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.



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.”

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.



Monday, June 27, 2016

Miami was tuned in to Copa America!

By Michelle Kaufman

Univision just released its ratings for recent Copa America matches, and one thing is for sure: Miami was watching!!

The Copa final between Argentina and Chile Sunday night was the No. 1 broadcast program of the day among viewers in Miami, Los Angeles, New York City, and Houston. That match had higher viewership than the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations combined during the 8-11 p.m time slot among viewers in Miami and Los Angeles.

The Copa third-place game between the USA and Colombia Saturday night was the No. 1 watched program of the day among viewers in Miami and Los Angeles. It also had higher viewership than the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations combined during the 8-22 time slot among viewers in Miami.

The final drew 6.8 million viewers, making it the most-viewed soccer match on Univision since the 2014 World Cup Final, and outdrew all NHL matches, including playoffs, as well as all MLB matches across all networks thus far in the 2016 season. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Will James play for Colombia vs. Haiti Sunday at Marlins Park?

By Michelle Kaufman


It's possible James Rodriguez will be at Marlins Park Sunday for Colombia's friendly vs. Haiti, but he is not expected to play, as the Real Madrid playmaker will be flying to Miami from Milan, Italy, where Real Madrid plays Atletico Madrid Saturday in the Champions League final.

According to organizers of Sunday's match, Rodriguez -- the Golden Boot winner at the 2014 World Cup -- said he plans to attend and watch from the bench. Even without James, Colombian fans will see plenty of stars up close. Among the players on the "Cafeteros'' roster: Carlos Bacca (AC Milan), David Ospina (Arsenal), Jeison Murilla (Inter), Christian Zapata (AC Milan), and Juan Cuadrado (Juventus).

The Colombians and Haitians are using the friendly as a warmup for the Copa America Centenario, which begins June 3 in Santa Clara, Calif., with the opener between the USA and Colombia. 

Here is the full Colombian roster for Copa America...

GOALKEEPERS: David Ospina (Arsenal), Robinson Zapata (Santa Fe), Cristian Bonilla (Atletico Nacional)

DEFENDERS: Felipe Aguilar (Atletico Nacional), Santiago Arias (PSV), Farid Diaz (Atletico Nacional), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Jeison Murillo (Inter Milan), Stefan Medina (Pachuca)

MIDFIELDERS: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), Carlos Sanchez (Aston Villa), Guillermo Celis (Junior FC), Daniel Torres (Independiente Medellin), Andres Roa (Deportivo Cali), Sebastian Perez (Atletico Nacional), Edwin Cardona (Monterrey)

FORWARDS: Carlos Bacca (AC Milan), Dayro Moreno (Tijuana), Roger Martinez (Racing Club), Marlos Moreno (Atletico Nacional)

And here is Haiti's roster, which includes one MLS player and five from NASL.

GOALKEEPERS: Johnny Placide (Reims), Steward Ceus (Minnesota United), Luis Valendi Odelus (Aigle Noir)

DEFENDERS: Jean Sony Alcenat (Voluntari), Judelin Aveska (Atletico Uruguay), Reginal Goreaux (Standard Liege), Kim Jaggy (Aarau), Alex Junior Christian (Vila Real), Mechak Jerome (Jacksonville Armada), Romain Genevois (Nice), Stephane Lambese (PSG)

MIDFIELDERS: Jean Alexandre (Fort Lauderdale Strikers), Max Hilaire (Cholet), Soni Mustivar (Sporting Kansas City), James Marcelin (Carlona Railhawks), Pascal Millien (Jacksonville Armada), Sony Norde (Mohun Bagan), Kevin Lafrance (Chrobry Glogow)

FORWARDS: Kervens Belfort (1461 Trabzon), Duckens Nazon (Laval), Jeff Louis (Caen), Jean-Eudes Maurice (Sai Gon), Wilde-Donald Guerrier (Wisla Krakow)


Monday, May 16, 2016

Klinsmann named 22-man roster for Miami camp, Puerto Rico friendly

By Michelle Kaufman

U.S. national coach Jurgen Klinsmann invited 22 players to Miami this week for a training camp as the team begins to prepare for the Copa America Centenario in June. The players chosen for this camp are based in Europe and Mexico, and just completed their club seasons. Major League Soccer players will join the group at a later date.

At the end of the week, the team will fly to Puerto Rico for a May 22 friendly in Bayamon, the first-ever between the two teams. The match will be at noon, and shown on FS1 and UniMas.

After Puerto Rico, the U.S. team plays Ecuador on May 25 in Frisco, Texas (7 p.m. CT; ESPN2 and UniMas) and Bolivia on May 28 in Kansas City, Kansas (7 p.m. CT; FS1 and Univision).

Fifteen of the players in camp -- including Weston's Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes) -- are eligible for the Copa America 23-man roster, as they were included in a 40-man provisional roster that was due at the end of April. The final roster for Copa America must be submitted by May 20. MLS players who make the final roster will be released by their clubs on May 23 and join the team that day in Dallas.

Among the players invited were veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard, who is headed to the Colorado Rapids after a 10-year career at Everton in England, and Bobby Wood, who just set a scoring record for American players in Germany with 17 goals for Union Berlin of the 2 Bundesliga. Wood was so impressive that on Sunday he was transferred to Hamburg of the Bundesliga.

The Mexican club most represented is Club Tijuana, with Michael Orozco and national-team rookies Paul Arriola and Amando Moreno.

"We are doing this week in Miami and finishing off the week with a game in Puerto Rico because it's really important in terms of transitioning our players coming in from Europe and some who are already done in Mexico to keep them in a flow, to keep them in a rhythm," said Klinsmann. "One of our lessons from last year's Gold Cup was because the tournament was pushed into July, we couldn't transition our European-based players and some of the Mexican players perfectly."

"We added some players coming from the younger side to look at them and to get a roster together, but the main purpose of this camp is to keep the rhythm, keep going and to transition perfectly into the preparation for the Copa America Centenario."

All the U.S. practices are closed to the public.

The Miami camp roster....

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Zach Steffen (SC Freiburg)

DEFENDERS (7) : John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)

MIDFIELDERS (7) : Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg), Danny Williams (Reading)

FORWARDS (5) : Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Fabrice Picault (FC St. Pauli), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)