Brazil team coming to Miami!

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...



Want to play pro soccer? Not too late!

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.


Miami among top TV ratings for US-Mexico!

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! 




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.


Bedoya makes US roster, team to train in Miami

US coach Jurgen Klinsmann released his 23-man roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers at Costa Rica Sept. 6 and vs. Mexico in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 10. The team is headed to Miami on Sunday for a two-day camp before heading to Costa Rica.

Local ties on the roster include Alejandro Bedoya (Weston), Jozy Altidore (Boca Raton), Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando (Miami Fusion alumni.)

Here's what Klinsmann had to say about Bedoya:

“Alejandro Bedoya made a huge jump over the last 7-8 months
just during my time now. He came pretty late into my picture, he was with Bob
already, and compared to where he was in the January camp to where he is now is
really wonderful to see. He became a lot more confident. He became a lot more
mature. He proved that during the Gold Cup and he proved that in Bosnia. He
proved it is his first game with Nantes vs. Paris Saint Germain. It was very
impressive how he played there for a very good club in the French First
Division. I think he deserves absolutely to be a part of that roster going into
Costa Rica and that gives us another option. With him and Graham on the right
flank, I think we’re looking really good.”

 Landon Donovan is back on the roster, his first World Cup qualifier in 14 months. Huge for US to get him back. Wondolowski did not make the squad, but is right on the bubble, Klinsmann said.

Here's the full roster:

Forwards: Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan, Johannsson, E. Johnson

Midfielders: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Diskerud, F. Johnson, Jones, Zusi.

Defenders: Beasley, Besler, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Evans, Gonzalez, Orozco

GK: Guzan, Howard, Rimando

What are your thoughts on the roster? You feeling good about this lineup?


Champions League Group of Death??

The 2013-14 Champions League draw is done...Here are the Groups...Which is the Group of Death? Please vote below and share your thoughts. Who has the easiest road? Who has the hardest?


Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad. Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen. Group C: PSG, Benfica, Olympiakos, Anderlecht. Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, FC Viktoria Plzen. Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest. Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli. Group G: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna. Group H: Barcelona, Milan, Ajax, Celtic.


Altidore hat trick! US d. Bosnia 4-3.

Did you see what I just saw? Jozy Altidore of Boca Raton with a second-half hat trick to lead US to a 4-3 comeback win over No. 13 Bosnia...on European soil..without Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey. THAT is impressive. Michael Bradley was huge, too. Eddie Johnson scored the other goal, on assist from Jozy. US has now won 12 matches in a row, longest streak in the world at the moment. This team looks like it's for real, ladies and gentlemen. Could be exciting Summer 2014!

What do you think? Is this the team that can make a deep run? Post your views.


Update: US losing to Bosnia 2-0 at halftime in Sarajevo. 11-match win streak in danger. Bosnia has dominated, goals by Dzeko and Ibisevic, who starred at Saint Louis University, holds a US green card, and whose parents still live in St. Louis. Bet Klinsmann wishes Ibisevic was wearing a US jersey right now...

You watching the match? What do you think? They miss Landon Donovan, eh?


Earlier: US plays Bosnia today at 2:30 p.m. in Sarajevo. ESPN2

Here's the US starting lineup: Howard, Evans, Cameron, Brooks, F.Johnson, Bradley, Jones, Bedoya (a native of Weston!), Diskerud, E.Johnson, Altidore.

You like that lineup? I think it will be fun to see Eddie Johnson and Jozy Altidore together up top, and Bedoya and Diskerud impressed in Gold Cup. Bradley always a rock in middle. His dad, Bob, by the way, coaching Egyptian national team in a friendly today in Egypt despite unrest there. Share your thoughts.


US roster for Bosnia match Wednesday

US coach Jurgen Klinsmann just released his roster for Wednesday's friendly against Bosnia in Sarajevo. Bosnia is ranked No. 13 in the latest FIFA rankings. Nearly all of the roster is Europe-based because Klinsmann said it was very far to travel for MLS players in mid-season. Weston's Alejandro Bedoya, who last week signed with French club, Nantes, got the call-up. The match is Wednesday at 2:30 Eastern, ESPN2 Here's the roster... GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton) DEFENDERS (7): John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers) MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Reading) FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)


US wins Gold Cup!

Monday Musings...

It's a good day to be Jurgen Klinsmann. Not only did the U.S. team roll through the Gold Cup (outscoring opponents 20-4) and win the final 1-0 over Panama on Sunday, but clearly, there is finally some depth for him to work with. The big question now is who does he bring back from this Gold Cup team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in September? Remember, this was largely the U.S. "B'' team in the Gold Cup, although many players took advantage of the audition and made great cases for inclusion on the "A'' team.

Landon Donovan definitely will be back, and starting, come September. He had a brilliant tournament with five goals, seven assists and his energy and passing made a huge difference. He was voted Gold Cup MVP, and he and Klinsmann seem to have patched up whatever issues they had over Donovan's self-imposed sabbatical last winter.

Who else should be invited for the September games? Alejandro Bedoya, who grew up in Weston, stood out, particularly in the semifinal (2 assists) and final, where his cross led to Brek Shea's winning goal. Shea (what's with that hairdo?) also had big moments and scored some clutch goals. Eddie Johnson proved to be a dangerous target, though he's probably still kicking himself for not scoring from close range on a perfect Shea pass against Panama. And what about Mix Diskerud? The guy was all over the place, tons of energy, involved in plays all over the field. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando (formerly of the Miami Fusion) wasn't tested too much, but when he was, he came up big. Does he have a shot to go as a backup to Tim Howard?

What do YOU think? Who impressed you the past few weeks? Does the US team's 11-game win streak have you excited for the World Cup next summer? You happy with Klinsmann? We want to hear your thoughts...


Will US beat Panama?

The Gold Cup final is Sunday at 4 p.m.

The US is on a major roll -- 10 wins in a row, outscored Gold Cup opponents 19-4, Landon Donovan looking as good -- if not better -- than Landon of old. Can they keep it going and beat upstart Panama for the championship? Panama is on the rise, and knocked off Mexico in the semis. Vote here, and share your thoughts on the US team. Feeling good a year before the World Cup?