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Not Half Bad

Ty It's no secret and no surprise that very few Golden Panthers were on any preseason honors lists.

What a difference 3 wins and sitting atop the Sun Belt Conference makes at the halfway mark of the season.

On Wednesday, Phil Steele Publications released its 2008 Mid-Season All-Sun Belt Team and 8 of your Golden Panthers were among the honorees.

No shocker to see T.Y. Hilton (left) on the 1st team. In fact, Goodbye was named to 3 positions on the 1st team: receiver, kick returner and punt returner.

Joining T.Y. on the 1st team were: DE Quentin Newman (right), DB Robert Mitchell and P Carlos Munera.

Kind of a surprise to see LB Scott Bryant on the 2nd team along with DB Anthony Gaitor (Both shouldQn_2   have been 1st teamers). OL Joe Alajajian also made 2nd team.

Center Brad Serini made the 3rd team.

Of course, all this is just mid-season and we still have 6 games to go, but after just 2 FIUers (El Oso and Ash Parker) were All-Sun Belt honorable mention last season this is certainly an improvement.

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

Gppaw As you may have seen on-line at the MH, FC Barcelona and FIU signed a 3-year deal with a 2-year option for a proposed MLS Miami expansion team to play at FIU Stadium. Nice coup for FIU. With FC Barcelona's backing, the MLS should be headed this way.

Gppaw_2 We'll be blogging LIVE from Troy this Saturday starting around 6:45 p.m. Miami time. Also, the FIUTt  baseball team plays an exhibition against Team Ontario next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at University Park Stadium and I'll have a LIVE GPP Blog from the game to talk a little FIU baseball.

Gppaw_3 FIU football's radio broadcasts switch to WIOD 610 AM starting with this Saturday's game vs. Troy. Same announcers, different station for the remainder of the season due to WINZ 940 being the new home of the Miami Heat. You can also still catch FIU football in Espanol on 670 AM and 1550 AM with Jerry Castle and Joe Fields.

Gppaw_4 Congrats to FIU D-Coordinator Phil Galiano who arrived midway through practice Wednesday after Girl his wife delivered a newborn daughter this morning.

Gppaw_5Well, we bring out a poll question regarding an FIU tradition and what do you know we get 125 votes in less than a day. Some strong feelings toward "Ole! Ole! Ole!"

We'll turn our attention back to Troy after this, but FIUFPL had a good point: I did not make it a clear cut question so we'll ask it again and while we're at it tell us your thoughts on FIU signing a stadium deal with MLS Miami. . . .

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Quijote: Thought I'd share this link GPantera just sent me, its of the opening video panther jumping all over Miami on the videotron. Its friggin' awesome, who did this...FIU graphics or something?
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Ed Filomia produced the video. Excellent work.

Miri: Come on, Pete, Roary needs to be out there more. The Dazzlers are cool and all, but Roary is too cute (even after his plastic surgery... even though I do admit I kind of miss his old face).
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Miri, I'm not saying to get rid of Roary....just make sure the Dazzlers are always there.

I'm telling you Pete is a blogging machine. Keep it up San Pelegrino....congrats to all the mid-season honors for FIU

Hay: I read that the FC Barcelona group signed a 5year deal with FIU for us of the stadium; what are the chances that FC Barcelona's bid will be selected by MLS?
IS FIU still offering the stadium rent free?
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FC Barc has a great chance to be selected by the MLS, because of their $$$$ and the MLS wanting to place a team in Miami. Also, having a stadium already in place will help. From my understanding the rent is free.

Not 100 percent sure the following will happen, but don't be surprised if FC Barc help$$$$ out with the development of FIU Stadium. (i.e., FC Barc offices in the FIU fieldhouse and other add-ons, etc.)

FIUVoice: I'm telling you Pete is a blogging machine. Keep it up San Pelegrino
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It makes my job easier when FIU is winning on and off the field. Thanks RG

Pete, keep up the good work and great to see the honors given to our FIU players. Also, if anyone is interested, check out RIvals.com, they have pretty good FIU gear which looks pretty cheap.

I know that's not what you meant, Pete. :)

How could FIU possibly provide free rent to this upcoming MLS team, especially if its got "BARCA" money?!!? UNACCEPTABLE....If we don't get paid, they must provide some other type of collateral.

