Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Here, we begin our look back at a decade of Miami soccer in review with 2010, an Annus Horribilis.
The decade of the 2010s was supposed to open with a bang for the Miami soccer community. In October 2008, Barcelona announced that it would be partnering with Brightstar Corp. CEO Marcelo Claure to bring an Major League Soccer team to FIU Stadium, possibly as soon as 2010.
If you know anything about soccer in Miami this decade, you know this couldn’t have compared less favorably with what actually happened. In fact, the only constant was Claure, now involved in the ownership of Inter Miami CF.
Markets tanked, partners backed out, and after a decade-long exile from MLS, Miami would wander another decade through a first-division desert.
It was a perfect representation of what 2010 would be for Miami soccer fans: an Annus Horribilis, or horrible year.
MLS would come to FIU Stadium, but it was in 2017 and involved Atlanta falling to defeat in the Open Cup. But that’s another matter for another year.
Miami FC limbo
The Miami FC? No, Miami FC. Of the USSF Division 2 Professional League. Yes, this was a thing.
The team, formed in 2006 to compete in the USL First Division, had once fielded World Cup champions Romario and Zinho. But the team struggled to gain traction in Miami-Dade. In 2009, Miami FC began a three-year process to abandon the county entirely. First, in 2009, the club split time between Tropical Park Stadium and Lockhart Stadium. In 2010, the name remained Miami but all home games were contested in Broward. By 2011, the team rebranded with a familiar name: Fort Lauderdale Strikers. No club at the second level of American soccer would call Dade home until The Miami FC debuted in 2016, with a 1-1 draw against those same Strikers at Lockhart.
The University of Miami women’s program went 10-8-1, but had a losing record in conference play. That was enough for the school to fire head coach Tricia Taliaferro. Taliaferro was the first coach to lead the Canes to back-to-back NCAA appearances. FIU’s women also went two games over .500 at 11-9-1.
The FIU men’s program, suffering through a decade of poor performance after a golden age during the 1990s, continued in the doldrums with a 7-10 record.
On the boys’ side, no team made a state final from Miami-Dade County, and only Class 4A Palmetto (defeated by Jacksonville Stanton 1-0 in penalty kicks, 4-1) and Class 6A Killian (defeated by Palm Harbor University 2-1) made the Final Four in their respective classes.
On the girls’ side, it was even more dire. Lourdes reached the Class 6A semifinal but lost to (familiar name) Palm Harbor University, 2-0.