SAT, 7AM ET
WED
NOT
SAT, 7:45AM ET
BUR
MUFC
SAT, 9:45AM ET
FUL
CAR
SAT, 10AM ET
MCFC
STO
SAT, 10AM ET
NEW
CRY
SAT, 10AM ET
QPR
SUN

Miami Bounces Back: But Turf Stands in the Way

jamaica el salvador miami Miami Bounces Back: But Turf Stands in the Way

Following the Confederations Cup final, we had a long discussion about South Florida as a market for football. While the TV ratings in English were higher in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market than any other in the country (with the nearby West Palm Beach market also ranking near the top of the ratings), the area is the largest metropolitan area in the country without an MLS team and one of only two markets to have seen an MLS team previously fail.

Additionally, current USL-1 side Miami FC struggles for a gate that would even be respectable on the USL-2 level. The Blues are not only last in average USL-1 attendance but would be third from last in USL-2 attendance were they a league lower.

Yet, last night without local favorite Haiti or a South American invite to boost the crowd locally, a respectable attendance figure was earned at FIU stadium. In the nine previous match days of Gold Cup action held through the years in Miami, the attendance was never above 25,000 without a South American invite.

Crowd numbers ranged from 5,000 to 22,000 with a pure CONCACAF group of teams, while the four match days that included Peru, Colombia and Brazil all drew over 30,000 fans, including back to back crowds of over 49,000 for Peru and Colombia in the 2000 Gold Cup group stage.

So yesterday’s crowd of close to18,000 for a group that included Canada, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Costa Rica was quite good, especially given the recent state of football locally. FIU Stadium with a “soccer specific” feel seems a good fit for International Football and MLS/USL. The atmosphere was great, the stadium nearly full and the crowd so lively, I and two other reporters ditched the press box late in the do or die game between Jamaica and El Salvador and joined the crowd.

Walter Centano, one of the best players this region has seen in the last decade had a classic performance earning man of the match honors. Centano’s heroics salvaged a draw for the Ticos against a superior Canadian side and sent Costa Rica, ever dangerous on to the knock out stages. Canada, even without Julian DeGuzman looked lively and dangerous. The Canadians along with Guadeloupe have been the top teams in this tournament thus far.

Jamaica, who features former Miami Fusion favorite Tyrone Marshall as well as several other current MLS and USL players pressed for a victory and got it thanks to Omar Cummings goal. But Cummings and Puerto Rico Islander Nicholas Addlery both had great chances at the end of the game to increase the scoreline and failed. Additionally, El Salvador had some good counter attacking chances and set pieces that were either saved by Donovan Ricketts or the woodwork.

A great two game evening, and a seemingly good venue made Miami’s Gold Cup night special.

But one major problem still exists for FIU Stadium: Artificial Turf. Canadian manager Stephen Hart was rightly borderline obsessive about the turf in his post match remarks choosing to focus on the affect it had on the match rather than to comment on the match itself. Canada’s tentative play early he attributed to the turf.

Hart is right. Several times last night, I saw unnatural bounces and players get their feet trapped in the junk surface not able to cut properly or react with the normal sharpness. In the US-Grenada match last weekend I observed some of the same issue on the turf in Seattle.

I’ll be honest: As much as I try and watch MLS or USL, turf pitches bother me so much that often times I skip matches on turf or simply watch them more passively. It’s one thing for MLS, still trying to find adequate ground to play in or USL whose clubs often fight for survival financially each and every year. But for international football the junk needs to be banned.

But FIFA has another attitude. In Peru, the U-20 Championship of 2005 were largely played on turf. But most South American clubs and players hate the stuff so gradually after that tournament the turf was abandoned. Same for Canada in 2007, where the majority of games were played on turf, but now Canadian coaches and players like Stephen Hart don’t want to get near the stuff.

Bob Bradley made his views on turf clear before the US traveled to Costa Rica in June. At the same time, the USA has a handful of players who flat out to refuse to play on the junk unless it is absolutely vital for their team or nation.

Florida has not had a stadium for football, or the real kind or American variety (what we call throw ball on this site) that hosts a professional team that has used turf since the 1970s. Three NFL franchises, three NASL, two MLS and several USL teams have played on natural grass.

