If you happen to be arriving at the Heat game tonight and see a commotion near Gate 4, here's why...
If you happen to be arriving at the Heat game tonight and see a commotion near Gate 4, here's why...
The Guinness International Champions Cup bracket is being released this morning.
First-round games in the West bracket: Juventus vs. Everton (July 31, San Francisco) and Real Madrid vs. LA Galaxy (Aug. 1, Phoenix)
First-round games in East bracket: Valencia vs. AC Milan (July 27, Valencia, Spain) and Chelsea vs. Inter Milan (Aug. 1, Indianapolis)
Second-round West games are in Dodger Stadium. Second-round East games are at Met Life Stadium in NY/NJ.
Championship round (all eight teams) is at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Aug. 6 and Aug. 7. Doubleheaders each day at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
In other news...Spain released its star-studded roster for the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup, and that same team will be playing a friendly June 8 at Sun Life against Haiti. Here's who's coming..
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool) y Victor Valdés (Barcelona).
Defenders: Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Raúl Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea) y Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi Hernández (Barcelona) y Javi Martínez (Bayern Munich), Javi García (Manchester City), Beñat (Real Betis).
Forwards: Juan Mata (Chelsea), David Silva (Manchester City), Cesc Fábregas (Barcelona), Pedro (Barcelona), Jesús Navas (Sevilla), David Villa (Barcelona) y Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Roberto Soldado (Valencia).
Tickets are currently on sale and available through www.sunlifestadium.com and www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the stadium box office at (305) 943-8000. Tickets start at just $29 and a limited number of VIP Field seats will be made available on the sidelines to watch the match. For more information on the VIP Field Seating, teams, players and event, please visit www.sunlifestadium.com.
The David Beckham-to-Miami buzz continues.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that Becks is visiting Miami this week and will be attending the Heat-Pacers game Thursday night as the guest of Marcelo Claure, the Bolivian billionaire owner of Brightstar Communications who in 2009 tried to bring an MLS team to Miami. The connection of Claure and Beckham has local fans atwitter.
MLS has announced that its next expansion team will be in New York City in 2015 -- co-owned by the Yankees and Manchester City. Atlanta and Orlando have been ahead of Miami on the list for future expansion, but Beckham's interest in Miami cannot be ignored. And Claure is a true soccer guy, former player and owns Bolivar. He also has very deep pockets and friends with very deep pockets.
A grassroots fan group called MLS Miami Bid set up a Facebook page and is calling on local fans to rally for Beckham and MLS on the steps of AmericanAirlines Arena Thursday night. Of course, Beckham may not see the rally if they hold it on the steps, as he surely will enter through the underground parking lot and a VIP entrance. Perhaps they should park themselves at the entrance to the VIP parking lot :)
In other local soccer news, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers play FC Dallas tonight in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. NASL vs. MLS. Gametime: 7:30 p.m.
The national teams of Germany and Ecuador play a friendly Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. at FAU Stadium. Germany will be without 15 regulars, as they were wrapping up club commitments.
Three items of note this Tuesday...
MLS announced on Tuesday that there will be a second team in New York co-owned by Manchester City and the NY Yankees. The team, which is due to begin play in 2015, will be called New York City Football Club and already has a website www.nycfc.com . There are plans for a new stadium.
Hal Steinbrenner, the managing general partner of the New York Yankees, said:
“We are pleased to be associated with this major move by MLS to increase its
presence in New York and to enhance the opportunity for New York soccer fans to
enjoy high-level play in their own city.
“We look forward to working with Manchester City to create something very
special for the soccer fans of New York.”
MLS commissioner Don Garber said: “We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer. This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country.”
City are in New York, preparing for friendlies against Chelsea in St Louis and New York this week.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers host the Laredo Heat (PDL) in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup tonight (Tuesday) at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium. The tournament began last week, the six domestic NASL teams join in the secod round and the 16 domestic MLS come in at the third round. If the Strikers win tonight, they will host FC Dallas next Tuesday night at Lockhart.