Free rent, lol am I interpreting that incorrectly?! Ridiculous.

im very weary toward this whole soccer thing. I consider myself a huge sports fan. I often frequent dolphins games (going to see El Monstrou on sunday), heat games and marlins games. However, I have no idea what soccer teams are in miami or where they even play.

the whole point is that unfortunately I dont think that the whole city is going to come flocking to FIU stadium to watch soccer matches. If people in miami cant fill up dolphin stadium for dolphins games, marlins games and UM games, why would they fill up FIU stadium for a soccer match. nowithstanding the fact that FIU stadium is currently nowhere near being filled to capacity for FIU football games.

The Fusion was a joke run by people that didnt understand Miami.

Take it from me whos out in LA .. a city that has 2 soccer teams in MLS and no NFL team. Soccer will work.

I do agree that now that we know who is involved i.e. two billionaires FIU should get some rent.

I've read that if they're awarded the franchise, the group would sponsor youth soccer programs and would bring in international friendly and tournament matches to the stadium. I'm sure we'll gain profit from concessions and maybe even from parking if they're smart. There is no way Pete Garcia and Mitch signed on for this if FIU isn't getting anything out of the deal.

Im mostly concerned how this will affect the football team and recruiting...... so now its got to be "well weve got our own stadium" BUT "we share half of the time with a pro soccer team"...........

what about colors? stadium branding? those awful overlapping lines you so often see when soccer and football fields are combined?

FIU probably should get something out of the soccer deal, even if the rent is free. At least let them help pay for the upgrades of the stadium.

First congrats to Coach Galiano and his family.
I agree with pike danny, I am suer FIU is getting something out of the deal, we have two smart people that will make sure we get ours.
To those of you who think that no one will go to FIU to see soccer, remember the community in Miami is as much soccer friendly than football friendly, South American, Central Americans, Haitians, Jamaicans, Trinies, Mexicans, Europeans, they all love soccer. I used to go see the Fusion at Lockhart, and it used to get pack, and I am not a soccer fan, and imagine a new and improved soccer team in the heart of Miami, minutes from Kendall, Little Haiti, South Dade, Westchester, I hate to say it but the cage will rock harder with soccer matches than with our Golden Panthers playing.
Also if they have Copa de Oro Games, Friendlies, Concacaf, I remember the Orange Bowl getting packed with those games, and we have better venue with parking, etc.
I think MLS at FIU is a great idea, as PR and financially.

Nice to hear that you are doing a blog for the baseball team. I understand the excitement for the football team and it is well warranted, but the baseball scene has been very quiet. I never did hear how the Alumni game turned out, I was curious as to which Alumni came back for the game. The team is going to be very good this year and will contend for the Sunbelt title, some very good freshman to go along with some good Juco players will give them a 35 win season. I look forward to the coverage and keep up the good work with the football team.

I don't see how the MLS deal can have a negative impact on recruiting. It's more like, "We have our own stadium and it's so nice, that a major league soccer franchise rents it from us." That stadium is going to be the center of our University. Once it has the Student Support Complex, the Fieldhouse, and the Alumni Center built around it... there will be no doubt that the Stadium will be all FIU all the time.

I think the deal with FCB and Mr. Claure is a major coup. Consider that the north face has yet to be completed ?? If the MLS approves the bid, which I think they will, the student support complex phase could change as well. I think it's too late to retro-fit the field house for MLS needs. However, the SSC could be modified or adjusted to accomodate additional offices, meeting rooms and suites etc....

There is no need for FCB to build their own facility, I think Pete Garcia and Pres. Maidique are onto something here. I can't see FC Barcelona willing to play in an unfinished facility (even if it's free) for perecption sake !!! Somewhere there is $$ for FIU in this deal. I think we'll see the lower bowl completed sooner rather than later and perhaps the student center phase going under a re-design as well.