Yesterday’s crowd demonstrated that Miami/South Florida can embrace an event with high caliber non South American or European players. The atmosphere was wonderful, and many in the press box remarked that MLS may have put Miami back on the radar thanks to the crowd. But the use of artificial turf at FIU stadium which is otherwise a great facility could and should be a deal killer for MLS or truthfully any future CONCACAF tournaments. Even if FIU insists on turf, a layer of grass should be placed by CONCACAF, should the Gold Cup return to FIFA (as I anticipate it would after last night) in 2011.

(Photo at top by Christopher Harris)

FINAL GROUP A TABLE:

1- Canada 7

2- Costa Rica 4

3- Jamaica 3

4- El Salvador 3

NOTE: UNLIKE THE CONFEDERATIONS CUP OR OTHER FIFA EVENTS WHERE GOAL DIFFERENCE AND GOALS SCORED ARE THE TOP TIEBREAKS, CONCACAF STRANGELY BREAKS TIES BASED ON HEAD TO HEAD MATCHUPS. SO, JAMAICA IS STILL ALIVE AND EL SALVADOR ELIMINATED FROM THE GOLD CUP. JAMAICA AWAITS THE RESULTS OF THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES TO DETERMINE IF THEY WILL ADVANCE.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

32 Responses to Miami Bounces Back: But Turf Stands in the Way

  1. The Gaffer says:

    I was definitely impressed by the crowd last night; not just the number of people there, but the excellent atmosphere and great vibe between all of the supporters.

    My only concern, moving forward, is that IF a big team comes to South Florida (be it an international team such as Mexico, Brazil or the USA) or a high-profile club team, where will they play? FIU only holds 20,000. And Pro Player Stadium (now LandShark Stadium) is ruined with the baseball diamond.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  2. Ian says:

    very impressive crowd yesterday. the turf however is a deal killer. sorry miami, you’re probably the best market for quality soccer in the country other than new york or la (not mls caliber but real high quality internationals)but turf kills it.

    those gold cup crowds in past games in miami was always impressive. didn’t the us have several 40,000 plus crowds in miami back in the dayi n the gold cup?

  3. Eric says:

    Why does a stadium in florida have turf anyhow?

    The crowd was good but truthfully two of the four goals were due to the turf in the first game and several near misses weren’t goals in the second game because of the turf.

    FIFA and CONCACAF promote turf because they have been bribed. But MLS doesn’t have to play by those rules and shouldn’t. Turf should be banned and until Miami, a huge metro area can build a soccer stadium with grass MLS should cross them off any expansion list or any revitilzed Fusion list.

  4. Steve says:

    Miami just shouldn’t be considered. They drew a great crowd last night, but they’ve already had one MLS team fail, and have the worts USL-1 draw there is. The Miami Dolphins sold only 87% of their tickets last year. That places them in front of only the 0-16 Lions. The Marlins are the worst draw in MLB, despite being a competitive team. Both the Heat and Panthers draw in the bottom half of their leagues. Miami just seems to have a hard time drawing fans to pro sporting events in any sport. I really don’t think they should be seriously considered for expansion.

  5. Lee says:

    The comments about miami are fine kartik, but the commentary about truf is the same b/s we’ve been hearing for years from you. The fact is when field turf was developed it has a feel more like grass and is cheaper to maintain. That makes a difference in poorer countries and with teams in USL on a tight budget. Also MLSE had to put turf at BMO because the cost of maintaining the grass in Toronto’s harsh climate is too expsneive. The same for most Canadian stadiums. The elitist views some soccer snobs have about turf is irresponsible and elitist. You people need to get over yourselves. KArtik, you whine about it so much that you have no credibility on the issue.

  6. Roger says:

    Miami will never support MLS or USL. It is a market made up of fans who want to see an “event.” Gold Cup always plays in Miami every two years because it’s an “event” and draws well.

    But like someone said above the regular sports teams in the market all draw badly. College Football also. The University of Miami won how many titles and still couldn’t sell out?

    It’s an event market . Good for Gold Cup, and great for the World Cup.

    Good for the Orange Bowl, great for the Super Bowl.

    Bad for MLS worse for USL.

    Bad for the NBA worse for the NHL.

    You get the point already?

  7. El Loco says:

    Kartik, you cleverly omitted a very troubling stat in your piece. In 2000, the four Gold Cup matches played in Miami outdrew COMBINED the 17 MLS and Open Cup games played by the Fusion that year COMBINED.

