On this Magic City Soccer Podcast, Matt, Drew and Lee welcome in the new year by breaking down lots of news. Diego Alonso will lead Inter Miami CF into its first season, while The Miami FC will take on a familiar foe in its USL Championship home debut. Plus, we answer listener questions. Join us, won’t you?
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2019. As the decade closes, Inter Miami CF, The Miami FC and more prepare for the next decade and beyond.
2019 began with Inter Miami CF targeting Miami Freedom Park and a not-yet-named temporary venue. The Miami FC was preparing for its second season in the National Premier Soccer League. And Miami United FC was gearing up for its sixth season at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah. By the end of the year, Inter Miami was nearly done building a stadium no one envisioned in January, Miami FC was onto its third league in 12 months, and Miami United moved across the county.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2018. Everything, from ownership to name to stadium location, was changed for Miami Beckham United (later Inter Miami CF).
As we covered yesterday, the fall of 2017 was a dark time for Miami Beckham United. No substantive, positive news had developed in more than a year. But a breakfast meeting and an e-mail brought Jorge Mas, CEO of MasTec, into the fold. By January 2018, the ownership group was appearing at the Adrienne Arsht Center to celebrate.
Changes came thick and fast, as Mas brought his local knowledge to the bid. Out was the Overtown bid. In was Melreese Country Club, which would require a lease with the City of Miami.
Local politics required local support, so the team tried to bring supporters to counter the supporters of the golf club. David Beckham and Mas rallied the troops outside the city commission’s chambers on July 12.
Later that evening, the commission would decide to punt for a week. After a week of further negotiation, a 3-2 vote allowed the residents of the city to vote on whether the commission could negotiate further.
More public support was now needed, and so the public relations campaign began. A Sporting Director (Paul McDonough) was hired, a logo and name were revealed and the team paid for a front-page wrap of the Miami Herald to announce it.
After nearly four months, more than 60 percent of city residents voted to allow the negotiations. Of course, if you don’t know by now, the project that would come to be known as Miami Freedom Park became one more giant hurdle that has yet to be cleared.
Miami FC NPSL-bound
Another entity that struggled with repeated challenges was the North American Soccer League. In 2018, the league, which repeatedly challenged the U.S. Soccer Federation, cancelled its season after failing to regain certification. The Miami FC took measures to keep playing, joining the National Premier Soccer League.
Paul Dalglish, taking over for Alessandro Nesta, had an enormous burden to carry. The club failed to produce another memorable cup run, but did claim the NPSL’s national title thanks to a 3-2 defeat of FC Motown from Morristown, New Jersey.
Miami United cup crazy
Now, why did The Miami FC fail to produce another memorable cup run? Two words: Miami United.
Miami United strung together a cup run nearly as memorable as Miami FC’s in 2017, defeating Miami and Jacksonville Armada (NASL exiles) before hosting Orlando City SC at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah. Orlando City, after failing against Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Miami FC, were loath to lose to a Florida team again. A 3-0 defeat ended the dream for Miami United, but not before lots of attention was paid to the pink and blue.
Miami United FC is South Florida’s fresh hope in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. They face MLS side Orlando City this Wednesday!
International Champions Cup double-dip
Nothing could match the excitement of El Clásico Miami in 2017. However, another double dip of international friendlies came to Hard Rock Stadium. Manchester City saw off Bayern Munich on July 28, and three days later Manchester United upset plenty of Los Blancos fans, defeating Real Madrid 2-1.
2018 also saw the debut of the International Champions Cup Women’s Tournament in Miami. North Carolina Courage claimed the title, besting European giants Olympique Lyonnais; Manchester City claimed third place, beating Paris Saint-Germain.
The FIU men entered 2018 with very high expectations. Two players ( Santiago Patino and Joris Ahlinvi) were named to the preseason MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. Many expected a run similar to what we saw in 2017. However, the team found disappointment, finishing with a 7-10 record and a first-round tournament exit at the hands of Marshall.
If the FIU men were disappointing, the FIU women were shocking. The team fell to 0-17-1, and if not for a brace by Rayquel Berry against Louisiana Tech, it would have been a pointless season.
