A clue that Beckham MLS team in Miami is still in the works...

By Michelle Kaufman


After a huge initial buzz in February 2014 when soccer icon David Beckham announced he wanted to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami, things have been mighty quiet of late as they work out their stadium land deal.

But a story in the Miami Herald last week may be a clue that the Beckham plan is still in the works...


Monday, January 09, 2017

Miami FC to stay in NASL -- for now

By Michelle Kaufman


Miami FC will stay in the North American Soccer League -- at least for now.

U.S. Soccer decided, after several weeks of discussions and speculation, to grant "provisional Division II status" to the NASL and the United Soccer League (USL) for the 2017 season. NASL was already the second-tier league but struggling financially, and the USL was third-tier despite growing to 30 teams. Neither league currently meets all the criteria for Division II, and they will be required to meet additional requirements such as stadium size, field dimensions and coach qualifications in order to keep their status beyond this season.

The NASL was in danger of folding after Minnesota United went to Major League Soccer, while the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury switched to USL. Meanwhile, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, Jacksonville Armada, Rayo OKC and the New York Cosmos were all in serious financial trouble.

On Monday, the NASL announced it had "amicably parted ways" with Commissioner Bill Peterson and will carry on with eight teams this season -- Miami FC, FC Edmonton, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville, N.Y. Cosmos, North Carolina FC, Puerto Rico FC and the San Francisco Deltas. Rayo OKC was not retained. Rishi Sehgal, the league's business development director, was named interim commissioner.

"NASL club owners are committed to delivering a new era for the league in which a new direction and vision is essential," said the statement. "The new Commissioner will inherit a league strong and primed for growth."

Sunil Gulati, the U.S. Soccer Federation president, said: "U.S. Soccer will create an internal working group that will work with each league to set a pathway to meet the full requirements for division two and allow for the larger goal of creating a sustainable future."

The Miami FC season opens in April.



Sunday, November 06, 2016

2 locals on US Soccer roster for "Hex" final round World Cup qualifying

By Michelle Kaufman


Jurgen Klinsmann named his 26-man roster as the U.S. national team gets ready to face rival Mexico Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, for a World Cup qualifying match. The game is at 7:45 p.m. on FS1 and Univision.

Among the players called in for Team USA are Alejandro Bedoya (Weston) and Jozy Altidore (Boca Raton). Here is the full roster:

GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough; 11/0), Ethan Horvath (Molde; 0/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 32/0), William Yarbrough (Club Leon; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (9): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 8/1), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United; 2/0), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin; 0/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; 0/0), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt; 1/0), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca; 10/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach; 13/1), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana; 5/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United; 4/0)

MIDFIELDERS (9):Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 6/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 29/5), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; 0/0), Julian Green (Bayern Munich; 0/0), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids; 14/0), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls; 17/2), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund; 3/2), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz; 1/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 14/3)

FORWARDS (4):Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 31/16), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen; 3/1), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg; 6/2)

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The unique tale of U.S. goalkeeper William Yarbrough

By Michelle Kaufman


At first glance, you'd never think William Yarbrough speaks perfect Spanish. But then he tells you his story, and it makes perfect sense... Here is a link to my story, and below are interviews in both languages...the US plays Cuba in Havana Friday at 4 p.m.

Watch interviews of Yarbrough in perfect English and perfect Spanish:

On his upbringing in Mexico but playing for the United States:

On whether he wanted to play for Mexico or the United States:

On the languages he spoke growing up:

On the opportunity presented by being called into this camp:

On how he's continued to improve as a goalkeeper:


Acerca de su convocatoria a la Selección Nacional:

Acerca de la oportunidad de representar a EE.UU. en un Mundial:

Acerca de la calificación y la competencia en el Hexagonal:

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Miami FC has 3 highest-attended matches

Miami FC recorded the three highest attended matches in NASL this season (Spring and Fall).

o   Opening match vs. Tampa Apr. 9 (10,156)

o   Vs. Minnesota United FC Aug. 27 (10,012)

o   FL Clasico vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers Aug. 13 (9,739)

·         Since the first match of the Fall season through the match vs. Ottawa Fury FC last night, the Miami FC has grown attendance at an average of 12 percent each match.

·       league average attendance is 4,789. Miami FC Fall average of 6,229

Miami FC statement on Hurricane Matthew

“We continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Matthew, and our thoughts are with those in its immediate path. We are working in partnership with officials at NASL and Florida International University as the storm continues to evolve. Currently, our plans remain unchanged for Saturday – and we’re looking forward to a fantastic match against Rayo OKC. We’re asking all our fans to please follow us on twitter, Facebook and Instagram @theMiamiFC for the latest news and updates.”