    That’s why even after MLS left the market CONCACAF always has Gold Cup group matches in Miami. the area supports national team soccer but not club soccer. Even friendlies at Lockhart with Honduras and Haiti outdraw anything they can draw in their home countries for friendlies but yet you cannot even get 250 people for an MLS exhibition game in Fort Lauderdale.

    MLS should never return to Miami. But the Gold Cup should always be played in Miami.

  8. The Gaffer says:

    Lee, I agree with Kartik. The turf was terrible last night. Anytime a player made a big kick into the field turf, you could see the turf bounce up. It was embarrassing. Sorry, but I can’t believe anyone would stand up and support field turf — unless you’re in a frigid climate.

    Roger and El Loco, the first few years of the Fusion were abysmal, both on and off the pitch. But in the last season, under Ray Hudson, the football on the pitch improved dramatically (the team had the best record in the league and played, by far, the most attractive football in the league that season). The Fusion improved off the pitch and finally began drawing their largest attendances of their short history.

    Unfortunately, just as soccer was finally making an impact in South Florida and the Fusion were garnering front page stories, the rug was pulled out from under them.

    There is a market for soccer in South Florida including MLS. Miami FC is another story (again, like the Fusion in the early days; they’re suffering from abysmal advertising and marketing).

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  9. TTB says:

    Look this is more a black mark than anything. Miami FC had 900 people for a July 4th game but you had 17,800 at the same stadium to see freaking Jamaica and El Salvador?

    Seattle is more with it- 33,000 for every Sounders game but this meaningless tournament that shouldn’t even be played only drew 15,000. Columbus only drew 7,000 for the same crummy teams. These people in those cities are real fans who support their clubs and the American game but not some manufactured event that roles into town with a lot of press and hubris but really means nothing.

    I’m insulted that this tournament is even played without consideration to how much it has hurt the MLS and USL seasons that are ongoing as every team in MLS and several in USL are without key players for weeks on end because of the b/s garbage.

  10. Steve says:

    Agreed…the Gold cup is a nice tournament every 4 years when the prize for winning is the Confed Cup. It really means nothing being held this year.

  11. Lawerence R. says:

    The Fusion drew well the last year without the benefit of USMNT doubleheaders. Gold Cup has also generally drawn well in Miami.

    I think the market has been the victim of bad marketing by the Fusion and Miami FC as well as the distance from the other cities in both leagues. Natural rivalries that draw interest and minimal and for AEG or the Krafts Miami was too out of the way.

    I don’t know what happened with Barca, but as someone from outside Florida, I have to say a soccer league in the US that calls itself major without a Florida team is a joke. Just look at the US national team and youth national team rosters and see how many players are from florida? ALOT. Why is the US Development Academy in Florida? Why do other nations always hold friendlies in Florida? Why is Copa Latina in Miami a huge event on the calender of South American scouts?

    If MLS aims to be a niche soccer mom/suburban league forget Miami, Tampa and place like Phoenix and San Diego. If the league wants to really connect they must return to these markets and tough it out long term even if their are short term loses.

  12. Steve says:

    It’s not about short term losses…Miami sports franchises have traditionally been terrible draws. Pro sports teams in Miami don’t draw well. Baseball doesn’t, Football doesn’t, Hockey and Basketball don’t, Miami is even the worst draw on the Nascar circuit…and they host the last race of the year. I agree with you on Phoenix and San Diego, possibly even Tampa. Miami can’t seem to support any of it’s pro sports, it makes zero sense to try to force into a failing market.

  13. The commentary about Miami is fine. I happen to disagree and believe MLS and its peculiar salary and squad rules, etc really soured this market. Perhaps the damage has been done and MLS needs to be extra careful about returning.

    The only bone I have to pick here is with TTB’s characterization of this tournament as a waste of time. The majority of nations that make up CONCACAF don’t have a hope making a World Cup and many don’t have real organized professional leagues. CONCACAF needs to help these nations keep their national teams sharp and federations functional. CONCACAF does not exist for the benefit of the US, Mexico and MLS. In fact MLS makes money off this tournament since SUM promotes it. All the press people at the venue here in Miami were SUM press officers.

