Thursday, March 27, 2014

Exclusive: Beckham interview

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. Been swamped covering the Sony Open tennis tournament on Key Biscayne (tennis is one of my other beats)..but I took time out yesterday to meet up with Mr. David Beckham Himself. Wanted to ask him what makes him think Miami's international soccer fans will become passionate for MLS.

Here's what he had to say -- and a video clip, too!

Thoughts? Does reading this and seeing the clip make you feel better about the plans?

Sunday, March 09, 2014

World Cup countdown: 95 Days to go!

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.

 

Friday, March 07, 2014

98 Days to Go to World Cup! MLS=MLB with teens

98 Days to go...

Soccer headlines today: A recent survey found that Major League Soccer is tied with Major League Baseball and way ahead of the NHL among U.S. sports fans aged 12-17. Luker on Trends, which follows fan trends, found the most popular sport among teens is the NFL with 38.8 percent of those surveyed considering themselves an "avid fan'' of the sport. Here's the list:

1. NFL 39 percent

2. NBA 30 percent

3. NCAA football 28 percent

4. NCAA basketball 24 percent

5. (tie) MLS and MLB 18 percent

6. NHL 9 percent

Are you surprised? Let us know your thoughts.

In other news, word is Barcelona center back Carles Puyol may be considering a move to MLS' New York Red Bulls. The 35-year old Spanish star has been bothered by knee issues and said he likely won't be playing at Barca next season and would consider playing elsewhere. Rumors have him headed for the Big Apple.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

MLS Commish: Beckham-Miami announcement in "early Feb''

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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Beckham back in town!!!

BREAKING NEWS!

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!!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Friday Night Lights, Strikers Style!

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2-0-2, 6 points) are on a 2-game win streak and hope to make it three at home Friday night against the NASL leading Carolina Railhawks (3-1-0, 10 points)
The game is at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium.

“It's going to be a tough game for us,” said Strikers head coach Günter Kronsteiner.
“I wish we had more time to prepare before we face the best team in the league.
 But our guys have been working hard and with the two wins we had on the road,
their confidence has been increasing.”

The Strikers won on the road against the San Antonio Scorpions 2-1 in San Antonio on August 17th, followed by a win in Atlanta against the 2013 Spring Champions Silverbacks 1-0 last
Saturday, August 24.

A pair of FC Dallas players on loan have had a huge impact on the Strikers. Goalkeeper Richard Sanchez got the shutout against Atlanta, earning him NASL Player of the
Week honors. Sanchez is on loan from FC Dallas of MLS has been solid
for the Strikers on goal this season.  His Dallas teammate, Bradlee
Baladez, scored on a header off a cross from Ivan Guerrero.

There will be a special fan promotion Friday: $1 beers and live entertainment with local reggae band RYTHMadix from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available online at www.strikers.com or by
calling 954-606-0400. Call or visit Strikers.com for more information.

 

Monday, July 01, 2013

Brazil:We're baaaaack!

Monday Musings...

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.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Beckham's Miami Visit: Your views?

In case you missed it, here's my weekend story on David Beckham's visit to Sun Life Stadium and FIU Stadium

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/06/01/3428007/soccer-star-david-beckham-tours.html

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... 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jilted by Beckham

So, I raced out of the new Doral Herald office at 5:20 p.m. Thursday and spent an hour in the car getting to AmericanAirlines Arena for the Big Beckham Moment. David Beckham was in town exploring MLS expansion with local cell phone mogul Marcelo Claure, and the two of them were going to the Heat-Pacers game together. Word from high up in the Claure camp was that Beckham would take a few moments to come outside Gate 4 and greet a group of Miami MLS soccer fans who had made special posters to greet the icon.

So, we all waited -- the fans and media -- outside Gate 4 for TWO AND A HALF HOURS...and neither Beckham nor Claure ever came out. They were inside hobnobbing, and sitting courtside while the fans outside were getting more deflated by the minute. I was disappointed and annoyed, but at least I was being paid to be there. I felt really bad for those poor soccer-loving souls who spent the past 3 days spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter, encouraging fans to go out and show Beckham some love, only to get ignored.

At one point, a handler came out to assess the crowd (75 people, not exactly a mob), and said Beckham's security people were figuring out logistics.

At 9 p.m., the soccer fans rolled up their banners and headed home. I have to say, it was not a good start for the Miami MLS bid. It would have taken 5 minutes max for Beckham and/or Claure to come out and say Thank You to the supporters for taking the time to be there. Loyalty is a two-way street.

Here's my story..

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/30/3424452/soccer-star-david-beckham-will.html