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Time for South Florida Soccer Fans to Stand Up and Meet Don Garber

lockhart stadium Time for South Florida Soccer Fans to Stand Up and Meet Don Garber

Sold out crowd at Lockhart Stadium for Miami Fusion v DC United

Apologies to the rest of the world, but I have an important announcement for soccer fans in South Florida. If you’re reading this and you’re in the area this weekend, it’s time for you to stand up and show how much you love soccer by meeting with Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber this Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 1pm. Garber wants to meet with the Miami Ultras and other soccer fans.

This possibly may be the last time we get a chance to vote with our feet and demonstrate to Garber why South Florida should get a MLS team. The New York Cosmos are a red-hot favorite to land the 20th spot in the league, so South Florida is up against some serious competition. The Cosmos have considerable financial backing from investors. South Florida has a group of people who have banded together to create enough noise to make Garber to take note and listen.

Soccer fans in South Florida have gone through a lot of pain and suffering over the years with false dawns, teams contracting, Barcelona teasing us that they were going to be financing a team but then the economy took a nosedive just when it seemed that MLS was returning to the southeastern United States. The list goes on and on. But we can take pride in the fact that we’ve shown glimmers of making soccer a success in South Florida. The sold-out crowd for Miami Fusion’s opening game in 1998. The near sell-out in 2010′s Gold Cup when Costa Rica played Canada followed by Jamaica versus El Salvador. Of course, we’ve had similar big crowds throughout the last few decades especially when world-class teams came to visit including Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Colombia and the United States.

So if you love soccer and want to see Major League Soccer return to South Florida, I urge you to take a couple of hours of time this Saturday and come out to the meeting. Sit in and listen, or bring your questions you want to ask Garber. The man has been kind enough to take time to meet with us. The least we can do is come out in numbers and show our support.

The meeting with Garber will be held at 3030 Restaurant at Marriot Harbour Beach Hotel, 3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316. I hope to see you there.

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 →

93 Responses to Time for South Florida Soccer Fans to Stand Up and Meet Don Garber

  1. Robert says:

    So supporters now have to prove themselves as fans to Lord Garber in order to gain access into the closed society of MLS? That doesn’t scream corruption.

    • Joe says:

      Oh Robert. Does your head ever start to hurt from repeatedly banging against the wall?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Robert, how is fans talking to Don Garber about a South Florida MLS team corrupt? Garber probably questions whether there is the demand in South Florida from fans that will fill the seats or not. Thus, a large crowd will give him confidence that people in South Florida care and want a team. How is that corrupt?

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Robert says:

        Sounds like you are in favor of one man controlling the growth of the league. Before Lord Garber panders to a supporters group he should brush up on marginal revenue and see that expansion is killing the league.

        • njndirish says:

          Please provide proof. Why are the five most recent expansion clubs doing very well at the box office despite 2 of them doing not so great on the pitch.

      • bandeeto says:

        Out of the last 5 expansion teams there are league leading attendances, US open cups won, an MLS cup won… how is expansion killing MLS?

      • Taly says:

        How is expansion killing the league? There are a ton of soccer clubs in the world that mine for talent.

    • Charles says:

      IF an investor step forward, and unlike the first owner of the Sounders, likes the MLS structure/ownership rules etc….then FL will have a MLS team. No corruption. It is not an either/or thing with the NY Cosmos. MLS has never said the 20th team will be the last. IT WONT BE.

      IF not FL has the Strikers in a league you shoud be crazy excited about Robert.

    • njndirish says:

      It’s the way American sports leagues work, don’t like it? Move to another country.

      • Robert says:

        American sports league? Oh you mean corporate welfare and cities taking on stadium debt liabilities on its books and making interest only payments on the debt? That American sports league?

        • Joe says:

          European model? Oh you mean massive “clubs” taking on half a million dollars of debt and continuing to spend recklessly while winning the league year after year after year? That European model?

          • Joe says:

            whoops. Meant half a billion, obviously.

          • Robert says:

            Who said anything about European model? So you are ok with corporate welfare and tax burdern liabilities for your city but you aren’t ok with 1 team always winning. Remember, soccer is a game for kids and the latter is reality.

          • Joe says:

            You’re right, soccer is a game for kids. So go out and enjoy a game in your own country without moaning and whining about business models.

          • Joe says:

            You’re the one who constantly comments about how great American soccer would be if we had clubs instead of franchises and promotion/relegation. You espouse the panacea European model on an almost daily basis.

