Tag Archives: Miami

FC Barcelona waive white flag, will not play in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in January

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. FC Barcelona hoped to play Girona FC at the stadium in January 2019. Photo courtesy Real Madrid.

Three months ago, it appeared La Liga and Relevent Sports would be bringing one of the biggest soccer events in South Florida history to Hard Rock Stadium in January. But today, FC Barcelona announced it would not be participating in a game with Girona FC next month, dealing a significant blow to the league’s hopes of playing outside Spain.

The game had been hampered by the start from interests as wide-ranging as the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the Spanish players union and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino. Despite an effort to launch a petition drive, none of the opposing forces appeared to budge an inch.

There’s no word as to how La Liga and Relevent plan to proceed with LaLiga North America after the withdrawal of FC Barcelona’s support, but without Barcelona and Real Madrid’s persistent opposition to games outside of Spain, the marketing potential for the games would fall precipitously.

Florida Soccer Soldiers defeat Miami Sun FC, but game is shortened after threats to referees

Miami Sun FC players surround the referees after a Florida Soccer Soldiers goal. Their UPSL Florida match was called shortly after this goal. Photo by Lee Ifans.

It was the most highly anticipated matchup of the UPSL Florida South Division season so far. Undefeated and untied Florida Soccer Soldiers faced off with undefeated and untied Miami Sun FC. The game that started with such excitement ended with such controversy, as Florida Soccer Soldiers scored off a contested corner and the Miami Sun FC complaints reached such a fever pitch that the referees called the match more than 20 minutes early.

Grant Wahl: Miami group trying to bring Copa Libertadores final to Dade County

The Copa Libertadores final second-leg match between Boca Juniors and River Plate was called off Saturday after fan violence. Graphic courtesy CONMEBOL.

If a Miami-based group has its way, per Sports Illustrated soccer maven Grant Wahl, the second stage of the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate won’t be played at El Monumental or in Argentina at all. The game will be played somewhere in Dade County.

Though there was idle speculation Sunday after a make-up date for the match was also called off, this is the first time there appears to be official confirmation of an effort to bring the game to South Florida. There have been efforts to move continental club championships outside of their home confederation before (including reports CONMEBOL eyed Miami in 2016 for a later date), but this would be an unprecedented shift with only days or weeks to prepare.

It’s unknown who is involved, however the logical choice would be Stephen Ross, Charlie Stillitano and Relevant Sports. With its prior experience organizing the International Champions Cup, and its continuing (but stalled) efforts to bring a La Liga game to Hard Rock Stadium, this game could provide a blueprint for other confederations to contest games at the stadium.

The downside is obviously the loss of a monumental (pardon the pun) game for the two clubs, and for Argentinian football as a whole. The upside for Miami, however, could be enormous. The eyes of the soccer world (and even some non-soccer fans piqued by the chaos caused by the second leg’s first attempt on Saturday) would be firmly fixed on South Florida. Considering Dade County and surrounding areas has a built-in fanbase for both clubs (River and Boca jerseys were as prevalent around South Florida last weekend as Dolphins or Hurricanes jerseys), it could be an unexpected slam dunk.

Matthew Bunch contributed to this report.

Purchase a Magic City Soccer hat and support local soccer journalism

Magic City Soccer is offering a great hat! It looks great and helps keep our site running! Photo by Matthew Bunch.

We at Magic City Soccer love soccer in Miami-Dade County. We also love sweet swag with allusions to our hometown. That’s why we’ve created t-shirts and now a signature hat with our “Neon Nights” design for our supporters to rock. It’s very Miami, and it’s a hell of a lot cooler than an NPR totebag.

This lovely snapback will only put you back $30 (think of it as a donation to a worthy cause). If you’re interested in purchasing a hat, e-mail us at MagicCitySoccer.MCS@gmail.com and we’ll provide you more information. As always, thank you for your support and thanks for reading and listening!

Magic City Soccer is offering a great hat! It looks great and helps keep our site running! Photo by Matthew Bunch.
Magic City Soccer is offering a great hat! It looks great and helps keep our site running! Photo by Matthew Bunch.

Miami FC, Miami United in new NPSL league with professional players and staff

Miami FC and Miami United have both been announced to be part of the NPSL's new professional league in 2020. They will also take part in the Founder's Cup in 2019. Photographic by Matthew Bunch.

The National Premier Soccer League ended long-simmering speculation on Thursday, as it announced the NPSL would be featuring a new full-time professional league in 2020. Before that, it will also host a “Founders Cup” featuring the 11 founding members of the new league. Miami United and Miami FC are included in the 11 clubs.

“We are very excited to bring a new brand of community-based soccer to the U.S. market,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone said in a release. “Beginning with the Founders Cup, fans will be able to enjoy watching authentic clubs compete with professional players and staff. This new venture will build upon the success and experience of NPSL and its nationwide network of local soccer club members.”

This ends almost a year of speculation about where Miami FC would wind up, after the U.S. Soccer Federation wound up its old league, the North American Soccer League, last year. Miami United has competed in the fourth-division NPSL since its founding in 2013.

This is a breaking story. It will be added to as more information is made available.

Magic City Soccer Episode 63: Inter Miami CF wins at the ballot box, Florida Soccer Soldiers win on the field

Magic City Soccer Podcast. Photographic by Matthew Bunch.

In this episode of Magic City Soccer, Matt, Drew, Lee and Abel discuss Inter Miami CF’s electoral victory in its City of Miami referendum Tuesday night, while discussing NPSL PRO and Florida Soccer Soldiers’ success in the UPSL. Join us, won’t you?

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