Tag Archives: FIU

Da Silva da man for The Miami FC over Pittsburgh Riverhounds

The Miami FC came back to defeat the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at FIU Stadium on Saturday night. Photo by Lee Ifans.

The Miami FC turned things around in the last ten minutes of last night’s game versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds to grab all three points in an important matchup at the top of the USL Championship Atlantic Division.

A lovely clear fall evening in the 305 with a slight breeze blowing through Riccardo Silva Stadium set the stage for a good game between two evenly matched teams. The encounter exploded into life as fans were treated to a couple of quick-fire goals from the combatants in the first five minutes.

Kenardo Forbes grabbed the opener for the visitors, blasting home from a narrow angle after making a good run to find some space in the area. The Riverhounds had barely finished their celebrations when they were caught cold by Sean McFarlane. The Miami fullback spotted a run by Lamar Walker and the Jamaican made no mistake from close range.

For the rest of the half the teams traded jabs without too many clear cut chances. Pittsburgh were well-organized in defense and transitioned to attack dangerously. Clearly they had done their homework on Miami’s danger men. Christiano Francois struggled to get into the game at times as he was man-marked by the imposing Jelani Peters. Pittsburgh knew the danger posed by Francois and Billy Forbes down the flanks and set themselves up to contain them.

Second half fight

A worrying moment for the FC faithful came when goalkeeper Connor Sparrow was accidentally clobbered by an opponent as he was claiming a ball. As Brian Sylvestre was reaching for the gloves on the bench, Sparrow sprung back up to his feet determined to carry on. A moment that embodies the fighting spirit of this Miami FC side, something they would have to draw on in the second half.

Not long after the hour mark the Riverhounds Russell Cicerone hit the post with an effort. They went one better just after that. Thomas Williamson sent the ball into the area. A rare lapse from Paco Craig at the back saw him just miss a clearing header. Kenardo Forbes snuck away from Othello Bah to head home his second of the evening at the far post to the delight of the small band of Steel Army supporters who had made the trip down.

This game had big ramifications for the 2nd place spot in the division. Miami were three points behind the Riverhounds coming into the game. With Pittsburgh taking the lead, that gap increased to six.

Comeback trail

With Miami not making enough of an impact in the game and needing at least one goal, head coach Paul Dalglish once again pulled off an inspired substitution and tactical change. Nijah Reid and Pierre Da Silva entered the game for Löbe and captain Ariel Martinez. With less than ten minutes remaining Reid drew a couple of ball watching Riverhounds out of position and fizzed a ball across the 18 yard box to Othello Bah who lashed home an unstoppable finish.

Pittsburgh’s second had been a bit of a gift from the Miami backline. But they were happy to return the favor for the game winning goal for FC. Francois found acres of space on the halfway line and the visitors inexplicably left Da Silva totally unmarked. Francois played a perfect pass, Da Silva took one lovely first touch and hammered home the game winner.

The final score 3-2 to Miami. They remain 3rd in the table but equal on points with the Riverhounds plus Miami have one game in hand. Pittsburgh return to Miami on October 17th for a rematch. Before that though The Miami FC travel to bottom-of-the-table Loudoun United next Sunday.

Miami Soccer in Review: Clubs throughout the county position themselves for the next decade

Miami Soccer in Review | In 2019, Inter Miami CF announced a plan to build a stadium to serve as a temporary venue for its Major League Soccer team and a permanent home for a USL League One side. Photo via Inter Miami CF.

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.

Miami Soccer in Review: Everything changes for Inter Miami CF in 2018

Miami Soccer in Review | David Beckham speaks to a crowd at Regatta Park in Coconut Grove before Fútbol Miami MLS makes it presentation in front of the City of Miami commission. Co-owner Jorge Mas is pictured to the left. Photo by Matthew Bunch.

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 2018. Everything, from ownership to name to stadium location, was changed for Miami Beckham United (later Inter Miami CF).