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Klinsmann calls in 23 players for Miami camp, Cuba game

By Michelle Kaufman


US coach Jurgen Klinsmann called in his 23-man roster for Miami camp, followed by Oct. 7 friendly at Cuba (4 pm., ESPN2, UniMas) and another friendly vs. New Zealand four days later. Here's who's on the roster...

GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (7): Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Perry Kitchen (Hearts), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)




Friday, September 30, 2016

Miami FC v Tampa Bay Rowdies, Saturday

By Michelle Kaufman


Miami FC moved up to second place in the NASL standings with its win dramatic 2-1 win over Ottawa on Wednesday, and has another chance to inch toward the playoffs with a road game Saturday at the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The 7:30 p.m. match can be seen on GOL-TV, ESPN3 or at the team watch party at Fritz and Franz in Coral Gables.

Miami secured the win over Ottawa with a goal by Michael Lahoud off a Jonny Steele assist, and an extra-time goal by Enzo Rennella, who has provided a major spark since joining the team late in the season.





Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Miami FC to honor Jose Fernandez

By Michelle Kaufman


Miami FC will hold a pre-game memorial ceremony Wednesday night for Marlins superstar pitcher Jose Ferndandez, who died at age 24 early Sunday in a violent boating accident off South Beach.

Before the game against Ottawa FC, Miami FC's Cuban midfielder Ariel Martinez will carry onto the FIU Stadium field a Fernandez 16 Miami FC jersey that was created for the occasion. He will also carry a Marlins cap and they will be played in the center circle. There will be a moment of silence, and the team's fan group, Dade Brigade, also plans a tribute.

Wednesday's game was originally billed as College Night, so college students with ID get in for $1.

Miami FC CEO Sean Flynn, hired earlier this year, spent the previous 13 years as vice president of Marketing for the Marlins.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Strikers statement re: lack of funding, future of club

By Michelle Kaufman


In case you missed my story yesterday about the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers running out of money and seeking a loan from the league, here it is.

And here is the Strikers' response:

In the soccer business, in general teams lose money. It is a simple reality of world football and American soccer, at this moment. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers like any other football club faces this reality.

It is natural that any club will run into issues that will create potential hiccups in the way the business operates. In difficult times, the club needs lines of credit and community support to persevere through the difficult periods. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have a two-year-old ownership group in a six-year-old league. At this point in time participating in league play costs our organization more money than we obtain in return.

The Strikers are in the process of recycling our club’s ownership. This is a natural process in this business. We remain committed to finishing the 2016 NASL Campaign including a push to qualify for our third successive postseason berth and will compete in the 2017 NASL season.

We acknowledge we have made some mistakes in our expectations and business plan. We need the help of our local Broward County Community who embrace this club to get through this difficult time. We have had to look for help and naturally went to the NASL – our league which is an association of owners who face similar challenges and understand our situation. We’ve gone to NASL for help and they have embraced us. This will allow us to work toward recycling our ownership with the 2017 NASL season in mind.

There is a lot of speculation as to the selling, splitting, shutting down of the clubs assets or ownership. None of this been stated by Paulo Cesso, the Strikers principal owner. He remains committed to this club, its brand and community.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Miami FC wins, up to 2nd place in NASL standings

By Michelle Kaufman


Who would have imagined when this season began, that league rookie Miami FC would be in second place in mid-September? That's exactly where the nascent NASL team finds itself after Wednesday night's 1-0 win over the Carolina RailHawks.

A crowd of nearly 7,000 -- impressive for a mid-week match -- showed up at FIU Stadium to see the surging Miami FC, which is on a six-game unbeaten streak.

Dario Cvitanich, last week's league Player of the Week, came off the bench in the 76th minute and scored the winning goal a minute later.

“I am very happy with the result but there is still work to be done,” said Head Coach Alessandro Nesta. “We need energy and all of our guys fit, so now our focus is to recover.”

Miami had other scoring chances. Vincenzo Rennella took a shot in the sixth minute. Ariel Martinez had another seven minutes later. They missed a free kick in the 23rd minute. Rennella had another chance in the second half. Rhett Bernstein got a good look at the goal, but it went wide. And Blake Smith nearly scored in the 90th minute. Aaron Dennis also was a threat all night.

Miami FC hits the road to play at Indy Eleven on Saturday. A watch party will be held at Fritz and Franz in Coral Gables. The next home game is Sept. 23 against Puerto Rico.