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US-Honduras tomorrow

At the request of one reader, this will be a Beckham-Free post...although, would like to tell that reader that Beckham being booed two years after being welcomed as a savior, is, indeed, a big story no matter where in America we live.

US plays Honduras in the Gold Cup semifinals Thursday night. Should be a good game. US has proven twice this summer that it can beat the Hondurans -- 2-0 in the group round and 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier. Can they make it 3-for-3? I say yes. Even with the B team, plenty of talent and spirit.

Mexico plays Costa Rica in the other semifinal. Right now, Costa Rica is a better team, but Mexico has a lot of pride and wants to prove it is still a regional power.

As for MLS expansion to Miami..don't hold your breath. Best chance we had was Claure and FC Barcelona. If MLS bigwigs weren't convinced by that bid, it's a tough sell. Right now, my suggestion is to support Miami FC, the only pro game in town.

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I have bee holding my breath since 2001. all we can is hope. MLS will come back to Miami.

Adam, I think we have to believe some interested investor will bring MLS to Miami in the near future.

What you think we not get MLS. I think you are wrong Adam. Maybe Marcelo Claure has something to say about that.

Adam didn't write the original post. It was me, Michelle Kaufman. We both blog on here. For Miami to get MLS attention, it will have to prove that it has the same kind of support that Seattle has...there has to be a community-wide buzz during the bid process, which we did not have here. Look and see what Seattle and Philly did and you'll see what MLS is looking for. Just because people here know and love international soccer doesn't mean they will watch MLS. They have to show MLS officials that they are excited, and that didn't happen with last bid.

Oh! is you Michelle that said that we don't have a change to get MLS. I think you are wrong.Miami sill support MLS, but it won't support lower class USL.

Michelle is so negative about soccer fans in South Florida. MLS will come back to Miami and Claure wil be the Man to do it.

Negative? Far from it. I am a Miami native, have been covering soccer here for 14 years, love the sport, promote the sport, am one of the only writers in the United States doing a weekly column...my point is merely that Miami fans LOVE international soccer but they have not proven to love MLS or USL. That is not negative, that is fact. Claure's group tried to get people to buy season tickets and they sold only a few thousand. Seattle sold 25,000. Those are facts. That is not me being negative. Miami soccer fans are amazing, but I'm not convinced they can fill a 20,000-seat stadium for MLS games. At least not yet.

Claure/FC Barcelona did not do anything like what Seattle and Philly did. Stop blaming the fans.

Yes do it like Seattle and Philly here and you will see the difference. Miami FC has fail in the way they promote the team. You go by the stadium on the day of a game and you would not know they are playing. No signs or billboards. Bring MLS and do it right.

MLS expansion to Miami is a hot topic because we all want it.

MLS should put an expasion team in Miami

MLS wants to come back, all they need is the right bid. To say Claure and FCB was our best chance isn't exactly true. They came with a poorly organized bid, planning to play at an unfinished college football stadium with artificial turf. However, just because of the influence of Barcelona, had they not backed out we probably would have gotten a team anyway.

If someone can convince Claure to forget Miami/FIU, and go a safer, cheaper route and renovate Lockhart Stadium and turn it into a modern SSS, we could have a great chance to land a team, without the unnecessary involvement of a foreign club. NASL is is making a comeback: Quakes, Sounders, Timbers, Whitecaps, Rowdies..... Strikers? I say yes!

After Montréal we're basically competing with St. Louis and Atlanta for team #20. Looking at TV market size and demographic South Florida has got to be preferred by the league. We just need a REAL bid this time to convince them to come back. There was no buzz in Salt Lake, horrible USL support in Toronto, but they do fine. A solid bid will bring MLS back.


MLS in Miami would succeed. It just has to be done right from the start. MLS will come back it's only a matter of time. it is time to stop blaming the fans. Promoted the way they did it in Seattle and see the difference. MLS is not doing so hot in Dallas or KC why not relocate KC to Miami? MLS in Miami is a hot topic that Miami Herald should talk about it. Adam/Michelle Why not talk to Claure and ask him if he still interest in MLS to Miami.

I agree partially with Michelle. Seattle appears to be an anomaly with regards to MSL support and most of the MSL franchises have lukewarm community support at best.

However, she is right in that Miami soccer fans are a tough bunch. Miami FC and USL in general does a sub-par promotion job, but why can we draw 17,000 to see 4 mediocre national teams for a regional tournament (no offense intended to fans of said teams), yet draw less than 1,000 combined at the same stadium for 2 USL games several days later. Fusion attendance was much better, but still struggled to get over 10,000 per game. Perhaps the right bid and push will get Miami interested in MSL, but a lot of us have to find room in our hearts to support our LOCAL teams more.

Thank you... sure Beckham is a big story, but not to us... just take this blog as proof. More comments on this one than the past three blogs on Beckham COMBINED. I meant no disrespect, but people care about soccer here. We just need the media to start working with fans to get the message out to MLS and to the country that we want a team down here! Miami fans are thirsty for MLS, and although I love Miami FC, I don't see Traffic as being committed to the team. One of the problems is the lack of AWARENESS in soccer news down here... I don't know how many people were hyped up by the Barcelona/Claure bid, but I think if you ask around, not many people knew the particulars of the bid or knew much info.

Again, thank you for sparking this kind of conversation with us. I meant no disrespect, I was just voicing my own opinions. Hopefully we can focus on the topics that matter to the soccer fans down here and that would work to improve the status of American soccer here in Miami.

And for the record, FIU Stadium would be a much better venue than Lockhart for a stadium in ANY case... MIAMI is where the majority of soccer fans reside. If an investor has the guts to go big and put a quality team on the field that would win over the international fans down here, FIU would be filled on a regular basis. People complaining about FIU's expansion plan would be BEGGING for the school to expand to 45,000... THAT should be the goal of a soccer team down here. THINK BIG!!

See Michelle we do care and want MLS down here. Write something about MLS and South Florida. Yes to MLS in Miami....

"MIAMI is where the majority of soccer fans reside."

Is it? If so than where have they been for Miami FC in 3+ seasons? I know Traffic has been abysmal at best owners of this team, but step it up Miami.

MLS can and would succeed in Miami, but to land an expansion team, barring a desperate relocation of some other team, FIU will not cut it. It's not going to beat out St. Louis and Atlanta that will come with new SSS proposals. Build a new stadium in Miami and you've got a winning proposition. But that might be impossible, so upgrading Lockhart may be the only way to get a MLS quality SSS, and a team.

Why would FIU not cut it? Turf? Four other MLS venues have it. Seats? Seattle is averaging over 30,000. Miami, with time, can accomplish that and FIU's expansion to 25,000 until 2012 and maybe later would be perfect for MLS. It was BUILT TO FIFA REGULATIONS. It was MADE for soccer, not just football.

And yeah, good luck getting a SSS in this economic climate in this city where it took THIRTEEN YEARS for the Marlins to get one. FIU is in the PERFECT spot. Right off the highway, right in the heart of Miami's soccer community. No one goes to Miami FC because NO ONE KNOWS about the team! I only heard about them this year and that was through FIU. Go ask normal people to name the pro teams in Miami and Miami FC will rarely come up with many people. So dont put that up against Miami.

It's not like Lockhart got thousands of more fans either... their numbers were in the dumps too. Upgrade Lockhart?? Might as well tear it down and build it up again... that place is a HIGH SCHOOL STADIUM.

On most nights, the Miami Fusion drew between 7-8,000 fans and their final season, they averaged 11,400, which is not bad for any sport in this market! Trouble is, number needs to be closer to 20,000 to really make it viable, as the franchise fees are so high.
FIU Stadium is in the perfect location, but MLS does not want more turf, also stadium needs upgrades, a press box, luxury boxes, etc..But as far as location and parking, perfect. The main thing MLS wants, though, is BUZZ from the community. I talked to Don Garber at length about this and he said, bottom line, Miami is a great soccer market, but he wasn't convinced it was a great MLS market. Two different things.

And remember, Michelle, those attendance numbers were 8 years ago, when the MLS was still relatively new and still trying to establish itself. Times have changed.

The stadium upgrades, including press box, more luxury boxes, etc. will be completed by the start of the 2011 football season (including the bowl finally being closed and capacity being raised to 23,000). And is turf REALLY a dealbreaker? Will they say no to Miami and this market because of TURF? Personally, it sounds like a week argument. And FIU's turf, compared to others, is much better than some of the stuff used at lower-class facilities.

And the buzz... okay, I think that buzz CAN be created. But how would you do it? Let's talk about how to increase the buzz and increase the interest in these fans that live here in Miami. Attracting star players? Attaching a name to the ownership that Miamians can identify with and trust? A marketing campaign that is visible to the community? Bringing exhibition MLS matches to FIU? What can be done to increase the buzz?

Who said no BUZZ in Miami. Do it right and you will see it. It is time for Miami to get an expansion team and play at FIU.

"I talked to Don Garber at length about this and he said, bottom line, Miami is a great soccer market, but he wasn't convinced it was a great MLS market. Two different things."

Yeah, I've heard Garber say that too - he likes that line. It is still a load of nonsense though.

How could Miami be an MLS market with no team here? Only a hardcore minority are going to spend time watching, say, Houston v Chivas on TV. The only way for Garber to find out if this is an MLS market is to put a team in South Florida.

Barcelona seem to have done a Ruud Gullit - stuck their toes into MLS without realising that it is very different from a European league in terms of the (often bizarre) restrictions.

People don't watch Miami FC because they play in the USL and that is a minor league in what is still a minor sport in the US. It is a joke of a league in terms of fixture organisation, media profile etc.

Bring an MLS team here - with some good players, a few well known ones (not necessarily Beckham type stars), a great marketing campaign and a decent venue and it will work. South Florida is full of soccer fans.

If people would give Miami FC a chance, I think most of them would realize that it's not as bad as it is made out to be. The team is playing fairly well, in the playoff hunt, has Diego Serna of Miami Fusion fame, and is a very affordable option for those looking to enjoy a night of soccer. USL teams have shown that they can compete with MLS teams in the US Open Cup and have players that compete on national teams, such as Haiti. The problem is the league and the ownership of Miami FC have very little image and marketing power...

Barcelona chickened out... plain and simple. Hopefully them and Claure will come back and actually know what they are doing and maybe even up the ante a bit and be more aggressive in getting the word out to the community. But who knows? Maybe another party that is more committed will step in and make a great bid.

Claure and FC Barcelona didn't do much to get any hype started, they spent very little money getting the word out and thought the media would do it for them. I didn't see much except in the Latin channels. You can't blame the fans, that bid was done half ass, they thought they were in no matter what.
We need a good team with a few known players, we need an ownership willing to stick it out. It takes time to build a following in MLS. It took the Fusion 4 years before they started to get people to show up and unfortunately they pulled the plug too soon. I think had they stuck around another year we would still have an MLS team today.
For now support Miami FC, it's all we have. Show up tomorrow at 8pm to Fritz & Franz in the Gables. Support Soccer in South Florida!

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