As we covered yesterday, the fall of 2017 was a dark time for Miami Beckham United. No substantive, positive news had developed in more than a year. But a breakfast meeting and an e-mail brought Jorge Mas, CEO of MasTec, into the fold. By January 2018, the ownership group was appearing at the Adrienne Arsht Center to celebrate.

Changes came thick and fast, as Mas brought his local knowledge to the bid. Out was the Overtown bid. In was Melreese Country Club, which would require a lease with the City of Miami.

Local politics required local support, so the team tried to bring supporters to counter the supporters of the golf club. David Beckham and Mas rallied the troops outside the city commission’s chambers on July 12.

Later that evening, the commission would decide to punt for a week. After a week of further negotiation, a 3-2 vote allowed the residents of the city to vote on whether the commission could negotiate further.

More public support was now needed, and so the public relations campaign began. A Sporting Director (Paul McDonough) was hired, a logo and name were revealed and the team paid for a front-page wrap of the Miami Herald to announce it.

After nearly four months, more than 60 percent of city residents voted to allow the negotiations. Of course, if you don’t know by now, the project that would come to be known as Miami Freedom Park became one more giant hurdle that has yet to be cleared.

Miami FC NPSL-bound

Another entity that struggled with repeated challenges was the North American Soccer League. In 2018, the league, which repeatedly challenged the U.S. Soccer Federation, cancelled its season after failing to regain certification. The Miami FC took measures to keep playing, joining the National Premier Soccer League.

Paul Dalglish, taking over for Alessandro Nesta, had an enormous burden to carry. The club failed to produce another memorable cup run, but did claim the NPSL’s national title thanks to a 3-2 defeat of FC Motown from Morristown, New Jersey.

Miami United cup crazy

Now, why did The Miami FC fail to produce another memorable cup run? Two words: Miami United.

Miami United strung together a cup run nearly as memorable as Miami FC’s in 2017, defeating Miami and Jacksonville Armada (NASL exiles) before hosting Orlando City SC at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah. Orlando City, after failing against Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Miami FC, were loath to lose to a Florida team again. A 3-0 defeat ended the dream for Miami United, but not before lots of attention was paid to the pink and blue.

Miami United FC: South Florida’s Fresh Hope

Miami United FC is South Florida’s fresh hope in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. They face MLS side Orlando City this Wednesday!

International Champions Cup double-dip

Nothing could match the excitement of El Clásico Miami in 2017. However, another double dip of international friendlies came to Hard Rock Stadium. Manchester City saw off Bayern Munich on July 28, and three days later Manchester United upset plenty of Los Blancos fans, defeating Real Madrid 2-1.

2018 also saw the debut of the International Champions Cup Women’s Tournament in Miami. North Carolina Courage claimed the title, besting European giants Olympique Lyonnais; Manchester City claimed third place, beating Paris Saint-Germain.

Colleges

The FIU men entered 2018 with very high expectations. Two players ( Santiago Patino and Joris Ahlinvi) were named to the preseason MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. Many expected a run similar to what we saw in 2017. However, the team found disappointment, finishing with a 7-10 record and a first-round tournament exit at the hands of Marshall.

If the FIU men were disappointing, the FIU women were shocking. The team fell to 0-17-1, and if not for a brace by Rayquel Berry against Louisiana Tech, it would have been a pointless season.

The Miami Hurricanes, in their first year under Sarah Barnes, weren’t much better. A win over FIU did avenge their 2017 loss, but a 5-9-2 record was not what Barnes was looking for in her debut.

High Schools

On the girls’ side, Lourdes again claimed a Class 5A title, defeating Oviedo 1-0. Miami Country Day reached the 1A state final, but lost to the juggernaut that is St. John’s Country Day.

On the boys’ side, Class 1A Palmer Trinity claimed another state title, downing Maclay 2-1. Miami Beach nearly edged Plant City for the Class 5A title, but fell in penalty kicks, 3-2.

Join us on New Year’s Day for the final post in Miami Soccer in Review.

