Major League Soccer opened its 19th season this weekend and two former Miami Fusion players made headlines.
Former FIU/Miami Fusion goalkeeper Jeff Cassar won his first game as head coach of Real Salt Lake, as they beat the LA Galaxy 1-0. And former Fusion midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, who retired from the Colorado Rapids after 11 seasons this year, was named head coach of the team. Both Cassar and Mastroeni were fan (and media) favorites with the Fusion, and it's nice to see both of them still around contributing to the game.
Among the MLS scores this weekend: Seattle beat Kansas City 1-0 in stoppage time. Houston beat New England 4-0. Philadelphia and Portland tied 1-1. Vancouver beat New York 4-1. And Columbus beat DC 3-0, extending DC's winless streak to 13 games.
In case you missed it...
All of a sudden, that little plot of land on the southwest corner of PortMiami is HOT property, and David Beckham may have a hard time getting it for his MLS stadium...
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber told reporters today at the league draft in Philadelphia that an announcement on David Beckham's Miami expansion MLS team will be in "early February.''
Garber said he was in Miami last week, working out finances and a viable stadium plan.
Check the Miami Herald for more details.
In other news, England's World Cup team will play tuneup games in Miami at Sun Life Stadium June 4 vs. Ecuador (3 p.m.) and June 7 vs. Honduras (4:45 p.m.).
The US women's national team plays Russia in Boca Raton's FAU Stadium on Feb. 8.
A very reliable source confirms that David Beckham is in Miami today, having dinner tonight with Marcelo Claure and Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and they will be scouting potential MLS stadium sites tomorrow. The Brazil national team is also in town, training for Saturday's game vs. Honduras at Sun Life Stadium.
Beckham AND Neymar in Miami tonight. Epicenter of the soccer universe!!
BIG NEWS came out over the weekend, news every South Florida soccer fan will want to know. In case you missed it, the Brazilian national team -- with stars Neymar, etc... -- is coming to Miami to play Honduras Nov. 16 at Sun Life Stadium. Read all the details here...
Ok, all you guys out there who think you're good enough to play pro soccer. Here's your chance! South Florida has two teams with open tryouts coming up. Show 'em what you got!
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have announced they will host an open tryout in Naples, FL on November
16th. The tryouts will take place North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Rd., Naples, FL
“This gives an
opportunity for local players to come out and show us their skills,” said
Strikers head coach Gunter Kronsteiner. “It gives us a chance to look for
unfound talent throughout South Florida.”
Due to high demand and limited availability, players will be asked to complete registration with
payment to confirm their spot. Once all available spots have been filled, registration will be closed without notification. The tryouts are open to all players age 18 and older and the cost to take part in the open tryouts is $125 per player. Interested players can visit the Strikers website at www.strikers.com to fill out the registration form and complete payment.
After completing registration, players will be sent a confirmation from the Strikers.
-Come prepared for the tryouts with cleats, socks, gloves, shin guards.
-Due to the limited availability, once a player pays and is accepted into the tryouts, there are NO
REFUNDS. There are no exceptions. We hold the right to refuse and/or decline any player we feel will not benefit from the tryouts.
-After receiving your application and registration fee, a Strikers representative will contact you
confirming your spot in the camp.
-Players will be given two shirts with a unique number at registration beginning at
Miami United, a semi-pro team in the National Premier Soccer
League, is holding tryouts Oct. 7-9 at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah (4800
Palm Ave.) The club plays against regional teams such as Cape Coral Hurricanes,
Jacksonville United, and Tampa Marauders. Players 15-20 years old try out from
5:30-7 p.m. and “First team’’ players try out from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Entry fee is $50. For registration and information, go to miamiunitedsoccer.com or call 305-318-2026.
Wow! That was exciting!
If any dinosaur out there still thinks Americans don't care about soccer, they were not watching ESPN last night. Columbus Crew stadium was rocking with 27,000 sellout for the thrilling US 2-0 ("Dos a Cero!'') World Cup qualifying win over Mexico. Every single fan appeared to be decked in red, white, and blue and the crowd chanted and jumped up and down for nearly the entire match. The US win, combined with Honduras' 2-2 tie with Panama, clinched a World Cup berth for Jurgen Klinsmann's team.
