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.''


Saturday, June 07, 2014

Scene at England-Honduras match...

World Cup Countdown: 5 days to go!!!!!

It's quite a scene here at Sun Life Stadium for the England match vs. Honduras. Crowd of 45,379 and there was a LOT of partying and singing and drum-beating going on in the parking lots before the match.

David Beckham is in the house, sitting in a suite with Marcelo Claure. He stuck his head out the window a few times to the delight of fans below.

The match was suspended for 30 minutes in the 23rd minute due to lightning. The British journos were fascinated with the lightning delay thing. Apparently that doesn't happen in England. Also, they were worried because they were missing their evening deadlines.

Here are some photos of the scene here...


And another one...


Guess who these fans were rooting for??


Great drumming by these guys...


And here is Becks...


Friday, June 06, 2014

Brazilian street party in Miami!

World Cup Countdown: 6 Days to Go!

The World Cup kicks off next Thursday in Sao Paulo, with Brazil vs. Croatia. I'll be reporting from there live. For those who can't make it to Brazil, this looks like a fabulous second option....

Bud Light Brings Brazilian Carnival to Miami Block Party to Celebrate the FIFA World Cup™

 WHAT:      The wait is over. To kick-off the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ inaugural game between Brazil and Croatia, Bud Light is bringing down the house with a unique celebration that includes a Brazilian carnival float, samba dancers, live batucada band and other surprises to the largest block party in Miami

 Even better, Bud Light – the official beer of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ is inviting fútbol aficionados and media as special guests to join this ultimate soccer experience. The event will feature exciting games, a fan zone with tournament prizes, performance stage with live bands and other surprises that will be taking place at the historic Kukaramakara Brickell.  The inaugural game will be hosted by actor Ivan Van Hernandez and radio personality and television host Humberto Rodriguez “El Gato”.

 WHEN:      Thursday, June 12, 2014

                    1:00PM – Festivities/Media Opportunities    3:30PM – Brazil v. Croatia (game)

 WHERE:   Kukaramakara (Brickell)

1250 South Miami Ave.

Miami, FL 33131


  • 25-foot carnival float that features FIFA World Cup™ logos and Brazilian macaws
  • Live samba dancers and batucada band – dressed in Brazilian carnival attire
  • Fútbol Kings: Freestyle soccer players that combine electrifying tricks with capoeira, a Brazilian art form that blends elements of martial arts, music and dance

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

England-Ecuador lineups

World Cup Countdown: 8 Days to Go.

Hi from SunLife Stadium, where we are about 45 minutes from kickoff for England vs. Ecuador. It is raining. It is very gray. It is very England.

It is SO England that the main two press boxes are reserved for English media only..there are 88 of them traveling with the national team. So, Ecuador media and local scrubs like myself relegated to the auxiliary box.

I see more yellow shirts than white or red, but it's still early. Crowd of 20,000-25,000 expected. Midday-midweek hurt ticket sales, but done at this time for English TV.

Starting lineups just released:

ENGLAND: Ben Foster (GK), James Milner, Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Frank Lampard (captain), Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlande-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley, Wayne Rooney, Rickie Lambert.

ECUADOR: Maximo Banguera (GK), Jorge Guagua, Frickson Erazo, Juan Carlos Paredes, Christian Noboa, Jefferson Montero, Walter Ayovi, Felipe Caicedo, Enner Valencia, Luis Antonio Valencia (captain), Carlos Gruezo

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Miami Commish hosting watch party

World Cup Countdown: 15 Days to Go!

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sen. Javier Souto, District 10, will host a game-watching event for the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament on Thursday, June 12 at 4 p.m. at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127th Ave.

Brazil, the host country of this year’s FIFA World Cup, is scheduled to face Croatia in the first match of the month-long tournament.

“I invite all the soccer fans in the community to come out and enjoy the game with their friends and neighbors,” Sen. Souto said.

 For more information, call the District 10 office at 305-222-2116.


You won't find this at Toledo Airport.

World Cup Countdown: 15 days to Go!

In case you needed any more proof that Miami is a soccer-crazed city and the gateway to the Brazil World Cup, check out the souvenir kiosks and airport book store selections at Miami International Airport!


and check out the book selection...England and Spanish...


