Tag Archives: Hard Rock Stadium

The Pacific Clasico Lands On The Atlantic Shores of Miami Beach; Chile v Peru Preview

Image Courtesy of Hard Rock Stadium

For the second time in as many months, world class soccer action returns to Hard Rock Stadium. The Magic City will be in the spotlight again tonight as yet another “Clasico” takes place with the Clasico del Pacifico. Chile will take on Peru in what could be an epic revenge match after the CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Throughout the 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign, Peru and Chile were constantly jockeying for South America’s playoff spot in hopes of reaching Russia. When the dust was settled, it was Peru that just narrowly edged Chile in goal differential to earn the 5th spot in the table. To make matters worse, Chile’s last loss in qualifying (0-3 to Brazil) crushed their dreams and allowed Peru to qualifying for the tournament for the first time since 1982.  

This fixture has caused nightmares for Peru as Chile’s high flying attacking, featuring the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, has been a thorn in the side for years. The last time Peru earned a result against Chile was in 2013 during the 2014 World Cup Qualifying. These matches have been undoubtedly testy, with four of the last six matches having a member of the Peruvian squad sent off the pitch early.

Peru exited the 2018 World Cup on a high note by beating Australia after dropping their first two fixtures against France and Denmark. The September friendlies didn’t pan out well for the selection as they dropped matches to Germany and Netherlands by a goal each. Peru will turn to Orlando City’s Yoshimar Yotun and Seattle Sounders’ striker Raul Ruidiaz to lead the way and be the spark to the offense.

Chile hasn’t fared much better since missing the World Cup tournament. The last time the Chilean national team tasted victory was against Serbia in a friendly going back to June 4th. The raw talent favors Chile coming into this match as the European pedigree is seen all around the roster. The aforementioned Sanchez and Vidal will join defenders Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla in hopes of keeping the dominant streak over Peru. Should Alexis score in this contest it would be his 40th goal for his country, Vidal would notch number 25.

Peru’s Selection:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Patricio Álvarez (Sporting Cristal), José Carvallo (Universidad Técnica de Cajamarca), Pedro Gallese(Veracruz/MEX)

DEFENDERS (8):  Luis Abram (Vélez Sarsfield/ARG), Luis Advíncula (Rayo Vallecano/ESP), Miguel Araujo (Talleres/ARG), Nilson Loyola (Melgar), Johan Madrid (Sporting Cristal), Christian Ramos (Al-Nassr/KSA), Anderson Santamaría (Puebla/MEX), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo/BRA)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Pedro Aquino (Club León/MEX), Cristian Benevente (Royal Charleroi/BEL), Horacio Calcaterra (Sporting Cristal), André Carillo (Al-Hilal/KSA), Christian Cueva (Krasnodar/RUS), Edison Flores (Morelia/MEX), Paolo Hurtado(Konyaspor/TUR), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers/USA), Renato Tapia (Feyenoord/NED), Yoshimar Yotún (Orlando City SC/USA)

FORWARDS (3): Jefferson Farfán (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Yordy Reyna (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN), Raúl Ruidíaz(Seattle Sounders FC/USA)

 

Chile’s Selection:

Goalkeepers (3): Gabriel Arias (Racing), Fernando de Paul (Universidad de Chile), Lawrence Vigouroux (Swindon Town)

Defenders (8): Gary Medel (Besiktas), Mauricio Isla (Fenerbahce), Eugenio Mena (Racing), Enzo Roco (Besiktas), Paulo Diaz (Al-Ahli), Guillermo Maripan (Alaves), Igor Lichnovsky (Cruz Azul), Alfonso Parot (Rosario Central)

Midfielders (7): Arturo Vidal (FC Barcelona), Felipe Gutierrez (Sporting Kansas City), Pablo Hernandez (Independiente), Erick Pulgar (Bologna), Lorenzo Reyes (Atlas), Diego Valdes (Morelia), Victor Davila (Necaxa)

Forwards (6): Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United), Nicolas Castillo (Benfica), Junior Fernandes (Alanyaspor), Angelo Sagal (Pachuca), Angelo Henriquez (Universidad de Chile), Ignacio Jeraldino (Audax Italiano)

Tickets are still available for the match scheduled to kickoff at 8PM from Hard Rock Stadium.