          • Robert says:

            Joe are you done drinking that MLS kool-aid prepared by Lord Garber? The question I have for you is this. Do you have a MLS franchise in your city?

          • Joe says:

            MLS Kool Aid! Wow that’s original! I’ve never heard anyone use that term before, especially not on this website! You’re brilliant!

            Alright, I’m done talking business models on a website about a game. Maybe you should go to a finance site. You’ll have a blast!

        • Dave C says:

          Some European stadiums are also municipally financed. It’s pretty common in Italy, I believe. And didn’t Real Madrid essentially get bailed out by the local and national government in Spain? It’s a rarity in England, but my home city (a recent EPL team) plays in a stadium that was paid for and owned by the local council.

          Publicly-financed stadiums are not synonymous with US sports, and they’re definitely not impossible in a pro/rel structure, which we know is your utopia.

  2. MLS fan in Chicago says:

    Bring MLS to Miami…..

  3. Garrett says:

    So by “people who have banded together to create enough noise to make Garber to take note and listen” you are referring to the 3 people who have created multiple twitter and email accounts that constantly bombard Garber under the guise of a hoard of people?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Garrett, the Miami Ultras are much larger than 3 people.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • Garrett says:

      You’re right. They have about 15 people. Only 3 of them can read, so those are the ones who use twitter and email in a somewhat coherent manner to give Garber the impression that thousands of people in South Florida want professional soccer.

      • The Gaffer says:

        Garrett, what evidence do you have regarding this?

        Cheers,
        The Gaffer

        • Garrett says:

          All photos/videos of their supporters section have at most 15 people. Evidence is pretty clear. As to them not being able to read, talk to them, it’s pretty apparent they’re lacking in the intelligence department.

          • The Gaffer says:

            Garrett, are you a Rowdies fan in disguise? Have you met or spoken to the Ultras? Have you been to a Miami FC game?

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Garrett says:

            Yes I am a Rowdies supporter. I won’t hide that. I’m also a supporter of MLS in general, and I don’t want them to prematurely go into markets that aren’t ready for MLS. Hopefully the Strikers can average more than 1,500/game next season. More fans in the seats would be a better indication of the viability of MLS in the market than World Cup ratings.

            I have been to Miami FC games. They had very few supporters at those games, and photos/videos of other games on their website indicate the same thing. And I have spoken with their supporters, none of whom sound or act intelligent.

            They do have drums though, I’ll give you that. Lots of drums.

          • The Gaffer says:

            Garrett, no wonder you’re so biased since you’re a Rowdies fan. That explains everything.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Garrett says:

            Gaffer,
            Your logic and reasoning clearly outweighs mine. The fact that I support the Rowdies makes anything I write invalid. It even invalidates facts that I state. It also proves theories such as World Cups ratings as a measuring stick for MLS viability not only correct, but as the only right answer. Where can I pick up “The Gaffer’s how-to on Soccer in America,” as I need to read this in order to become unbiased and to refrain from stating facts in my arguments. It’s probably sold at most retail book stores, so if you don’t have time to get back to me tonight I will just pick it up tomorrow.
            Cheers,
            Garrett the biased Rowdies supporter

          • The Gaffer says:

            Garrett, you’re obviously biased because you’re a Rowdies supporter and it’s almost impossible for a Rowdies supporter to say anything positive about Miami, including making up numbers of how many Ultra fans there are. I’ve been to many Miami FC games and there are far more than 15 people.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Garrett says:

            Your have a nice stadium.

            I think you misunderstood me, which seems strange since you’re the all knowing Gaffer. I realize there are hundreds, if not over a thousand, people at Miami FC games. However, in terms of singing/drummer/standing Ultras, I have never seen more than 15 of them. In person or online. Please prove evidence otherwise.
            Cheers,
            Garrett

          • The Gaffer says:

            Garrett, I’ve sat with the Ultras. I’ve met the Ultras. There are far more than 15 of them.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Garrett says:

            Gaffer,
            If you say so, although I’ve seen such an occurance. Since you’re the expert here, what’s the most amount of Ultras you’ve seen at a game before. And how many Ultras would you say show up, on average. The people sitting near them but not actively involved in the section don’t count. Just curious.
            Cheers,
            Garrett

    • Miami says:

      Garrett you are a Moron!. For your information they might have to turn away people at the meeting because there will not be not enough room.