Coral Gables Museum World Cup exhibit

World Cup Countdown: 15 Days to Go!

The World Cup opener is just over two weeks away, and the Coral Gables Museum is planning a June 6 event to get into the Cup are the details...

Gallery Night Live at Coral Gables Museum features two new exhibits and

a live performance by Rose Max and Ramatis 5-piece Samba Band



Coral Gables, FL. - May 28, 2014 – The June 6 Gallery Night Live at the Coral Gables Museum will offer two new original exhibits:  12 Stadiums │ 12 Cities:  Brazil 2014 World Soccer Destination and Capture Coral Gables.  Also performing in the Museum Plaza will be noted Brazilian artists Rose Max and Ramatis with their five piece Samba ensemble.  The Museum offer complimentary admission from 6-9pm.

“The Coral Gables Museum is breathing new energy into the First Friday Gables Gallery Night experience, this coming Gallery Night Live at the Museum will be special,” said Christine Rupp, Director of the Coral Gables Museum.  “The 12 Stadiums │ 12 Cities:  Brazil 2014 World Soccer Destination exhibit and its surrounding activities and programs will give the Miami/South Florida community a different way of experiencing the World Cup and will unite people of all nationalities through soccer.”  In addition, the opening of the Capture Coral Gables exhibit is great for the community, as it showcases photographs that were shot around the City Beautiful and chosen by our judges as part of our annual photography contest.  Museum visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite photos.   Add that to the performance by Rose Max and you have a fabulous, entertaining evening in the heart of downtown Coral Gables.”

The Coral Gables Museum is located at 285 Aragon Avenue in downtown Coral Gables. For more information regarding the exhibits and associated activities, please call 305-603-8067 or visit

Friday, May 23, 2014

Newest Beckham stadium plans

David Beckham's group on Thursday unveiled their new plans for a downtown #MLS stadium and waterfront park at the FEC boat slip between AmericanAirlines Arena and Museum Park. It would join the museum area with the arena and create a continuous green space along the water that, in my opinion, would be much more attractive than what is there now. In my mind, it would enhance the waterfront area and make it more of an attraction. Right now, the FEC slip area is underutilized, there is no nature there, and there are beer cans and garbage floating in the water. The project still has a long way to go, and voters will get to decide in November. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Historic US domestic TV deal announced...

31 Days to the World Cup, and domestic soccer in this country is about to get a lot more high-profile...

MLS and US Soccer announced a new 8-year TV deal with ESPN, Fox and Univision that is reportedly worth $90 million her year, which is triple what they were getting before.

MLS commissioner Don Garber said today at a press conference that the expansion plans for a second NY team and "downtown teams in Miami and Atlanta'' are key because they are major markets and will help the growth of the sport and national TV ratings in the US. Now, if David Beckham could just work out that little waterfront stadium issue...

Here's the TV deal press release...

NEW YORK (May 12, 2014) – Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer have signed new television and media rights partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes, reaching eight-year agreements with the networks to televise MLS and U.S. Soccer matches in the United States through the end of 2022.  The announcement was made today by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer CEO/General Secretary Dan Flynn, ESPN, Inc. President and Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman John Skipper,  FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 General Manager and Chief Operating Officer David Nathanson and Univision Deportes President Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

 For the first time in Major League Soccer’s history, all three television partners will feature an exclusive MLS Match of the Week, providing soccer fans throughout the country with a destination day and time for each network.  The Univision family of networks will televise a game of the week on Friday evenings -- primarily on UniMás -- and a wrap-up show on Sundays.  The Friday night match on the Univision family of networks will be the first time a Spanish-language television network will have its own exclusive night with a major professional sports league based in the United States.

 Soccer fans will be able to enjoy a doubleheader of MLS action every Sunday, as ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will televise back-to-back MLS matches on Sundays at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, respectively.  More than 125 MLS matches will be televised annually on the three networks.

 The new agreements also will include extensive marketing and promotional support from all network partners, including dedicated campaign support and cross-promotion across all three networks for upcoming MLS and U.S. Soccer matches. In addition, ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes will develop multi-platform initiatives to build the profile of MLS and U.S. Soccer players