Originally, the north face bleachers cost/expense was baked into the budget approval of the SSC. Maybe now, they can build out the rest of the north stands with some FCB/Brightstar CA$H.

great job by PG on this one I STAND CORRECTED

thanxs for the update Pete.. great to see our boys getting recognized

With regards to MLS and Miami; I think people underestimate the amount of interest/support soccer will get in Miami. Since the Fusion's departure from Ft. Lauderdale, Miami has had a big influx of non-cuban hispanics (Argentinians, C.Americans, etc). I think Miami will be able to support an MLS team at least to the levels of DC and Toronto if not more. (BTW for a preview of what I hope Miami futbol fans will look like, check out DC United's barra brava, a fan club made mostly of South/Central americans and European soccer fans, ie. the same types found in Miami). Flags, drums, and smoke bombs galore!

I think this is a win-win situation for FIU. Even if rent is "free"..I'm sure there are a lot other avenues where FIU will get their money, besides a lot of free national...and with Barca...international, publicity....talk about concessions, parking, suites money...and pehaps even upfront money to "finish" our stadium.

As others have pointed out, the fact that FC Barcelona and Brightstar want to ask for a 2010 beginning, might mean millions...YES..MILLIONS of dollars coming in to help FIU finish our stadium, sooner rather than later, which would, in turn, free up millions that FIU had destined to finish the bowland other costs associated with the stadium...Guys, this could be a huge financial windfall, along with perception and publicity for our University and campus....


On to midway SBC honors...It's great to see how Phil Steele has now so many of our players "earning" those honors....However, we need to keep playing hard, and keep improving overall, so that our team....and players can reach their potential and earn the REAL honors at the end of the season!!!

Go FIU!!!!

I enjoy the ole, ole chant immensely. The beauty of football, any tradition goes as long as it is your own and it is understood by all to be tradition. In other words, if everyone, and I mean everyone, would be chanting the ole, ole chant constantly throughout the game, I think every time it is chanted it would give everyone the goose bumps. At this point ole ole is all we have other than the thunderous stomping which I also believe is quite impressive when everyone is doing it (it gets super loud). Build on the ole ole and let the chant sound from the voices of all in attendance. Everyone will have goose bumps.

On MLS:

from the Sun-sentinel:
"As part of the agreement, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez said Barcelona and Brightstar have already pledged a $150,000 annual donation to FIU's School of Medicine."

Ha! maybe we will give them the stadium rent free! (we'd still make money of concessions, parking, etc.)

I'm impressed. P. Garcia is a smart one.

Yep, they'll pay "rent" through tax deductible donations to FIU. Don't be surprised either to see some kind of stadium naming rights happen before they start playing.

hey i dont mind if Barcelona wants to take the naming rights ;-)

You are right....If FC Barcelona/Brightar/FIU get the MLS bid to Miami, expect it to make it a lot easier, and I mean....a lot easier....for FIU to find a suitable donor for naming rights...and at a higher price that would've if only for FIU Football....

Things are looking that much brighter in terms of bond repayments and the like for our stadium bond issuance....

Great news indeed!

Troy 50
FIU 10

Yep you guys are right even if they dont pay rent it is going to be a great windfall for FIU sports and academics.

The value of the naming rights just went up 10X or more.

I did also catch that they want to start in 2010 so we may say the stadium finished early and phase 2 jump started.

THis also guarantees we'll get all the international soccer games that used to go to the OB.

I loved the old ORange Bowl but the timing of its demise and our new stadiums completion has opened up a floodgate of opportunities. PG is one smart dude.

ps this will also be a shot in the arm to our own soccer team.

FIU 17
Troy 23

We cover, but dont know if we have it in us

Man, I am ECSTATIC to hear about this MLS news. But I'm sad, too. My father passed away from cancer just before the Kansas game, and he was the biggest Barca fan. I grew up watching and listening to soccer games with him, mostly Barca or La Liga. Viejo would've gotten the biggest kick out of this. Not to mention, we probably would've gone to at least one game together. I never got to do that with him.

Ok, enough sappy.

If MLS doesn't go for this Miami deal, they need to be shot. This is a total no-brainer. The Fusion, with all due respect, never had a chance. Not with them being in Fort Lauderdale. It's the Hispanics who will make this new Miami franchise succeed, and where FIU is, they'll be perfectly situated to attract them. And with all the Barca fans world-wide and in Miami... that'll draw a bunch of people on its own.

