Miami Soccer in the News

Miami Soccer in Review: 2011 saw more pro soccer from Europe than America

Miami soccer in review: Chivas' Marco Fabián scores one of two goals to overturn a first-half deficit and hand then-European champions FC Barcelona a shocking 4-1 defeat in an Herbalife World Football Challenge match at Sun Life Stadium in front of a record crowd for soccer in the history of the state of Florida. Photo via Getty Images.

Magic City Soccer will take the last 10 days of 2019 to review the last 10 years of Miami-Dade County soccer. We reviewed 2010 on Monday, and now offer Miami Soccer in Review for 2011.

2011 continued a dearth of professional, competitive soccer in Miami-Dade County. However, a trend would develop during the year: International club friendlies.

Premier League Mornings Live Comes To South Beach

Premier League Mornings Brings Their Talents to South Beach

The past weekend was an exciting one for supporters of clubs that play in the English Premier League. NBC Sports’ premier soccer fan event, Premier League Mornings Live, came to South Beach for 48 hours of action-packed football and fan engagement. Supporters were able to take part in challenges, get free swag courtesy of sponsors, and meet some of their favorite mascots in person. 10th and Ocean became the epicenter of coverage as games were shown on big screens in and around the Clevelander Hotel.

Premier League Mornings Live Miami update as date, location shared

Premier League Mornings Live Miami will be coming to Miami. Image via NBC Sports.

NBC Sports Soccer provided some additional clarity Wednesday as its website appears to indicate the dates and locations of events around its Premier League Mornings Live Miami event.

According to the site for the event, which was pulled moments after information was shared on Twitter, the event is scheduled for Dec. 14 and 15 at Ocean Drive and 11th Street in Miami Beach.

According to a test website on NBC Sports Soccer, which was also pulled, the event will take place at the Clevelander South Beach Hotel and Bar (1020 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139).

An RSVP site for Premier League Mornings Live is still available. Day 1 can be RSVP’d here, while Day 2 can be RSVP’d here.

Premier League Mornings Live coming to Miami

Premier League Mornings Live Miami will be coming to Miami. Image via NBC Sports.

NBC Sports announced Sunday afternoon that the next Premier League Mornings Live fan festival will be in Miami. Miami-based sports media outlet Lemon City Live is reporting the event will take place on Dec. 14 and 15.

Rebecca Lowe, host of NBC Sports’ Premier League coverage, shared the news from Scholz Garten in Austin, Texas. Austin is the fourth city to host a Premier League Mornings Live, behind Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.

The event in Austin featured two days of live television, as well as partnering events with Men in Blazers and other activities from Premier League clubs. Miami-based Mike Ryan Ruiz, executive producer of ESPN’s The Dan Lebatard Show and Chelsea club ambassador, traveled to the event to host interviews and club events.

The specific time and location of the event in Miami has not yet been announced. Stay with Magic City Soccer for more information.

Megan Rapinoe to speak to University of Miami students in October

Megan Rapinoe

Fresh off claiming “The Best FIFA Women’s Player” award in Milan, the University of Miami announced Tuesday that women’s soccer star and social activist Megan Rapinoe will address the student body on Oct. 10.

As part of the “What Matters to U” series, hosted by UM student government’s Student Engagement Planning Agency, Megan Rapinoe will likely speak about her activities on the pitch (two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner) and off (social activism, business investment and philanthropy).

This is the third “What Matters to U” speech. Science communicator Bill Nye and actor/comedian Ken Jeong spoke in Feburary and April 2019, respectively.

As a student event, tickets are only available for undergraduate, graduate, medical and law students of the University of Miami. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

Venezuela & Ecuador Draw 1-1 in South Florida Friendly

Venezuelan Fans Cheer After Taking A First Half Lead

Two years removed from their previous clash in South Florida, Venezuela and Ecuador took the pitch behind the support of thousands of their patriots. South Florida has long been the destination for Latin American migration, and it showed proudly with the amount of Venezuelan and Ecuadorian fans at Hard Rock Stadium. Over 12,000 showed for a friendly that was missing some notable superstars for both nations.

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.

Hard Rock Stadium announces Brazil vs. Colombia, Venezuela vs. Ecuador friendlies

Hard Rock Stadium announced this week that the stadium will be hosting two friendlies this year, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Images via Hard Rock Stadium.

Hard Rock Stadium announced this week that the stadium will be hosting two friendlies this year, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

On June 1, Venezuela and Ecuador will face off. On Sept. 6, Colombia will play Brazil.

Brazil faced off against Colombia at the stadium in 2014, fresh off its 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Brazilians defeated Los Cafeteros 1-0.

Gordon Banks: Former Fort Lauderdale Strikers and England keeper dies at 81

Gordon Banks (left) passed away at 81.

One of soccer’s greatest goalkeepers, Gordon Banks, passed peacefully in his sleep last night at the age of 81. Banks was a World Cup winner with England in 1966 and part of the original NASL revolution in the 1970s. Banks was the goalkeeper for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in their infancy playing on the NASL roster alongside a whole load of greats including Gerd Müller, Teófilo Cubillas, Elías Figueroa and George Best.