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 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
The CONCACAF Hexagonal draw is tonight at the W Hotel on South Beach. Leaders of all six federations (USA, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama) will be there, as will US coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
The draw determines the schedule for the final round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Each team plays five home games and five road games between February and October 2013. The top 3 advance to the World Cup in Brazil. The fourth-place team enters a 2-game playoff with the winner of the Oceania region.
In other news Wednesday...
Champions League results: Barcelona LOST to Celtic 2-1 (no, that is NOT a typo), Chelsea d. Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2, Juventus beat FC Nordsjaelland 4-0, Bayern Munich crushed Lille 6-1, Valencia d. BATE Borisov 4-2, , ManU beat Braga 3-1.
In Tuesday's Champions League action, PSG d. Dinamo Zagreb 4-0, Olympiakos d. Montpellier 3-1, Arsenal and Schalke 04 tied 2-2, AC Milan tied Malaga 1-1, ManCity tied Ajax 2-2, Real Madrid tied Borussia Dortmund 2-2
Tonight, MLS confeference semifinals, second legs. Red Bulls vs. DC and San Jose vs. LA. Red Bulls and DC tied 1-1 first match, San Jose beat LA 1-0. Quakes v. Galaxy at 11 p.m. tonight on ESPN2.
1. 2016 Copa America comes to the United States!
CONMEBOL announced Wednesday that it will hold a special Copa America in 2016, and the tournament will be held in the United States (SURELY, Miami's Sun Life Stadium will be a site). The event, to commemorate CONMEBOL's 100th anniversary, will include the 10 South American teams, plus the US, Mexico and 4 more CONCACAF teams based on rankings. The tournament will be held in July 2016. The regular 2015 and 2019 Copa Americas will still go on as scheduled.
2. Big teams go down in Champions League
Manchester City lost 3-1 to Ajax. Real Madrid lost 2-1 to Dortmund. Arsenal lost 2-0 to Schalke.
3. Wondo goes for record
Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes is one goal shy of tying the MLS record, which was set in 1996 by Roy Lassiter of the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny. Lassiter scored 27 goals that season. Wondo has 26. He plays his final regular season game Saturday against Portland.
Landon Donovan and Brek Shea were sent home from the U.S. training camp in Miami after team doctors determined their injuries were more serious than anticipated. They were both ruled out of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers at Antigua on Friday and against Guatemala in Kansas City on Tuesday.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said no immediate replacements will be added to the roster.
Donovan suffered a knee injury in the LA Galaxy's 2-1 loss on Saturday night. He will return to Los Angeles tonight and be seen by team doctors. He felt much better on Monday and Klinsmann said Tuesday morning he expected Donovan to play, but Dr. Dan Kalbac, the team's Miami-based physician, examined him and suggested he be kept out.
Shea entered camp with an abdominal strain and will be treated in Dallas.
"It's unfortunate for Landon and Brek that they won't be able to play," said Klinsmann. "Landon was very optimistic over the weekend when his knee was feeling much better, but now he needs time to recover. We knew Brek was a question mark coming in, and now we have a clear picture of where he stands. We feel confident that the group we have will get the job done."
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.
Soccer fans, take note that La Liga matches are no longer on GOL-TV. The league TV rights, along with French Ligue 1 and Italian Serie A are now owned by BeInSport, a Miami-based company run by Al Jazeera that hired Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson among its commentators. Games are available on DirecTV and DISH Network.
Arsenal vs. Sunderland 10 a.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes
West Brom vs. Liverpool 10 a.m. Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes
Lyon vs. Troyes 11 a.m. Univision
Newcastle vs. Spurs 12:30 p.m. Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes
Celta Vigo vs. Malaga 1 p.m. BeInSport
Lorient vs. Montpellier 2 p.m. Univision
Sevilla vs. Getafe 3 p.m. BeInSport
Mallorca vs. Espanyol 5 p.m. BeInSport
Queretaro vs. Club America 6 p.m. Univision
Monterrey vs. Atlante 8 p.m. Univision
Marseille vs. Sochaux 8 a.m. BeInSport
Wigan vs. Chelsea 8:30 a.m. Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes
Manchester City vs. Southampton 11 a.m. Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes
Real Madrid vs. Valencia 1 p.m. BeInSport
Toluca vs. Pachuca 1 p.m. Univision
Neza vs. Pumas Morelos 1 p.m. GolTV
Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad 3 p.m. BeInSport
Ajaccio vs. Paris Saint-Germain 3 p.m. Univision
Santos vs. Corinthians 3 p.m. GolTV
Levante vs. Atletico Madrid 5 p.m. BeInSport
Tigre vs. River Plate 6:10 p.m. GolTV
New York Red Bulls vs. Portland Timbers 7 p.m. Galavision
Everton vs. Manchester United 3 p.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes