Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Miami Fusion is back...sort of.

By Michelle Kaufman
mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com
 
A new incarnation of the Miami Fusion was announced on Thursday, but this team is not in Major League Soccer and will not play in Fort Lauderdale. The new team, to be based at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah,  is in the National Premier Soccer League, a fourth-tier developmental league that has 78 clubs nationwide.
 
The Miami team is owned by Venanzio Cipollitti, president of the Inteligensa Group, a credit card-chip company. It will be coached by Ferdinando (Ferdi) De Matthaeis, who played for New York Cosmos in the early 1980s and most recently coached at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.
 
The roster includes players from 11 nationalities who came from local colleges, the Miami United NPSL team, and other minor league teams. Two of the more experienced players are Colombian forward Carlos Salazar, who played for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and 36-year-old forward Emiliano Bonazzoli, who played for Sampdoria in the Italian Serie A.
 
"There are only so many MLS and NASL teams, and there is a lot of talent out there, so we hope to find talent that hasn't been discovered,'' said De Matthaeis.
 
The Fusion season opens Sunday at 6 p.m. against Miami United at Flamingo Park, and runs through July 10.
 
Here is the roster...
FusionRoster

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beckham will have "significant'' Miami MLS news by summer

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

David Beckham does not plan to make any announcements during his visit to Miami this week, but according to a source close to his camp, the soccer icon hopes to have “significant’’ news to share “before summer’’ regarding the finalizing of his team ownership group, a name for his Miami Major League Soccer club and the proposed debut season -- maybe 2017, but more likely 2018.

Beckham’s group has narrowed down four or five stadium sites “he quite likes,’’ but the more immediate issue, said the source, is trying to secure additional financing to be able to impress the soccer-savvy South Florida market with a state-of-the-art stadium, international marquee players the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, and a world-class soccer academy that would attract top young talent from all over the Americas.

“The narrative has centered around the stadium site, and that is a priority, but it is a bit of a red herring,’’ said the source. “The group has very big ambitions and big-picture decisions to make; so the reason this is taking so long is that they decided to take a step back from the stadium site issue and focus on what kind of football club we can be, how deep are our pockets, how much money can we spend?

“Will we be a rich stable club or a very rich club that attracts a Ronaldo or a Messi, the caliber of player that would really excite fans in Miami. Will we build a 20,000-seat stadium or can we afford 60,000? Public land or private? Will our academy be the envy of MLS or the envy of all of Latin America? We have to compete with NYCFC and the L.A. Galaxy, and the new Orlando team, and that requires deep pockets.’’

MLS commissioner Don Garber has remained in close contact with Beckham’s group, and plans to re-visit Miami soon.

“David and his partners are continuing to work hard to finalize plans for a new stadium, and we are supporting them in their efforts,” said Garber, who was headed to Minneapolis for a Wednesday announcement of a 23rd MLS franchise in that city.  “As we have said previously, we believe that with the right stadium and David’s passion, leadership and business acumen, Miami will be a great MLS market.  We plan to visit Miami in the coming months and will meet with David and local officials.’’

Beckham and his manager/business partner Simon Fuller have spent the past several months talking to potential investors all over the world.

“Just because (Beckham) hasn’t been seen in Miami doesn’t mean he has lost interest,’’ said the source. “That is not true at all. He has been talking to investors in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, who are very interested in Miami and attaching themselves to the team. He is narrowing down the right partners, trying to find partners who share his vision and integrity. Once he knows how much money he has to spend, then he can start planning all the rest of it. That really has to come first.’’

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Saturday, September 06, 2014

Top 5 Sun Life soccer crowds

TOP FIVE SUN LIFE STADIUM SOCCER CROWDS:

            ATT. MATCH (DATE)

1.      73,429 Brazil-Colombia (Sept. 5, 2014)

2.      71,124 Brazil-Honduras (Nov. 16, 2013)

3.      70,080 Barcelona-Chivas (Aug. 3, 2011)

4.      67,273 International Champions Cup Day 2 (Aug. 7, 2013)

5.      57,748 Chelsea-AC Milan (July 28, 2012)

 

Scenes from Brazil-Colombia

A state of Florida record crowd of 73,429 showed up at Sun Life Stadium last night for a spicy showdown between Brazil and Colombia! It was a rematch of their contentious World Cup quarterfinal. Brazil won on Friday, 1-0, on a free kick by Neymar.

Here is the story...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/09/05/4330993/neymar-lifts-brazil-to-win-at.html

And here are some photos...

BrazilCol4

BrazilCol1

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Neymar, Hulk in Miami!

In case you haven't heard, Brazil and Colombia are playing a friendly Sept. 5 at Sun Life Stadium, and the game will feature many World Cup stars.

The Brazil roster announced by new coach Dunga features 10 of the 23 World Cup players, including Neymar, Hulk, Oscar and David Luiz. It will be their first match since their humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semifinals.

Tickets for the match are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling the stadium box office at 305-943-6311.

 Brazilian National Team Roster

 Goalkeepers -Jefferson (Botafogo), Rafael Cabral (Napoli)

 Defenders - David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Gil (Corinthians), Miranda (Atletico Madrid), Maicon (Roma), Filipe Luis (Chelsea), Alex Sandro (FC Porto), Danilo (FC Porto)

 Midfielders - Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Elias (Corinthians), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Everton Ribeiro (Cruzeiro), Oscar (Chelsea), Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool)

 Forwards - Ricardo Goulart (Cruzeiro), Hulk (Zenit), Neymar (Barcelona), Diego Tardelli (Atletico MG)

 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Miami teens carry U.S. flag at Ghana game

Gulliver students may have noticed a pair of familiar faces on the field during the flag ceremony before the USA v. Ghana game in Natal.

Brothers Alexander and Christopher Joch were selected to carry the American flag into the stadium and during the anthems as part of a global Coca-Cola promotion. Alexander, 16, and Christopher, 14, are the ones on the left side in this photo. The boys got to spend the day at the stadium, get behind-the-scenes tour, and help prepare the locker rooms and training sessions for the two teams.

Jochboys2

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mike Piazza at World Cup!

You never know who you're going to run into at the World Cup! I was at the Sao Paulo airport early this morning with the US media corps getting ready to board our flight to Natal when we ran into....MLB 12-time All-Star catcher Mike Piazza, wearing a pink Palermo FC hoodie. Turns out Piazza, who has lived in Miami Beach for 12 years, is a HUGE soccer fan. He attended the Brazil-Croatia opener and was headed to Manaus to see England vs. Italy (his second team, along with USA) on Saturday.

Piazza told us his dad used to take him to see Philadelphia Fever games and he remembered seeing Pele playing in the NASL. He dabbled in soccer himself, and sees himself as a center back ("my lack of speed would hurt me at any other position'').

He said he would love to see an MLS team in Miami.

"I hope David Beckham can reach a compromise with the city and get a team there,'' he said. "I have been in Miami 12 years now, and love how the city has evolved. I remember going to Miami-Dade College back in 1987-88 and South Beach was just starting to change. Now, with South Beach and downtown and the Brickell area, it has really become an international destination. A soccer team would add to that.

"My kids go to school with kids from so many other countries and soccer is a big part of the culture and fabric of our community. I'm not sure if the Port was the right spot, or the FEC slip. I'm a taxpayer and I understand the concerns, but I think downtown would be great because people can go to bars and restaurants before and after, families can hang out in the area, it could be great. I really hope Miami takes that step and makes this happen. I would definitely go, and would like to be involved.''

Piazza