The Miami FC 2 edge Naples United in nail-biter

Naples United hosts The Miami FC 2 at Golden Gate High School on June 28, 2018. Photo by Lee Ifans.

 

If The Miami FC 2 have learned anything from this season’s NPSL Sunshine Conference escapade it is that you cannot underestimate teams and take games for granted. After the hugely important scoreless draw between Jacksonville Armada and Miami United on Saturday, Miami knew a win in Naples would put them firmly in command in the NPSL Sunshine Conference. But this would be no straightforward evening’s work. Naples United are NPSL stalwarts and they always serve as competitive opponents. After an hour’s rain delay while the usual pre-match thunderstorm moved off into Alligator Alley, the stage was set for an important and intriguing encounter. The first between these two clubs.

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.

Miami FC v Naples United: Previewing The Match

The Miami FC 2 will take on Naples United. Graphic by Omar Moubayed.

It’s amazing to think that we are over two months into the soccer season and yet just weeks away from its end here in the Magic City. Without a pro division club in South Florida, all of Miami’s prominent teams will wrap up their season in the month of July (except APSL/college). Thankfully we have a playoff race to discuss to keep our minds off the long off-season ahead with regards to the professional game in town. 

Fútbol Miami MLS owner Jorge Mas hints at July 12 announcement for stadium site

Melreese Golf Course. Photo courtesy Melreese Golf Course website. Fútbol Miami MLS

In a tweet Tuesday night, Fútbol Miami MLS owner Jorge Mas intimated that an announcement on a site for the team’s new stadium would be coming “soon.” However, in a reply to Univision anchor Sandra Peebles, he provided what appeared to be some more details.

Mas tweeted that on the 12th (presumably July 12), there would be more information revealed.

Earlier tonight, Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald reported that Mas would be meeting with Miami-Dade Commissioners next week to discuss plans, including the possibility of a stadium at Melreese.

Jacksonville Armada v Miami United: Previewing The Match

The Jacksonville Armada will take on Miami United. Graphic by Omar Moubayed.

You may have noticed that this website never put out a match recap after Miami FC 2’s win against Storm FC at home on Wednesday. Want to know the reason why? It was incredibly underwhelming. Now enough about Miami FC (for now), the NPSL Sunshine Conference final table will probably be decided based on this one match alone. Miami United travel north to Jacksonville to take on the Armada in a clash that has major ramifications for all three heavyweights. 

Miami FC 2 v Storm FC: Previewing The Match

Miami FC 2

Tonight’s NPSL Sunshine Conference match-up shouldn’t make any supporter of Miami FC nervous. The truth is Storm FC have one point in seven games and have given up 26 more goals than they have scored (1). Realistically there is little to worry about during tonight’s contest as it’s very unlikely that Miami FC will drop points of any kind to Storm. However, this match is incredibly important when it comes to Miami’s standing in the conference table when it comes down to goal differential. 

Miami’s role in John Harkes’ removal and America’s 1998 FIFA World Cup collapse

Steve Sampson John Harkes U.S. Men's National Team

The United States Men’s National Team is currently mired in one of its more humiliating periods in the modern era (failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup). Men in Blazers co-host Roger Bennett thought it would be a good time to reflect on the other calamity since America’s return to the world soccer stage in 1990: The U.S. Men’s National Team’s failure at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. His series, “American Fiasco,” produced with WNYC Studios, looks back at all the ways the U.S. fell short leading up to and during that World Cup campaign. The seven-part podcast, however, offers a small look into how Miami played a small role in John Harkes being removed from the team, a key part of the failure that would arrive in the summer of 1998.

Before the World Cup, many believed the United States was ready to emerge as a potential dark horse to compete in the tournament. However, qualifying proved to be difficult and manager Steve Sampson was dealing with stress and injuries to the squad. Left back Jeff Agoos had been injured in a friendly against Mexico on Feb. 15, 1998. In response to this, Sampson turned to his “Captain for Life” to fill in the gap left by Agoos for the team’s match against The Netherlands at Pro Player Stadium (now Hard Rock Stadium) in Miami Gardens on Feb. 21.

According to Bennett’s interview with Sampson, Harkes was less than thrilled (you can hear Sampson and Harkes themselves describe the situation in full on Episode 5, about 14 minutes in):

“[Harkes] then says to me, ‘I did not come back from England to play as an outside back. I came back to play in the middle of midfield,'” Sampson told Bennett. “And I looked at him, and I said ‘So you’re telling me that you can only play in one position where you want to play, and that your national team coach is asking you to play this role for this game and you’re refusing to do so.’

“I’d never experienced that, in my entire career, a player telling a coach that he wasn’t willing to play in a certain position.”

Harkes had a different perspective, yet agreed he wasn’t fully sold on the idea of playing left back in Miami.

“I thought that he kept saying I didn’t embrace it, and for me, I was like ‘I’m doing my best here,'” Harkes said. “At times, it was his way or the highway. He had taken on this persona that he was the man in charge.”

Harkes played the game as left back, but the damage had been done.

Arthur Newman (5) of The Netherlands controls the ball against United States midfielder Eric Wynalda (11) during an exhibition match at Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens. United States captain John Harkes (6) can be seen on the very right of the image. Photo by Andy Lyons /Allsport
Arthur Newman (5) of The Netherlands controls the ball against United States midfielder Eric Wynalda (11) during an exhibition match at Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens. United States captain John Harkes (6) can be seen on the very right of the image. Photo by Andy Lyons /Allsport

Three strikes

Sampson identified three “strikes” that took Harkes from his “Captain for Life” to off the 1998 U.S. World Cup squad. This incident, where Harkes didn’t initially accept the role, was strike one. Strike two was a night out in Brussles that Sampson did not approve of, and strike three was an affair Harkes had with the wife of U.S. teammate Eric Wynalda.

None of this changes the past, of course. However, this additional context about Sampson’s decision makes the 1998 World Cup flameout a little easier to understand. And, of course, Miami had to play a role.

Miami United FC put three past Storm FC to help Sunshine Conference chase

Miami United hosts Storm FC. Photographic by Matthew Bunch.

After a lackluster performance against Boca Raton FC and a draw against conference-leaders Jacksonville Aramada, Miami United FC were looking to get back on the right foot. Enter Storm FC.

Storm FC, a team United had put nine past in their earlier matchup, was just what the doctor ordered, as United scored three at Ted Hendricks Stadium to claim a vital three points in the Sunshine Conference.

Manchester City and Bayern Munich hosting events in Miami this week before ICC kicks off

Bayern Munich and Manchester City mascots at Marlins Park. Photo by Arielle Castillo of Manchester City.

Next month, after the 2018 FIFA World Cup concludes in Russia, the eyes of the soccer world will turn to the International Champions Cup. Miami-Dade County will be hosting two men’s matches and the entirety of the women’s tournament. Before the main show, though, Bayern Munich and Manchester City are visiting Miami this month to tease their face-off at Hard Rock Stadium on July 28.