The Miami Hurricanes, in their first year under Sarah Barnes, weren’t much better. A win over FIU did avenge their 2017 loss, but a 5-9-2 record was not what Barnes was looking for in her debut.
On the girls’ side, Lourdes again claimed a Class 5A title, defeating Oviedo 1-0. Miami Country Day reached the 1A state final, but lost to the juggernaut that is St. John’s Country Day.
On the boys’ side, Class 1A Palmer Trinity claimed another state title, downing Maclay 2-1. Miami Beach nearly edged Plant City for the Class 5A title, but fell in penalty kicks, 3-2.
Join us on New Year’s Day for the final post in Miami Soccer in Review.
Plenty of names were thrown around when discussing the possibility of managing Inter Miami CF. However, one that did not appear until late on in the process is Diego Alonso. However, in the Uruguayan, the club feels it has found its man. So what is Alonso’s background?
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2017. The Miami FC makes an enthralling U.S. Open Cup run, and Jorge Mas offers a lifeline to a Miami Beckham United ready to quit.
When The Miami FC was announced in 2015. owner Riccardo Silva indicated that the U.S. Open Cup would prove to be as important as league performance. That wasn’t reflected in 2016, when the club was bombed out in its first game by Wilmington Hammerheads FC. In 2017, however, a magical run would show the potential that The Miami FC presented the South Florida soccer community.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2016. The Miami FC debuts less than a year after being announced, and struggles to find its footing.
The Miami FC took the field for the first time in 2016, led by Italian giant Alessandro Nesta. In the club’s first match against Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Darío Cvitanich would score the first goal thanks to a penalty and a 10-man side saw out a 1-1 draw at Lockhart Stadium in Broward County. The Strikers, who qualified for the NASL playoffs the prior season, offered a measuring stick with which to compare Miami FC. The next week, the Blues again saw out a 1-1 draw, this time against Tampa Bay Rowdies, a team that came two points behind Fort Lauderdale the previous season.
It would be the last points Miami FC collected for more than a month.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2015. An unexpected rival enters the Miami professional soccer market, and plans to be playing games sooner than anyone would imagine.
By the middle point 2015, the David Beckham proposal bandied about anonymously in 2013 and shared publicly in February 2014 was looking ragged. Proposals for Dodge Island and Downtown were shot down. A compromise location next to Marlins Park was being stonewalled by property owners abutting the stadium’s property. It was clear that building a stadium would be the defining problem of the plan.
Seeing the instability, Italian businessman and investor Riccardo Silva made a play. Silva and Italian legend Paolo Maldini announced that The Miami FC would be competing in the North American Soccer League in the 2016 season. Instead of building a new venue, it would play at Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium. A head coach (Alessandro Nesta) and jersey unveiling soon followed.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2014. The announcement Miami’s been waiting for finally comes. And kicks off a half-decade of more waiting.
It was a picture-perfect moment for a picture-perfect day. Don Garber, commissioner of Major League Soccer on one side. Carlos Giménez, mayor of Miami-Dade County on the other. All around, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, a focal point for Miami’s modern development. And standing squarely in the middle: David Beckham.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2013. An international superstar started to sniff around Miami, but what many hoped would be the beginning of the end of Miami’s time without Major League Soccer would turn out to only be the beginning of the beginning.
It felt like Miami was the center of the sports world in the summer of 2013. The Miami Heat were on their way to a second consecutive NBA Finals win, and attracting attention from all corners. One of the interested parties was soccer superstar David Beckham, who sat courtside during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He was the guest of a high-profile Miami-based CEO: Brightstar’s Marcelo Claure.
Their presence at that game on May 30 was a hint of a larger story to break the following week: Beckham, who retained a $25 million expansion fee clause with Major League Soccer, would look to bring a side to Miami-Dade County.
Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. Today in Miami Soccer in Review, we take a look back at 2012. It was still a relative dark age for competitive soccer in Miami, but a flicker of hope would appear: Miami United FC.
When Miami FC played its last game in Miami-Dade in 2009, the expectation of MLS filling the gap was present. But by 2012, that dream was dead and (as of that point) had no likelihood of being revived. One man saw the opening and decided to fill it: entrepreneur Roberto Sacca.