    The interruption to the MLS and USL seasons are the fault of those leagues. MLS could schedule smartly and have minimal interruptions as they did in the 1998 World Cup where despite playing right through the tourney they scheduled smartly and minimized the matches for teams affected by the tourney. But the league doesn’t do that anymore.

    Also, it is insulting that a market the supports MLS so well yet doesn’t show for a US national team game is lauded by you for doing so. No offense to Seattle, but playing a game on turf in front of a tiny crowd is not good for the USMNT or any of our players. And our national team must ALWAYS take precedence over the club game. So I don’t think I would be complimenting what was an embarrassing turnout for a Saturday night, especially when RFK got 11,000 more fans on a Wed. night for the next US game.

  14. Lars says:

    Kartik, I agree with the Seattle point and I agree with Nation before Club. I’m torn between De Guzman going to TFC and staying Europe for this reason…

    In North America, country is over club. In Europe, it’s the other way around. I happen to like our set up better than the European set up…

  15. Lars- I was told last night in the press box that no one associated with the CSA wants JDG to leave Europe. They are telling him that at 27 he won’t stay sharp enough to lead them in the next world cup cycle if he comes to mls now.

  16. Lars says:

    They’re right…but still, as a TFC fan… :P

    I want him to stay in Europe but it’s a 55% to 45% part of me..ya know?

  17. Pieter Brown says:

    There was an amazing feel in the stadium last night. It just proves once again Miami can support soccer. The trick is getting these fans out to see pro soccer in Miami. We need an ownership group that is committed and has the knowhow to grab these soccer fans to MLS or USL games. We need an owner that does more than just through out a team on the field and expect the fans to show up. The fans in Miami are very soccer savvy. They need a good product properly promoted. Miami can support soccer and this tournament is proof of that.

  18. berkshire says:

    yea we need to get rid of the turf. nice article

  19. Derek says:

    Great turnout last night and further proof Miami/South Florida has tremendous potential as a soccer market. Miami FC’s problems are mostly because it is pretty much a 3rd rate organization in a 2nd rate league, and without the hope of promotion that lower divisions offer in other countries. No TV or radio coverage, close to zero promotion, a flat out poorly run operation(not that the Miami FC staff don’t try their best, they certainly do, it’s more the ownership that has failed).

    With a proper venue(a SSS, although FIU would suffice purely as a temp venue, with or without the FieldTurf), and even halfway decent ownership, MLS could and would thrive here. And Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, it doesn’t matter(just accurately name the team this time, if it’s in Ft. Lauderdale call them the Strikers!). The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers did very well in the late 70s/early 80s, and if not for a league on it’s last breaths and the Robbie family getting out before it collapsed, they were doing great, averaging 11,893 fans over their 7 seasons here, just under the NASL average, and just under Lockhart Stadium capacity at the time. The APSL and USISL Strikers also did well for minor league clubs. The Fusion averaged close to 10K fans in their short existence, not great, but on par with several other MLS teams at the time including Tampa, Dallas, Kansas City, and San Jose(who lost and got their team back since then, with no new stadium). While the Hunts and AEG saved other teams on similar footing as the Fusion, the league and Horowitz pulled the plug on the Fusion right when they were beginning to catch fire on the field and at the gates. Pulling out of a fantastic soccer market like South Florida and keeping places like KC and Dallas in the fold is flat out mind boggling. Get someone running things that has the proper resources to do it right(i.e. not Horowitz), and someone who is actually committed to South Florida and soccer(i.e. not FC Barcelona or Marcelo Claure), and Miami can become one of the showcase cities in MLS someday.

    Also, as far are larger international matches and the World Cup is concerned, with the new Marlins ballpark opening in 2012 the baseball diamond will be gone from Land Shark Stadium, so big time matches could and would be held there(it’s on the list of preferred venues for the current US WC bids)

    Now, as for the notion that Miami/South Florida does not support pro sports in general, let me pull up the numbers for those who have brought that up:

    The Miami Heat have averaged 17,521 fans since their inaugural season in 1988, playing the first 12 seasons in the 16,000+ capacity Miami Arena. Except the few lottery seasons early in this decade, they have done very well in terms of fan support.

    The Florida Panthers have averaged 15,936 fans since their first year in 1993, the and until 1999 at the same low capacity Miami Arena. They also haven’t won a playoff series since 1996(when then went to the Cup, seems like 100 years to me), and haven’t even been to the postseason since 2000. It’s amazing anyone shows up, so the numbers they do get are quite respectable.