Click Here To Get Your Tickets Now!

Colombia v Venezuela: Two Of Miami’s Best Supported National Teams Face-Off

Colombia Venezuela

The spoils continue to fall for Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami soccer community. With Relevent Sports partnering with CMN Sports, the Magic City will be in the spotlight again tonight as two national rivals take the pitch in Colombia and Venezuela. Two of the biggest immigrant populations in South Florida will get a chance to see their colors represented in a match for bragging rights.

Want to know what happened? Check out our game recap here!  

L’Esportiu de Catalunya: Barcelona and Girona to play first LaLiga North America match in Miami in January 2019

Hard Rock Stadium is pictured during an International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid of LaLiga and Manchester United of the Premier League in Miami Gardens on July 31, 2018. Photo courtesy Real Madrid.

According to L’Esportiu de Catalunya, a prominent sports newspaper based in Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona and Girona will contest the first LaLiga North America match at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on the weekend of Jan. 26 and 27.

While the plans have not yet confirmed by the clubs or the league, both Barcelona and Girona are based in Catalonia.

LaLiga announces league games in North America in partnership with Relevant Sports; Miami a likely destination

Hard Rock Stadium is pictured during an International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid of LaLiga and Manchester United of the Premier League in Miami Gardens on July 31, 2018. Photo courtesy Real Madrid.

In a tectonic shift for the world of international soccer, LaLiga announced Thursday morning that it intends to bring league matches to North America as part of “LaLiga North America,” a partnership between the league and the Miami-based Relevant Sports. While no announcements of specific cities has been made, it’s virtually a certainty that Miami will host some of these games.

Is the Miami Freedom Park That Different From Joe Robbie Stadium?

Fútbol Miami MLS will be presenting its vision for "Miami Freedom Park," the home of the future Major League Soccer stadium in Miami alongside other development, to the public on Thursday. Image provided by Jorge Mas via Twitter.

There is a wide misconception that has grown through the years here in South Florida. It has been the gold standard to every stadium project when it’s time to discuss financing and acquisition. Those familiar with sports here in the Magic City know that I am already talking about Joe Robbie Stadium, now known as Hard Rock Stadium. South Florida idolizes Robbie for building it with his own money, however, lost in the story is the land acquisition deal. 

All the non-stadium news from Jorge Mas’ Fútbol Miami MLS recent interviews

Fútbol Miami MLS co-owner Jorge Mas speaks during a celebration event at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami on Jan. 29, 2018. Photo via mlssoccer.com.

As is to be expected, there has been a lot of discussion about Miami Freedom Park, where Fútbol Miami MLS intends to build its stadium (with the approval of City of Miami voters in November). However, co-owner Jorge Mas has revealed a lot of other news related to the actual sport of soccer in the course of his interviews this weekend. And it appears a lot of pieces related to the team will be falling into place in weeks, rather than months or years.

Mas spoke to Will Manso of Local 10 WPLG on Sunday, and revealed a number of juicy tidbits:

  • First, the colors, shield and uniform could be released as early as the end of this month.
  • Second, the club has interviewed candidates for general manager and coach, and the GM position is expected to be filled by the end of next month.
  • Third, the team name will be released after colors, and it will not be Miami Freedom, as had been speculated in May. That name will be reserved for the development at Melreese. Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald reported last month that the two favored finalists appear to be Futbol Club Internacional de Miami (Inter Miami) and Futbol Club Atletico Miami (Atletico Miami).
  • Finally, and most critically, Mas reiterated the plan to kick off in March 2020, even though the proposed stadium won’t be ready until 2021. That means  the team will start in a temporary venue. Mas mentioned that there’s interest in “the other two large facilities in Dade County that can house our team,” referring to Hard Rock Stadium and Riccardo Silva Stadium.

Mas indicated the ownership group had an idea of the style it would like to play, and hopes to model Atlanta United as a club to develop players for the future.

Listen to Matt and Omar discuss the “Miami Freedom Park” plan on Magic City Soccer Episode 57!

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.