The US is headed to Brazil, its seventh World Cup in a row. I'll be there covering it, and it makes it so much more fun to have our home country competing.
ESPN gave us a 90-minute pre-game show and has been showing highlights and commentary all morning, more proof that the Beautiful Game is finally appreciated and taken seriously by American sports fans. If ESPN says it's important, it's important.
Speaking of ESPN, the overnight numbers are in...and outside of Columbus, the market with the top TV ratings for last night's game was...MIAMI! Of course. Was there any doubt? Miami-Ft. Lauderdale has consistently been the top-rated soccer TV market for the past 10 years. I have no doubt Miami will top TV ratings for the Brazil World Cup next summer, too.
Here's the ESPN release from this morning...
Best Overnight Rating Ever for a FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match
Last night’s ESPN presentation of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 victory over archrival Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, earned a 1.9 overnight rating according to Nielsen, based on the metered markets. This is the highest overnight rating for a U.S. Men’s National Team match in a non-FIFA World Cup or FIFA Confederations Cup tournament.
The previous high was a 1.6 overnight rating for Mexico vs. USA on March 26, 2013, in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca. Final ratings numbers will be available this afternoon.
Top markets: Columbus (5.1), Miami-Ft Lauderdale (3.3), Buffalo (3.2), Dayton and Washington DC (2.8), San Diego, NYC, Seattle, San Antonio, West Palm Beach (2.5).
What are your thoughts on the US team with 9 months to go til World Cup? Do you like the lineup he used last night? (remembering Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and 2 defenders were missing). Share your views with other soccer crazies here!
1. Brazil wanted to show the world that there is still soccer magic in those samba feet, and they surely did that with a 3-0 thumping of World Cup and European champion Spain. From Fred's second-minute oppourtunistic goal in the second minute until the end of the game, the Brazilians were in complete control and never allowed the Spaniards to get ticky or tacky. They just got frustrated. No, it isn't the World Cup. The true test will be next summer. But this Confederations Cup set up a nice storyline -- Brazil on the rise, Spain needs to play better.
2. Neymar. Barca must be feeling darn good about itself after signing the Brazilian 21-year-old from Santos a few weeks ago. He not only won the Golden Ball trophy at the Confederations Cup with four goals in five matches, but he displayed some phenomenal passing skills.
3. Play of the Final: David Luiz's incredible goal-line clearance to prevent Spain from tying it up 1-1. Amazing reflexes and quick thinking. Had Spain tied, the momentum of the game may have shifted. Instead, Brazil stayed pumped and Neymar's goal to make it 2-0 widened the gap.
4. Daryl Shore is out as coach of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Hate to see nice guys lose their jobs, but winning is key in sports and Strikers didn't do enough of it this Spring. Best wishes to Shore and the Strikers as they part ways.
5. The 12 teams playing in the upcoming Gold Cup released their rosters. Reminder that Sun Life Stadium hosting Gold Cup doubleheader July 12: Haiti vs. Trinidad & Tobago and Honduras vs. El Salvador. To see the complete 23-man rosters announced by each team, please follow this link.
In case you missed it, here's my weekend story on David Beckham's visit to Sun Life Stadium and FIU Stadium
I have no idea how this will all shake out, but I do know that it's very interesting and promising to have Beckham in town for 5 days touring the city and talking soccer with Marcelo Claure, a true soccer guy with tons of passion to bring a team to Miami, loads of connections, and pockets deep enough to make it happen.
I am still not completely sold on either of those venues, and not 100 percent convinced that Miami fans who care deeply about international soccer will be loyal fans of a domestic league. But with the right owners, the right stadium, and some big-name players (Miami will settle for nothing less than at least a few marquee names), anything's possible.
I do know European and South American players LOVE to visit Miami. Many have condos here. They take holiday here. If they had a chance to play here on a team owned by Beckham, some may bite.
Time will tell. What do you think? You think it could work? Where do you think they should play? Would Marlins Park work? Share your views...