    The Dolphins average attendance numbers for some reason are not anywhere on the web, but rest assured they do just fine. They had one home playoff game blacked out like 10 years ago. That’s about as bad as it has ever been for them. They pack the stadium and are the main sports team in town.

    The Marlins, the most frequently cited “bad sports town” reference, have averaged 20,811 fans since 1993, their first year. Why? The play in quite possibly the WORST venue for watching baseball in the history of the Major Leagues(certainly the worst current venue by a wide margin). Bad sight lines, oppressive heat and rain for most of the season, and a ridiculously oversized capacity work against them. Plus you throw in two post-title fire sales and there’s your answer. We are finally getting a new retractable roof ballpark with A/C, and they should have had it from day one. Baseball in South Florida simply isn’t workable without it. See Arizona. However, the fans are there, they just don’t come to the crappy current ballpark. The Marlins consistently rank in the upper half in TV ratings(12th in 2007).

    Considering the short life span of 3 of our 4 major teams(and all of our soccer teams, past and present), coupled with the number of transplants in the area, and I truly believe the support we’ve had for our teams is impressive. Once a second and third generation of true South Florida sports fans appear, we’re really in business.

    BRING MLS BACK TO SOUTH FLORIDA DAMMIT!!!

  20. biskethead says:

    “Crowd numbers ranged from 5,000 to 22,000 with a pure CONCACAF group of teams, while the four match days that included Peru, Colombia and Brazil all drew over 30,000 fans, including back to back crowds of over 49,000 for Peru and Colombia in the 2000 Gold Cup group stage.”
    So sorry to tell you your facts are wrong and your point is misleading. The fact you point to is 3 S American teams played in 2000. Incorrect ……..only Peru and Columbia played in Miami that year. Also that year USA, Peru Haiti made up one group while Honduras, Columbia and Jamaica made up the other group for double headers. This is why GC had back to back 49k fans.
    “Yet, last night without local favorite Haiti or a South American invite to boost the crowd locally, a respectable attendance figure was earned at FIU stadium. In the nine previous match days of Gold Cup action held through the years in Miami, the attendance was never above 25,000 without a South American invite.”
    Your point seems to state that S American nations have the attendance. I disagree. It is the Central American teams that bring the crowds to the Gold cup. I would also say that only in Miami is when you see a huge Haitian or Jamaican crowd. Caribbean nations and S American nations do not have a large following at these games.

    “that MLS may have put Miami back on the radar thanks to the crowd. “

  21. River says:

    “Cheaper to maintain” said Lee

    Its not only cheaper, its garbage. I suspect that insurance premiums are higher because its much easier for players to get hurt as opposed to real grass.
    South Florida needs a domed stadium , parking at FIU was ridiculous almost a mile away in the HEAT and PEA Soup humidity. yuk!
    Kartick:
    I’m sure you found the games much more enjoyable from inside the air conditioned press box.

  22. Actually, I never implied Brazil was in the 2000 group- included in that analysis was the 1998 group and the 2003 semifinals which included Brazil. I should have said 5 match days instead of 4- that was the factual error. Also note I never said only South American countries but I said, SA/Haiti. With no SA or Haiti in this group, the crowd was remarkable. If the game was held at Lockhart more Jamaicans would have gone- I spoke to a few who simply didn’t want to drive to FIU as the bulk of the West Indian community is in Central Broward (hence the great Cricket ground in Lauderhill) Keep in mind more Haitians are in North Dade so FIU is convenient. while the Jamaicans, Trinis, etc are in Broward and FIU is a hike.

  23. Lucho305 says:

    If we don’t have a SSS with natural grass, why don’t we make one in downtown? Where the Miami Arena was before, there is nothing there but dirt and empty space. Maybe a small soccer specific stadium with natural grass can be made, im sure all the friendlies would fill up quick and pay off for itself quickly…

    I want a stadium in downtown!! NAtural grass!! 18.000 seat stadium!!

  24. tom says:

    South Florida needs an MLS team!! FC Miami has zero marketing (have you been to their website??) i can never find out when the games are or where their are (since they switch between fort laud and miami). the FIU stadium sucks, with only two ways to get in, it takes over an hour to get into the stadium and its also in the middle of nowhere.