I wouldn't worry about having to share the stadium if I was FIU. The turf should be fine. Hopefully, they'll re-paint for every game so that you don't have that nastiness of soccer lines on a football field and vice-versa. I'm sure Barca wouldn't want that, and FIU won't either. I'd be very surprised if we saw that.

Also, with the money Barca brings, that stadium's getting done fast. Bet on it. I doubt the second deck's getting finished soon, but there's no question now of the first deck being completed before next season. And I'm willing to bet that's not the only stadium improvement you'll see. The FIU soccer stadium should get totally re-done, too. I don't know many pro soccer teams who practice on the same field they play their games on. Especially at the level of MLS or Barca. And God knows, the FIU soccer stadium needs to get re-done all the way. New turf, new stands... that place doesn't even have real bathrooms... and it'd be ideal as a practice facility for the pro team while still playing home games for the GP men and women's squads. And do we even have to mention what a recruiting tool that will be for Munga and his coaches?

Maybe FIU does give the stadium "rent" free... but if they do, I would think you're going to see a lot more things like that donation to the school of medicine that was mentioned earlier. And improving existing facilities would certainly qualify. And what of parking? Concessions? And the possibility to host the soccer games the OB used to host? Holy moley. Let's not get too greedy and ask for rent. FIU's going to benefit in all sorts of ways even if they never see a dime of rent money.

Man, I am ECSTATIC to hear about this MLS news. But I'm sad, too. My father passed away from cancer just before the Kansas game, and he was the biggest Barca fan. I grew up watching and listening to soccer games with him, mostly Barca or La Liga. Viejo would've gotten the biggest kick out of this. Not to mention, we probably would've gone to at least one game together. I never got to do that with him.

Ok, enough sappy.

If MLS doesn't go for this Miami deal, they need to be shot. This is a total no-brainer. The Fusion, with all due respect, never had a chance. Not with them being in Fort Lauderdale. It's the Hispanics who will make this new Miami franchise succeed, and where FIU is, they'll be perfectly situated to attract them. And with all the Barca fans world-wide and in Miami... that'll draw a bunch of people on its own.

I wouldn't worry about having to share the stadium if I was FIU. The turf should be fine. Hopefully, they'll re-paint for every game so that you don't have that nastiness of soccer lines on a football field and vice-versa. I'm sure Barca wouldn't want that, and FIU won't either. I'd be very surprised if we saw that.

Also, with the money Barca brings, that stadium's getting done fast. Bet on it. I doubt the second deck's getting finished soon, but there's no question now of the first deck being completed before next season. And I'm willing to bet that's not the only stadium improvement you'll see. The FIU soccer stadium should get totally re-done, too. I don't know many pro soccer teams who practice on the same field they play their games on. Especially at the level of MLS or Barca. And God knows, the FIU soccer stadium needs to get re-done all the way. New turf, new stands... that place doesn't even have real bathrooms... and it'd be ideal as a practice facility for the pro team while still playing home games for the GP men and women's squads. And do we even have to mention what a recruiting tool that will be for Munga and his coaches?

Maybe FIU does give the stadium "rent" free... but if they do, I would think you're going to see a lot more things like that donation to the school of medicine that was mentioned earlier. And improving existing facilities would certainly qualify. And what of parking? Concessions? And the possibility to host the soccer games the OB used to host? Holy moley. Let's not get too greedy and ask for rent. FIU's going to benefit in all sorts of ways even if they never see a dime of rent money.

Sorry for the duplicate posts. PC's suck. :)

Anyway... just to give my prediction quick... I was going to say an FIU loss for sure, no matter what their record coming in, until I saw Troy's injury report. They're missing a lot of people. FIU's got healthy bodies... major confidence... and if there was a game that, with a win, says "FIU has arrived" in the Belt, this one's it. I get the feeling we'll be geeked for this one. I think we win it. The letdown game will wait one more week.

FIU 31
Troy 17

tough prediction. troy's a good team and favored by 9 1/2, 10 pts.

but i'm going to go with FIU. they're starting to believe. hopefully we win the turnover battle and get one or two big plays. the defense contains the troy offense just enough and we've got an upset. cristobal accidentally head butts the troy coach in the post-game frenzy.

FIU 31
Troy 28

When will we know if Miami got selected for one of the two open slots for the expansion?

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