Miami Fusion is back...sort of.
By Michelle Kaufman
A new incarnation of the Miami Fusion was announced on Thursday, but this team is not in Major League Soccer and will not play in Fort Lauderdale. The new team, to be based at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah, is in the National Premier Soccer League, a fourth-tier developmental league that has 78 clubs nationwide.
The Miami team is owned by Venanzio Cipollitti, president of the Inteligensa Group, a credit card-chip company. It will be coached by Ferdinando (Ferdi) De Matthaeis, who played for New York Cosmos in the early 1980s and most recently coached at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.
The roster includes players from 11 nationalities who came from local colleges, the Miami United NPSL team, and other minor league teams. Two of the more experienced players are Colombian forward Carlos Salazar, who played for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and 36-year-old forward Emiliano Bonazzoli, who played for Sampdoria in the Italian Serie A.
"There are only so many MLS and NASL teams, and there is a lot of talent out there, so we hope to find talent that hasn't been discovered,'' said De Matthaeis.
The Fusion season opens Sunday at 6 p.m. against Miami United at Flamingo Park, and runs through July 10.
Here is the roster...