    The fans are there but if you ask people in south florida 99% dont even know we have a soccer club. same with the gold cup, if your not a die hard fan you would never of known the match happened. just ask people they have no idea, there is zero marketing.

  25. The Gaffer says:

    I agree with Tom. Many soccer die-hards I know in South Florida who devour the game had no idea the Gold Cup game was on Friday night. Few of them even know that Miami has a USL team. The marketing has been terrible, and I agree with Tom that even those who do know Miami FC exists have the task of trying to figure out where the games are going to be played each week – is it FIU or is it Lockhart?

    FIU definitely shouldn’t be the home of soccer in South Florida. Driving to the game required snaking through a one-lane road throughout the FIU campus. Horrible traffic control and definitely not a place to go see a game week-in, week-out. The stadium itself was cozy (see the video from Kartik and me earlier this year at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KsTFN67CHY ), but the field turf has to go.

    Maybe we can get a team at Landshark Stadium after the Marlins finally move out of there in 2012?

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  26. erick says:

    The anti Miami sentiment is so crazy… even having the highest (#1) rating for the USA-Brazil game by more than 2 rating points over NY. And after hosting 17,269 fans in a brand new facility, to see El Salvador vs Jamaica and Canada and Costa Rica, not at the top of soccer world (ala Barca, Milan, and Chelsea all playing in the US this summer). Besides what are the other amazing soccer markets left for MLS to go, Montreal, St. Louis maybe, I mean is this is not enough to be the 21 or 22 franchise, I don’t know what is.

  27. Vnice says:

    A few thoughts…

    Is it possible to use a ball with slightly less bounce on turf?

    Miami seems like too big a risk…the track record has flashes of brilliance, but too inconsistent to merit a full time MLS side. BUT…I think a smaller stadium (15 thousand like San Jose’s new one, with natural grass, maybe downtown, or somewhere VERY urban), and proper marketing might make it work. Who knows.

    To the guy who thinks that not including Florida makes MLS a joke, get over yourself. I think the attendance figures of all major sports teams there speak for themselves.

  28. Great tournament, great atmosphere.
    Read a great new soccer comedy following the fortunes of Paul Marriott, the Secretary of the Barnstorm Village Sunday soccer team, and coach of a school cricket team in Yorkshire, England. The story describes the remarkable camaraderie between the players and supporters of this little club and their desire to achieve success. Nonetheless, the team is known more for its antics off the field, rather than their performances on it.

    During his time at the club he meets and becomes involved with Emma Potter, who is the sister of James Potter, a major player for their bitter rivals Moortown Inn. Thus, begins an entangled web of romance and conflict. He also begins working at Derry High School, a school with a poor reputation of academic success, where he becomes coach of the school cricket team. Here he develops an amazing relationship with the children and embarks on an epic journey.
    http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ClassesApart.html

  29. Uncle Ed says:

    Bring MLS back to Miami!

  30. Julio says:

    Last Friday night Gold Cup was awesome!! MLS in Miami can be a success no question. FIU stadium would be a great place to see it, but with grass. Investor like Marcelo Caure with his passion to see MLS come to Miami I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The Miami Ultras http://www.miamisoccerfan.com will continue to support our current pro soccer team, but we all want to see MLS in Miami we will also continue to spread the word in the South Florida soccer community.

  31. Soccer Guru says:

    Miami is still a good market. MLS isn’t up to par. Let’s face it- Seattle, Columbus those kinds of markets adopt MLS but have shown they struggle supporting international soccer. Miami as the recent ESPN ratings showed and this turnout for four “small” national teams likes international football but doesn’t see MLS or USL at a high enough standard.

    If MLS becomes the big time league Garber claims it needs to be, Miami will return as a successful market. Keep in mind the Fusion went downhill largely because of MLS’ interfering in the allocation of players namely Valderrama and then reassigning players randomly including some youth prospects when Miami was first in the allocation line.

    Tampa was a disaster but by 2001 Miami had turned the corner and would have been okay, like a Colorado or Dallas if the plug hadn’t been pulled.

  32. Matt. says:

    i believe Miami should have an MLS team. With the type of diversity of different people from different countries that trully love the game of football would like to have a team to cheer for in their hometown.
    If they brough MLS to Miami and market it more to the people than i think there could be a huge turnout. football is growing in the United States and i believe this will help the growth,
    BRING MLS to MIAMI!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>