Miami United, a semi-pro team which plays in the NPDL, has its home opener against the Georiga Revolution Sunday May 26 at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah. Tickets are $5 and college students get in free with school ID. Miami is 1-0-1 this season after a season-opening 3-0 win over Cape Coral Hurricanes and a 0-0 tie with the Tampa Marauders.
The team features many international players, including former Miami Fusion and Honduran national team forward Saul Martinez. Others include: Simone Quintieri (Italian ex-serie A
Indonesia and Serie B Italy Livorno), Daniele Fortunato (Italian ex
Glasgow Rangers And Pescara), Hondurans Erick Vallecillo, Henry Martinez, Carlos Palacios (calolo), and Colombian Jimmy Asprilla. There are also players from Brazil, Africa,Venezuela, Argentina and the United States.
For information, go to www.MiamiUnited.com
By Michelle Kaufman
The road to the 2014 Brazil World Cup included a brief stop on South Beach Wednesday night for a glitzy CONCACAF Hexagonal draw ceremony complete with women in gowns selecting small soccer balls from glass bowls.
Executives from the CONCACAF region – North and Central America and the Caribbean -- and representatives of the six national teams in contention gathered at the W Hotel for the event, which determined the pairings for the final round of qualifying. Matches will be held between February 6 and October 15, 2013.
Costa Rica,Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and the United States are the six teams that advanced to the Hexagonal. Each team will play every other team twice – once at home, once away – for a total of 10 matches. The top three finishers earn berths to the 2014 World Cup. The fourth-place team enters a two-game intercontinental playoff against the winner of the Oceania region for a final spot.
The U.S. got a tough draw, with three of its first four matches on the road. They open at Honduras Feb. 6, play Costa Rica at home March 22, on the road at Mexico’s Azteca Stadium March 26, and at Jamaica June 7.
Their other six matches are at home June 11 against Panama, at home June 18 against Honduras, at Costa Rica Sept. 6, at home against Mexico Sept. 10, at home against Jamaica Oct. 11 and at Panama Oct. 15.
“Usually a team would like to have its first game at home, but if you don’t, you make the best of it,’’ said U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “If you get results on the
road, you are far more confident for your home games. It’s fine with me. We’ve
just got to be really sharp and focused and get the job done on the road in
difficult environments, which is what this region is about. We are looking
forward to playing at Honduras and will take it one game at a time. We are
excited to finally have our schedule. ‘’
Added U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati: “Honduras is a tough team, but the last time we played there, we won and qualified for the World Cup, so it’s got some pretty good memories for us.’’
The U.S. has qualified for the past six World Cups since 1990.
Unlike the other five teams, which play their matches at designated national stadiums, the U.S. team must now determine sites for its five home games. Gulati said 10 to 12 venues are being considered. Stadium size, time zone, fan demographics, field surface, and weather are among the considerations for home-field advantage. Miami’s Sun Life Stadium is not expected to be a site partly due to the warm climate, and also because it tends to attract opposing fans from
Central America and the Caribbean.
Miami may not have an MLS team anymore, but apparently it still has MLS fans. The league has discovered that Miami is one of the top three television markets for MLS games among non-MLS cities, along with San Diego and Atlanta.
In fact, the league is reaching out to Miami fans with T.V. ads targeted to this market promoting Thursday's Philadelphia Union v. DC United game (8 p.m., ESPN2) on local Comcast channels. Commercials are scheduled to appear locally on ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, FX, USA, Discovery and the History Channel.
So, if you're watching your favorite history documentary tonight and an MLS commerical pops up, you now know why.
Do you watch MLS games on TV? How often?
By Michelle Kaufman
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers can clinch an NASL playoff berth with a
home win or a tie Saturday night against the Puerto Rico Islanders at
Lockhart Stadium. The Strikers (9-9-7) are tied with the Carolina
Railhawks for fourth place with 34 points, two points behind the
Islanders. If they finish third or fourth, they will host a
first-round playoff game Sat. Sept. 29.
