Tag Archives: NASL

Miami at the heart of Relevent Sports’ USSF lawsuit over league matches

Relevent Sports filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on Monday. Photographic by Matthew Bunch.

Relevent Sports, LLC, an advertising and marketing firm responsible for bringing high-profile international and club friendlies to North America, has filed suit in New York state court alleging that the U.S. Soccer Federation is improperly prohibiting the organization from bring foreign league matches to the United States.

The lawsuit, which was first reported in the New York Times, is the culmination of months of frustration between Relevent and a number of national federations. Relevent, which is co-owned by Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium owner Stephen Ross, first attempted to bring a La Liga match between Barcelona and Girona back in January. That plan stalled until finally Barcelona withdrew from the LaLiga North America partnership, at least for this season.

The plan was opposed by the U.S. federation, but also the Spanish federation, FIFA and the Spanish players’ union.

It appears that, without fanfare, Relevent tried again, this time attempting to bring two Ecuadorean clubs (Barcelona S.C. and Guayaquil City) to Hard Rock on May 5. This time, the U.S. Federation more directly rejected the proposal.

According to the Relevent complaint, the federation’s refusal to sanction the game is in violation of Federation Bylaw 102, which states the federation’s purpose is, “to promote, govern, coordinate, and administer the growth and development of soccer in all its recognized forms in the United States for all persons of all ages and abilities, including national teams and international games and tournaments.”

USSF response

On Tuesday, the federation responded, claiming that sanctioning of the game would be in violation of FIFA’s guidelines. Therefore, allowing the game to be played would be detrimental to the game and in violation of Bylaw 102.

While the FIFA Council did make its opinion known on the Miami league game matter last year, that opinion has not yet officially been codified in FIFA’s Laws of the Game. The crux of Relevent’s argument is that the Council’s opinion should not be interpreted as official rule.

Copa connection

Interestingly, the court filing in New York Supreme Court (note: the state supreme court in New York is not the highest court, instead generally serving as a civil trial court) confirms reporting from last year that Relevent Sports made efforts to bring the aborted Copa Libertadores final to Miami, and lays the blame for the failure to land the game at the feet of the USSF president (and Miami resident) Carlos Cordiero.

“At the end of 2018, when fan violence prevented the finals of the Copa Libertadores from taking place in Argentina as scheduled, Relevent and Mr. Ross reached out to USSF and its President, Carlos Cordeiro, to offer to stage the final in Miami, Florida. USSF and Cordeiro effectively refused to engage.”

Legal limbo

This is the third Miami-adjacent lawsuit pending for the USSF. The now-defunct North American Soccer League has filed a lawsuit contending that it has violated anti-trust regulations, and a lawsuit spearheaded by local club The Miami FC to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is asking that promotion and relegation be introduced in the American club game.

The Miami FC in 2018, Part 1: All I See Is Changes

The Miami FC fans set up before the team's first game. Photo by Lee Ifans.

It’s the evening of 5th of November 2017. I’m bent double with my head in my hands as the sounds of boisterous celebration by the contingent from the New York Cosmos in Riccardo Silva Stadium confirm that The Miami FC’s 2017 NASL season is over. Mason Trafford has just planted his shootout effort onto the woodwork. For the first time in my life I couldn’t watch a penalty. It meant too much. Of all the players I didn’t want to miss, it was Mason. He’d not put a foot wrong all year, the likable boy from Boynton Beach had become a fan favorite for his consistent performances in defense. Soccer is a sport that writes cruel scripts. 

Ron Newman, legendary Miami Americans, Fort Lauderdale Strikers manager dead at 82

Fort Lauderdale Strikers coach Ron Newman welcomes the Peruvian Teofilo Cubillas at a press conference in Miami in March 1979. Photograph via Kathy Willens/AP

Legendary American soccer manager Ron Newman, best known as the coach of the dynastic San Diego Sockers of indoor soccer but remembered in South Florida as the manager of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the original North American Soccer League and the short-lived leader of the Miami Americans, died Monday morning. The news was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Miami FC 2 signs Kris Tyrpak from San Antonio FC

Kris Tyrpak

The Miami FC 2 bolstered its attack Friday, signing Kris Tyrpak from San Antonio FC of the United Soccer League.

Before San Antonio, Tyrpak played professionally for Swope Park Rangers (USL) in 2016, San Antonio Scorpions (North American Soccer League) in 2015 and Chivas USA (Major League Soccer) in 2014.

In 2012, 2013 and 2015 Tyrpak played for Austin Aztex of the Premier Development League, which might better explain the signing. It was in those seasons where Tyrpak played for Paul Dalglish, who now manages Miami FC 2.

Tyrpak was named as the USL PDL MVP after scoring nine goals in 14 games while also recording one assist as the Aztex won the USL PDL title in 2013.

Miami FC Open Cup dreams alive: In reversal, The Miami FC 2 granted admission to U.S. Open Cup

Miami FC Open Cup

In a development that would’ve been totally unexpected even two weeks ago, The Miami FC Open Cup possibilities are still alive. The Miami FC 2 has been granted admission into the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. New York Cosmos B and Jacksonville Armada has also been granted admission.

In a statement, the Open Cup Committee said:

“The Committee carefully considered the teams’ exceptional situation which involved all three moving from Professional Division II status in 2017 to solely Open Division league participation earlier this year. Since the move occurred after the Open Division league’s 2018 Open Cup entry deadline in mid-2017, the Committee decided to allow the three teams the opportunity to compete in the 2018 edition of the U.S. Open Cup.”

The teams will have until 4 p.m. on April 2 to confirm that they are participating. Once they have been confirmed, the three teams will enter the competition via a “Play-In Round” scheduled for the weekend of May 5-6. The winners of the play-in round will advance to the First Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 9.