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32 posts from May 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What We've Missed

So Memorial Day has come and gone, and a mini-vacation by yours truly is done. Just in time, too, for one of the biggest weeks of the year in soccer. The Champions League final is Wednesday, pitting Manchester United and FC Barcelona. The same week, the U.S. Men's National Team returns to South Florida to prepare for two World Cup qualifying matches. But not to get too far ahead, we should mention Miami FC's road draw against Minnesota, snapping a four-game losing streak, and Jamaica's friendly with Haiti back on Saturday. Let's get to it...

The headlines:

Miami FC Earns First Road Point

Late goal helps Jamaica salvage draw with Haiti

Bradley Names 24-Man Roster to Train For FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

U.S. Women Hammer Canada in Toronto

Messi: Amazing Talent in a Reluctant Star

Juventus sign Diego from Werder Bremen

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Charleston Battery 1, Miami FC 0

Road or home. With or without striker Diego Serna. At half-strength or full.

Regardless of the scenario, the result has been the same for Miami FC: A stout defense
can only shelter its nonexistent offense for so long before the match unravels.

Such was the case again Wednesday night, as the Blues lost their first road match of
the season, 1-0 to the Charleston Battery, in front of 2,554 partisans at Blackbaud

After a nip and tuck affair for most of the evening, midfielder Darren Spicer put the
Battery ahead in the 77th minute, when he capitalized on a free kick that was redirected
by Nelson Akwari.

Full story to come.

Miami FC-Charleston Battery setup

For the first time this season, the Blues (2-3-0) play on the road Wednesday night, facing a Charleston Battery (2-0-4) team they lost to just a few weeks back.

Miami FC looks to snap a three-game losing streak, but will be without the services of Diego Serna, who is serving a red-card suspension.

Last time out, Serna was sent off late in the Blues' 2-0 loss to Carolina. However, Miami FC can turn to three long-awaited players for the first time: Cuban defectors Pedro Faife and Reinier Alcantara and recent addition Paulo Araujo Jr.

The match, held at Blackbaud Stadium, is available on the internet at USLLive.com.

The last time the two teams played, Serna's return from a one-game suspension and the return of Leo Inacio Nunes from a hamstring injury briefly energized Miami FC, but it was not enough to avoid a 1-0 defeat at Lockhart Stadium.

An early red card on defender Walter Ramirez proved to be too much for the Blues to overcome, as they dropped their second game in a row after opening the season with back-to-back wins. Miami FC will have to wait two weeks before it can try to get back on the winning track against the Carolina Railhawks on May 16 at Lockhart.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday's Need To Know

Plenty of news, so let's just cut to the chase...

The headlines:

Messi: I Would Speak To Florentino Perez

U-20 MNT Midfielder Brek Shea Gears Up for Busy 2009

Brown, Beckham back England's 2018 World Cup bid

Wolff earns 2nd MLS Player of the Week of season

On the weekend, Obama becomes a soccer dad

Juventus fires coach Claudio Ranieri

Owen A Doubt For Newcastle United's Do-Or-Die Game

Monday, May 18, 2009

Red cards continue to dog Blues

For the third time in the past four matches, the Blues lost a player to a red card in their 2-0 loss Saturday against Carolina. Twice, the culprit has been Diego Serna, arguably the team's most important player.

Read the entire story here.

Notes from Monday's Miami FC practice

Lots going on in Bluesville. Let's not waste any time.

1. After long wait, Cuban defectors Pedro Faife and Reinier Alcantara have received international clearance, and will make the trip to Charleston for Wednesday night's match.

2. Brazilian goal scorer Paulo Araujo Jr., who joined the team late last week, practiced Monday morning and will also make the trip to South Carolina. There's a chance he could start in place of suspended striker Diego Serna.

3. Speaking of Serna, there has been some internal backlash to his second red card in four matches. Much more to come on that matter soon.