A season-high crowd of 5,659 showed up last week for the game against
the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and the Strikers would love a similar
atmosphere for Saturday's critical match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
The game, being billed as Legacy Night, will feature a tribute to
former Strikers players -- including Ray Hudson -- and ticket prices
will be sold at throwback prices, $7 general admission, $9 reserved
“We know how important this game is, first to qualify for the
playoffs, but also to try and get us seeding to have a home game in
the playoffs,” said Strikers coach Daryl Shore. “We know Puerto Rico
has had some results that didn’t go their way so we have to be
prepared for their best game. We are focused on those things that have
made us a good team over the last month including defending as a team,
creating more chances and finishing those chances when we get them.”
The Strikers are 1-1-1 against Puerto Rico. The last time they played,
Aug. 18, it ended in a scoreless tie.
Puerto Rico is coming off a 3-1 home loss to the RailHawks.
The Strikers will be without Michael Tetteh, who received a red card
for violent conduct in the game against Tampa Bay and was given a
two-game suspension by the league.
Dear US National team:
Welcome to Miami in September...rain, lightning, thunder, suffocating humidity.
Jurgen Klinsmann and his US team are in town for a few days training for Friday's World Cup qualifier at Jamaica -- and the second leg of the home-and-home series Sept. 11 at Columbus, Ohio. They certainly are getting a taste of tropical weather.
A lightning storm moved Tuesday's workout at FIU indoors to the basketball gym, where word is Tim Howard and Sean Johnson showed their hoops skills. Howard was a promising basketball player in high school before choosing soccer. Afterward, Howard posed for photos with a group of giddy FIU women's soccer players.
Clint Dempsey is enjoying being back on the field after his drama-filled summer. Read about it here:
The US has never won in Jamaica, and the Americans would like to continue their streak of winning where they hadn't won before: Mexico, Italy. The team is scheduled to train once more in Miami on Wednesday (weather permitting) and then head to Kingston.
What are your thoughts on Friday's game? Can the US get three points off the Reggae Boyz on Jamaican soil?
Hi there, Soccer Fans.
I'm baaaaack from the London Olympics. Amazing event. Among the many events I covered were the USA women's soccer win over Japan and Mexico's historic win over Brazil. Great atmoshpere for both. Even the media bus TO Wembley Stadium was fun on the day of Brazil-Mexico. Those journalists are a lively bunch, to say the least.
Just getting back to work. Here are some quick Friday headlines as we head into the Opening Weekend of the English Premier League.
-Robin Van Persie seals deal with Manchester United. The former Arsenal star signed a four-year $38 million contract with ManU and said he made the decision because the "little boy inside'' him was "screaming'' for ManU. Van Persie led the EPL with 30 goals last season, and Wayne Rooney was second with 27. In other words, ManU fans are very happy today. His debut is Monday vs. Everton, 3 p.m., ESPN2
-Brazil coach Mano Menezes under fire after losing to Mexico at the Olympics (no big surprise there). There were rumors that former Barca coach Pep Guardiola was a possible replacement, but his agent says there have been no talks.
-Clint Dempsey wants to leave Fulham, reportedly refuses to play for the team, so he was left off the opening-day starting lineup. Most reports have him heading to Liverpool, but there is no deal to speak of.
-Finally, US soccer fans will no longer see La Liga matches on GOL-TV. The rights were sold to BeInSport, a new Miami-based company operated by Al Jazeera. Their matches are available on DirecTV and DISH Network. See TV listings below.
What are your thoughts on today's news? Thoughts on the US win over Mexico Wednesday night? Is it significant? Share your views. We want to hear from you.
Looks like Chelsea will have its A-list players for the July 28 game against AC Milan at Sun Life Stadium. Ticket sales were around 50,000 already with a few categories sold out. Ticketholders invited to open training sessions Friday night July 27 at 6 p.m. Doors open 5 p.m. You must have game tickets to enter. Here is the travel roster released by the club:
Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, Henrique
Hilario, Ross Turnbull, Jamal
Ashley Cole, John Terry, David Luiz, Paulo Ferreira, Gary Cahill, Sam
Hutchinson, Todd Kane, Nathaniel
Ramires, Flourent Malouda, Raul Meireles, Frank Lampard, John Mikel Obi, Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, Yossi
Benayoun, Josh McEachran, George
Fernando Torres, Gael Kakuta, Kevin De Bruyne, Patrick Bamford, Lucas