Saturday evening marked the beginning of the newest rivalry in Miamian soccer. Established WPSL club FC Surge made the short trip to Milander Park in Hialeah to take on Miami United FC Women, who are in their debut WPSL season.
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.
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 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.
Nicolas Micoli celebrates his goal. Pic courtesy Miami United instagram.
Miami United cruised into the 2020 US Open Cup with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Delray Beach’s Hurricane FC in the Open Cup 3rd qualifying round.
The tone for the evening was set early on when United broke the deadlock with the game’s first meaningful effort on goal. A great free kick looped in from deep in the Hurricane half by Juan Fuenmayor found Bautista Dominguez in the penalty area. Dominguez beat Hurricane keeper Bruno to the ball and powered a header into the net.
Hurricane could have equalized with a long range effort by Jeremy Garcia Villatoro that caught Soto in the Miami United goal off-guard. Fortunately the crossbar came to his rescue. After that it was one way traffic and United piled on three more goals with Darryl Gordon, Nicolas Micoli and William Stamatis all getting on the scoresheet. United’s goals all coming from different scorers really highlights the quality throughout head coach Ferdinando De Matthaeis’s team.
The difference between the two teams came down to the experience on the Miami United side. Captain Ezequiel Tejera gave a masterclass in midfield, effortlessly controlling the tempo of the game. Winning the ball when needed and moving the ball round wonderfully in possession. Although with a 4-0 win it might be easier to look at the attacking players, it was defender Juan Fuenmayor who turned in a man of the match performance. In addition to his assist for the first goal and helping his side to a clean sheet he also cleared a Hurricane effort of the line towards the end of the first half.
Vice City 1896 supporting Miami United. Pic courtesy Vice City 1896 instagram.
The second 45 didn’t live up to the exciting first stanza. Hurricane were unable to create meaningful chances. They almost got one back through a goalmouth scramble but #9 Elizor was unable to force the ball into the net. United went more defensive and were happy to manage the game to it’s conclusion. As the half wore on and Hurricane pressed forward they were unable to solve Bruno for a fifth goal on the break. The Hurricane keeper denying United on a few key occasions. The game ended 4-0 with Miami United able to soak up the noisy support from the sidelines, led by local supporter’s group Vice City 1896, and bask in the glory of a return to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The first round of the 2020 tournament is scheduled for March next year.
Miami United, playing in the 2020 Open Cup qualifying tournament under their U-23 banner, edged out Florida Soccer Soldiers 2-1 in an enthralling encounter at Orange Bowl Field, Ives Estates Park on Sunday evening.
In this episode of the Magic City Soccer podcast, Matt and Drew discuss Miami FC’s start to the NISA Showcase and other NISA news, Miami United’s proposed women’s team, a local Inter Miami CF signee and more. Join us, won’t you?