4. After five matches at home, the road comes calling this week. It won't be a cushy stretch. The Blues will board a bus Tuesday, make the nine-hour trip to Charleston for Wednesday's match, and then will turn back around and drive back after it ends. After arriving back in South Florida around dawn Thursday, they won't enjoy the comforts of home long. Friday morning, they fly to Minnesota, practice Friday afternoon and then play the last-place Thunder Saturday. Then Sunday, back on the plane for the flight home.

5. Only 18 players will travel to Charleston. They are, according to Miami FC coach Zinho: Faife, Alcantara, Araujo,  Pat Hannigan, Kenny Schoeni, Facundo Erpen, Cristiano Dias, Tim Merritt, Walter Ramirez, Jack Traynor, Jarryd Goldberg, Johnny Pulido, Edwin Miranda, Leo Inacio Nunes, Orlando Bueso, Alen Marcina, and Connaly Edozien, pending the resolution of a personal issue.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Starting lineups announced for Miami FC-Carolina

Greetings from Lockhart Stadium, where it's a perfect night for soccer. Miami FC hosts the Carolina Railhawks at Lockhart Stadium, and will be without Walter Ramirez, who is serving a red-card suspension.

Tim Merritt gets the start in his place.

The starters:

Miami FC

Goalkeeper: Pat Hannigan

Defenders: Tim Merritt, Cristiano Diaz, Facundo Erpen, Zourab Tsiskaridze

Midfielders: John Pulido, Edwin Miranda, Leo Inacio Nunes

Forwards: Alen Marcina, Diego Serna

Carolina Railhawks

Goalkeepers: Eric Reed

Defenders: Kupono Low, Devon McKenney, Jeremy Tolleson

Midfielders: Jack Stewart, Daniel Paladini, Matt Watson, Luke Kreamalmeyer

Forwards: Josh Gardner, Gavin Glinton

Friday, May 15, 2009

Miami FC to face Carolina at Lockhart Stadium

For the third game in a row, the Blues have the chance to prove they belong among the league's elite.

Miami FC (2-2-0, 6 points) hosts the second-place Carolina Railhawks (3-2-1, 10 points) in the final match of a season-opening five-game homestand Saturday night. The contest, held at Lockhart Stadium, kicks off at 8 p.m.

Cuban defectors Pedro Faife and Reinier Alcantara have not received international clearance to play this week. An administrative snafu has delayed their international clearance, which was expected by Friday, Miami FC general manager Luiz Muzzi said. However, Brazilian scorer Paulo Jr. joined the team Friday after an immigration delay and could be available Saturday.

Read the whole story here.

Blues get New Times treatment

Well, we could have guessed how this would turn out.

The Miami New Times, the free, independent weekly known for snarky, dismissive takes on the status quo, has a snarky, dismissive story about Miami FC this week.

By and large, there's nothing in it that you haven't read here long ago; it's just better written than anything you've read here.

A taste:

Ignacio Rodriguez's plea is only partly in jest. He's the public relations manager for the Miami FC Blues pro soccer team, which is kind of like being a detective on the graffiti squad in Singapore. Cuba escapees Faife and Alcántara are the newest arrivals to the unwillingly incognito soccer team that splits home games between Miami's FIU Stadium and Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Chronic anonymity is a disease that has felled eight South Florida franchises in the past three decades. The Miami Gatos went belly-up in 1972, and the Toros followed suit four years later. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers lasted six years before being relocated to Minnesota in 1983. And Major League Soccer gave the four-year-old Miami Fusion the Kevorkian treatment in 2002.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday's Need To Know

With most seasons around the globe winding down, we're heavy on international news today. Enjoy.

The headlines:

Premier League to enforce new financial rules

Commentary: Beating Chelsea Is One Thing, Winning In Rome Another

Wenger rules out transfers splurge

Anelka's agent rules out Stamford Bridge exit

Madrid star Higuain to miss out for Argentina again

Closed-Door Playoff Games For Tecos, Jaguares