, The Miami FC and more prepare for the next decade and beyond.
2019 began with Inter Miami CF targeting Miami Freedom Park and a not-yet-named temporary venue. The Miami FC was preparing for its second season in the National Premier Soccer League. And Miami United FC was gearing up for its sixth season at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah. By the end of the year, Inter Miami was nearly done building a stadium no one envisioned in January, Miami FC was onto its third league in 12 months, and Miami United moved across the county.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2017. The Miami FC makes an enthralling U.S. Open Cup run, and Jorge Mas offers a lifeline to a Miami Beckham United ready to quit.
When The Miami FC was announced in 2015. owner Riccardo Silva indicated that the U.S. Open Cup would prove to be as important as league performance. That wasn’t reflected in 2016, when the club was bombed out in its first game by Wilmington Hammerheads FC. In 2017, however, a magical run would show the potential that The Miami FC presented the South Florida soccer community.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2015. An unexpected rival enters the Miami professional soccer market, and plans to be playing games sooner than anyone would imagine.
By the middle point 2015, the David Beckham proposal bandied about anonymously in 2013 and shared publicly in February 2014 was looking ragged. Proposals for Dodge Island and Downtown were shot down. A compromise location next to Marlins Park was being stonewalled by property owners abutting the stadium’s property. It was clear that building a stadium would be the defining problem of the plan.
Seeing the instability, Italian businessman and investor Riccardo Silva made a play. Silva and Italian legend Paolo Maldini announced that The Miami FC would be competing in the North American Soccer League in the 2016 season. Instead of building a new venue, it would play at Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium. A head coach (Alessandro Nesta) and jersey unveiling soon followed.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2012. It was still a relative dark age for competitive soccer in Miami, but a flicker of hope would appear: Miami United FC.
When Miami FC played its last game in Miami-Dade in 2009, the expectation of MLS filling the gap was present. But by 2012, that dream was dead and (as of that point) had no likelihood of being revived. One man saw the opening and decided to fill it: entrepreneur Roberto Sacca.
In this episode of the Magic City Soccer podcast, Matt and Lee sound the siren and discuss The Miami FC’s shocking move to USL Championship. Join us, won’t you?
Nicolas Micoli celebrates his goal. Pic courtesy Miami United instagram.
Miami United cruised into the 2020 US Open Cup with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Delray Beach’s Hurricane FC in the Open Cup 3rd qualifying round.
The tone for the evening was set early on when United broke the deadlock with the game’s first meaningful effort on goal. A great free kick looped in from deep in the Hurricane half by Juan Fuenmayor found Bautista Dominguez in the penalty area. Dominguez beat Hurricane keeper Bruno to the ball and powered a header into the net.
Hurricane could have equalized with a long range effort by Jeremy Garcia Villatoro that caught Soto in the Miami United goal off-guard. Fortunately the crossbar came to his rescue. After that it was one way traffic and United piled on three more goals with Darryl Gordon, Nicolas Micoli and William Stamatis all getting on the scoresheet. United’s goals all coming from different scorers really highlights the quality throughout head coach Ferdinando De Matthaeis’s team.
The difference between the two teams came down to the experience on the Miami United side. Captain Ezequiel Tejera gave a masterclass in midfield, effortlessly controlling the tempo of the game. Winning the ball when needed and moving the ball round wonderfully in possession. Although with a 4-0 win it might be easier to look at the attacking players, it was defender Juan Fuenmayor who turned in a man of the match performance. In addition to his assist for the first goal and helping his side to a clean sheet he also cleared a Hurricane effort of the line towards the end of the first half.
Vice City 1896 supporting Miami United. Pic courtesy Vice City 1896 instagram.
The second 45 didn’t live up to the exciting first stanza. Hurricane were unable to create meaningful chances. They almost got one back through a goalmouth scramble but #9 Elizor was unable to force the ball into the net. United went more defensive and were happy to manage the game to it’s conclusion. As the half wore on and Hurricane pressed forward they were unable to solve Bruno for a fifth goal on the break. The Hurricane keeper denying United on a few key occasions. The game ended 4-0 with Miami United able to soak up the noisy support from the sidelines, led by local supporter’s group Vice City 1896, and bask in the glory of a return to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The first round of the 2020 tournament is scheduled for March next year.
Miami United, playing in the 2020 Open Cup qualifying tournament under their U-23 banner, edged out Florida Soccer Soldiers 2-1 in an enthralling encounter at Orange Bowl Field, Ives Estates Park on Sunday evening.
The Miami FC claimed its second National Premier Soccer League National Championship on Saturday night, defeating host New York Cosmos 3-1.
Miami FC, which has announced it has plans to leave NPSL for the National Independent Soccer Association, became the first team in NPSL history to win a second title.
After both teams alternated chances in the first 10 minutes, a high press from Miami FC and Ariel Martinez generated a turnover from Daniel Szetela. The ball landed at the feet of captain Dylan Mares, who passed to Miguel Gonzalez, and found Mares on a one-time pass that set him up for a clear shot on goal. A low roller to the left corner beat Cosmos keeper Paul Blanchette to put Miami up 1-0.
The key second goal came just six minutes later, when another turnover from Szetela forced by Tomás Granitto led to the ball falling right at Mares’ foot. A few touches and a small move to the right found Mares open in the box with a look at the top-right corner. The captain again took his chance, and doubled his team’s advantage.
New York Cosmos would halve the advantage in the 30th minute, when an Ansi Agolli free kick sneaked through the crowd in the box and past Miami FC goalkeeper Mark Pais, who was anticipating a header that never came.
Keeping them in it
It was the one misstep from Pais, who made a number of saves to keep Miami FC in the game. Particularly in the second half, Pais made save after save to keep the one-goal advantage in place. In the 86th minute, it took a double-fingertip save from Pais to keep Miami FC on top.
The game was finally sorted in stoppage time, when defender Shawn Chin won a ball and found forward Darío Suárez on the wing. Chin then continued a run, and Suárez found him streaking down the right. With only Blanchette to beat, Chin calmly moved around the sliding keeper, continued his run, and passed the ball into the heart of the net. Chin’s shirt came off, his team ran over to join him at the opposite flag post, and the champions defended their crown.
It has been almost two years since the lights of the NASL were shut off. While last year maintained a sense of rivalry with Jacksonville, Miami FC has had to shift to a new normal. Saturday’s NPSL final against the New York Cosmos brings back the familiar feelings that have long been missing for the Miami faithful.