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Diego Serna Returns to Miami

diego serna Diego Serna Returns to Miami

Much has changed in the world of football in the past eight years since the Miami Fusion folded. Despite having their best season ever in that final year, 2001, when the Fusion was one game away from the MLS Cup as well as having their best year in attendance, Major League Soccer pulled the plug and effectively killed soccer in South Florida.

Other than losing a team, one of the worst aspects of the whole episode was that Fusion fans never had a chance to say goodbye to their team. In that final game against San Jose at Lockhart Stadium, most Fusion fans anticipated seeing the team return the following season under the leadership of coach Ray Hudson. Sadly, a few weeks later, the news was broken on local radio that Major League Soccer had contracted the Fusion and I, as well as many fans, cried at the loss of not only just a team, but an institution that was a large part of our lives.

That 2001 Miami Fusion team was one of the most entertaining to have ever graced Major League Soccer. Each member of the team was blessed with skill. Players like Ian Bishop, Pablo Mastroeni, Alex Pineda Chacon, Preki, Ivan McKinley, Nick Rimando, Jay Heaps, Carlos Llamosa, Ian Woan, Brian Dunseth, Jim Rooney, Chris Henderson, Tyrone Marshall, and the list goes on and on.

The one player that had always been our favorite and continues to live in the folklore of soccer in South Florida was — and is — Diego Serna. During those years with Miami, the Colombian striker was world-class. He captured the imagination of South Florida with his unbelievable goals from the most extraordinary angles, as well as the commitment he showed on the pitch during the incredible Florida heat. This was a player who wore his heart on his sleeve, was emotional and often got into clashes with previous managers at the Fusion.

For supporters of other Major League Soccer teams, Diego Serna was a pest. This was a player who continually got in the faces of opposing defenders and, much like Cristiano Ronaldo, had a penchant for diving in the penalty area to win fouls. When it happens against your team, it’s criminal. But when a player does it for your team, it’s magical.

After Miami Fusion folded, Diego Serna went on to play for the Metrostars, New England Revolution, Los Angeles Galaxy and Colorado Rapids — although he never regained the form he had while at Miami. Serna also played in Colombia and Brazil.

Thankfully for soccer fans in South Florida, USL team Miami FC announced last week that they had captured the signing of the Colombian legend. The player will captain the side for the opening game of the USL season against Cleveland on April 18 at Lockhart Stadium.

Finally, soccer fans will be able to say goodbye and say welcome back at the same time to a hero. And hopefully see a new chapter in the career of Diego Serna and the history of soccer in South Florida.

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

8 Responses to Diego Serna Returns to Miami

  1. Let’s not forget the Fusion’s attendance had actually increased 50% that last season, because finally after three years of struggles the product was compelling enough to attract hard core football fans.

    Hopefully, Miami FC will too improve its product in their fourth season. The first year was dominated by Romario, a legend of world football, but after he left (recall he was brought in on loan) and El Loco Rodriguez left (he too was on loan) the club collapsed and not only has attendance been poor, but the team had hardly been competitive in USL-1, a league whose quality I believe exceeded the the expectations of Miami FC’s Brazilian owners when they joined. (much like MLS’ quality caught Chivas owners by surprise early on).

    So this is the make or break year for Miami FC. Bringing in Serna and Facundo Erpen helps, but losing Josh Saunders, Eric Brunner, Alex Afonso and Avery John does not. So we’ll see what happens.

  2. Lance MSK says:

    Miami FC is a joke. I’d be shocked if they didn’t finish in last place this season in USL-1. The league as Kartik noted is stronger than many thought and putting a team together at the last moment and shifting home venues constantly isn’t a recipie for success.

  3. Lars says:

    I really hope Miami FC does will this year. It would be great to see the team be successful and perhaps put fans in the seats.

  4. Ultras says:

    Great to see Serna playing in Miami. Hey Lance MSK you are the one that is a joke. Go Blues!!!

  5. ultratroll says:

    WHO THE HELL CARES ABOUT MIAMI FC?!! THEY PLAY IN A CRAPPY MINOR LEAGUE OUTFIT!!! WE IN MIAMI DESERVE NOTHING LESS THAN THE BEST!!! AND THAT MEANS MLS!!! C’MON MIAMI ENTREPENUERS!!! DO YOU NOT REALIZE THE GOLDMINE THAT’S SITTING HERE IN SOUTH FLORIDA!!! INVEST IN A MIAMI MLS TEAM NOW AND SEE WHAT A SUCCESS YOU’RE GETTING!!! MAKE IT SO, IMMEDIATLY!!!

    MIAMI IN MLS, WHERE WE BELONG!!! RIGHT!!! NOW!!!!!

  6. Sonny says:

    Brilliant article.I loved the Miami Fusion Games, and i am a Miami FC supporter. This is a dream come true to go back to Lockhart Stadium and Diego Serna is captaining the team!Is this for real?? I can`t be the only one this excited!

  7. Claudia says:

    Great game. Lots of fun. Diego was the star. I’ll be back to see another game. Go Miami!!!

  8. Christian Castillo says:

    There’s a lot of potential in Miami to make a MLS team especially if you bring South & Central American players. In Miami we are the largest combined hispanic community in the US because we are from different countries from Latin America and we love soccer. I like the Miami FC but like in every country 2nd leagues does not bring that many fans but imagine Miami FC playing against L.A. Galaxy where Beckham & Donovan play. I remember those days where Brasil, Colombia, Peru, & other countries played in the Miami Orange Stadium and there were no seats available and also there were so many people waiting in line just to come in..

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