The best action of the entire International Champions Cup showcase happened last night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. In a double-header showcasing the best women’s talent in soccer PSG, Manchester City, Olympique Lyonnais, and the North Carolina Courage put on a display second to none. In a third-place match that had numerous goals, to a final that produced amazing displays of tactical abilities no other set of matches have come close.
After two fixture dates in the Miami’s International Champions Cup run, one thing has become very apparent. The women’s tournament has been holding it’s own in the shadow of the two men’s fixtures. While Real Madrid and Manchester United is the main event, it’s a shame that the women’s tournament hasn’t received the support it merits at the turnstile. The best action in this tournament has come from the North Carolina Courage and Olympique Lyonnais. The best value in this tournament comes Sunday as the two square off for the inaugural title.
Fans of Bayern Munich in Miami-Dade County have a lot to be excited about this week. Die Roten are playing at Hard Rock Stadium on Friday night, facing off against Manchester City. But for some of the Bavarian faithful in the Magic City, it’s a long-awaited return appearance.
While the Cityzens have never played in Miami, Bayern Munich has. In 1991, as part of the Miami Cup, Bayern played two matches. On Feb. 1, Bayern and the Colombian National Team (club vs. country friendlies were much more common at the time than they are now) squared off at the Miami Orange Bowl. In a tense matchup, the teams drew 0-0.
Bayern spanks the Yanks
In the team’s second match of the Cup, also at the Orange Bowl, they easily dispatched the U.S. Men’s National Team. The Americans, fresh off their appearance in the 1990 World Cup, fell 4-0.
“The Untied States — basically a collegiate all-star team — played on the of the world’s finest club teams. Bayern Munich has six players from the West German World Cup championship team,” Steve Wyche wrote in the Miami Herald after the game.
“We’re not technically as sophisticated as they are or as tightly knit as a team,” U.S. coach Bob Gansler said after the game. “Those guys have been playing forever; this is just our second game this year.”
Roland Wohlfarth scored twice in 13 minutes before halftime (25′, 38′) to seal the game, but Manfred Schwabl (39′) and Roland Grahammer (76′) also got in on the action.
The Miami Cup would never be held again at the Orange Bowl, replaced by a Joe Robbie Cup in 1994 at then-Joe Robbie Stadium. That tournament would run through intermittently through 2001, never again attracting a European club the size of Bayern Munich. It took more than 25 years for another Miami-based tournament, the International Champions Cup, to bring the club back.
As the 2018 International Champions Cup kicks into high gear, events will be taking place around Miami building up to the games. All of that can be found in our ICC Calendar, which will be updating throughout the week as events take shape.
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.
While it may not be El Clasico in 2018, Miami is rumored to host some major friendlies in the summer at Hard Rock Stadium. In a leaked set of games from the International Champions Cup 2018 schedule, it seems that Miami will be hosting two men’s matches in addition to the two women’s matches announced earlier in the month.
Andrew Das of the New York Times is reporting that the International Champions Cup, the brainchild of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Relevent Sports executive chairman Charlie Stillitano, will be adding a four-team Women’s International Champions Cup competition this summer. In addition, all the games featuring top-flight women’s clubs will take place in South Florida, with a final at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
(UPDATE: Matt Higgins of RSE Ventures confirmed to Magic City Soccer that all games will take place at Hard Rock.)