Miami Soccer in Review: The Miami FC brings MLS to Miami in 2017 as Beckham bid nearly collapses

Miami Soccer in Review | The Miami FC forward Kwadwo Poku scores past Atlanta United defender Carlos Carmona to win the club's U.S. Open Cup tie at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami on June 28, 2017. Photo via The Miami FC.

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.

Miami Soccer in Review: The Miami FC struggles on the pitch in its 2016 debut

Miami Soccer in Review | The Miami FC forward Darío Cvitanich celebrates with teammates after scoring the club's first goal in a game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on April 2, 2016. Photo via The Miami FC.

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 2016. The Miami FC debuts less than a year after being announced, and struggles to find its footing.

The Miami FC took the field for the first time in 2016, led by Italian giant Alessandro Nesta. In the club’s first match against Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Darío Cvitanich would score the first goal thanks to a penalty and a 10-man side saw out a 1-1 draw at Lockhart Stadium in Broward County. The Strikers, who qualified for the NASL playoffs the prior season, offered a measuring stick with which to compare Miami FC. The next week, the Blues again saw out a 1-1 draw, this time against Tampa Bay Rowdies, a team that came two points behind Fort Lauderdale the previous season. 

It would be the last points Miami FC collected for more than a month.

Miami Soccer in Review: Silva, The Miami FC offer direct challenge to MLS, Beckham in 2015

Miami Soccer in Review | Riccardo Silva, right, poses with The Miami FC co-founder Paolo Maldini in 2015. Photo via NASL.

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.

Miami Soccer in Review: 2014 officially starts the MLS madness that would become Inter Miami CF

Miami Soccer in Review | From Left: MLS Commissioner Don Garber, David Beckham and Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Giménez pose at Pérez Art Museum Miami on Feb. 5, 2014. Photo via Pérez Art Museum Miami

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 2014. The announcement Miami’s been waiting for finally comes. And kicks off a half-decade of more waiting.

It was a picture-perfect moment for a picture-perfect day. Don Garber, commissioner of Major League Soccer on one side. Carlos Giménez, mayor of Miami-Dade County on the other. All around, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, a focal point for Miami’s modern development. And standing squarely in the middle: David Beckham.

Miami Soccer in Review: David Beckham begins Miami odyssey in 2013

Miami Soccer in Review: LeBron James shakes hands with David Beckham during Game 7 Of the Eastern Conference Finals. Beckham was in town to tour possible venues for a Major League Soccer team. Eventual partner Marcelo Claure stands to Beckham's right. Photo via Getty Images.

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 2013. An international superstar started to sniff around Miami, but what many hoped would be the beginning of the end of Miami’s time without Major League Soccer would turn out to only be the beginning of the beginning.

It felt like Miami was the center of the sports world in the summer of 2013. The Miami Heat were on their way to a second consecutive NBA Finals win, and attracting attention from all corners. One of the interested parties was soccer superstar David Beckham, who sat courtside during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He was the guest of a high-profile Miami-based CEO: Brightstar’s Marcelo Claure.

Their presence at that game on May 30 was a hint of a larger story to break the following week: Beckham, who retained a $25 million expansion fee clause with Major League Soccer, would look to bring a side to Miami-Dade County.

Miami Soccer in Review: Miami United FC begins return of competitive club soccer in 2012

As we look back at Miami Soccer in Review, we see Miami United's first logo, a nod to their debut at Miami Beach's Flamingo Park. It would not be the club's last logo. Photo via Miami Beach Government.

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.

Miami Soccer in Review: 2011 saw more pro soccer from Europe than America

Miami soccer in review: Chivas' Marco Fabián scores one of two goals to overturn a first-half deficit and hand then-European champions FC Barcelona a shocking 4-1 defeat in an Herbalife World Football Challenge match at Sun Life Stadium in front of a record crowd for soccer in the history of the state of Florida. Photo via Getty Images.

Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. We reviewed 2010 on Monday, and now offer Miami Soccer in Review for 2011.

2011 continued a dearth of professional, competitive soccer in Miami-Dade County. However, a trend would develop during the year: International club friendlies.