  4. mugwamp says:

    So if only a half dozen people show up, does that mean that you’ll go away and stop this silly nonsense about South Florida being able to support a MLS team?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Mugwamp, no. South Florida is a population of approximately 5 million people and one of the top markets for viewership of the 2010 World Cup in the entire United States. For Florida and the southeastern United States not to have a MLS team is abysmal. We’ll fight as hard as we can to convince people to bring a team down here.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Joe says:

        Gaffer why did the Miami Fusion fold in the first place? Just curious…

        • Daniel Feuerstein says:

          I heard the Owner of the Fusion didn’t give his all. Horowitz was a jerk and just didn’t do a good job and insulted the Fusion fans. But Gaffer & Kartik can give a better description if what I said was only a rumor.

          • The Gaffer says:

            Daniel, not sure if Horowitz was a jerk or not. I met him at a couple of the Fusion games but he seemed OK. He didn’t insult the Fusion fans. It was just a shame that he didn’t decide to continue funding the team especially when the Miami Fusion had such an unbelievable season.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

        • The Gaffer says:

          The owner, Ken Horowitz, bankrolled the team from 1998 until near the end of the 2001 season where he said he didn’t want to invest any more money in the team/league. When Horowitz pulled the plug, MLS decided to shut down the team.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

  5. njndirish says:

    My only issue is that the Heat struggle to sell out even with the best talent in the NBA (and that’s with the NBA’s style of counting tickets distributed) how do the soccer fans of South Florida plan on putting butts and seats and making South Florida MLS a desirable product.

    Additionally, Gaffer, quoting World Cup figures doesn’t do it. World Cup fans means that the viewer is seldom a true soccer fan. Rather he or she likes to be a patriot (olympics), just watches it for the spectacle (Super Bowl) or likes the big name players and wakes up at 7 am to watch them rather than go see their local club.

    As I stated above what will the South Florida soccer fans do to make Miami a more desirable product in comparison with NYC2 and what will they do to bring the fans who watch other leagues over to supporting their local side?

    • Dave C says:

      NJIrish,
      I don’t understand your point about WC viewing figures. Sure, not all WC viewers are die-hard genuine soccer fans, but surely a portion of them are? So surely, the higher the number of WC viewers in any given place, the higher the number of genuine die-hard soccer fans?

      So quoting the number of WC viewers in any given place (compared to elsewhere) is a pretty good way to gauge the potential soccer fans in an area.

      • Miami Ultra says:

        Also of note is that Miami-Fort Lauderdale was #1 for USA-England, in English, and adjacent West Palm was also in the top 5. That’s not even counting the Spanish broadcast numbers.

      • njndirish says:

        Die-hard soccer =/= die-hard MLS. Might as well give San Diego a franchise as well.

        Local soccer is something that needs to be developed and looking at Miami’s sports scene, it’s just not there.

        • bandeeto says:

          San Diego would be a great place for an MLS team. They could name it something that rhymes with… oh i don’t know… Chivas. Would be great if it drew the interest of the hispanic community as well. To bad there are no teams like that in the US.

        • Dave C says:

          But unless you’re saying that there is NO overlap between the groups “people who watch the World Cup” and “People who would watch a local MLS team”, then surely there must be a correlation between WC audience figures and potential MLS viewers?

          • BobbyB says:

            There doesn’t “have” to be any correlation.

            World Cup saw a huge boost in TV viewers this year but how did that translate to viewership of MLS? It had zero effect (unless we are going to argue that without the WC MLS television ratings would have been lower).

  6. Miami Ultra says:

    Very excited about the meeting with Garber! All fans should also try to make it over to the Combine at the Lauderhill Cricket Stadium after the meeting too!

    To the comments above from njndirish, the Heat DO sell out. It’s just that many of the expensive lower bowl tickets are sold to the fashionably late, South Beach jerk-offs who show up in the second quarter in their polo shirts and boat shoes. The Heat unfortunately have priced the real fans out of many of the seats in the place. But that has nothing to do with soccer support.

    As for your soccer remarks, I don’t see how NYC is much different from Miami/South Florida. Millions and millions of people from someplace else where soccer is king, they have their own team(s) already, MLS is a tough sell. And oh, the NYC metro area with like 18 million people can’t sell out games for the MLS team they already have, with the best soccer stadium in the country and great players.

    The Fusion were a mismanaged disaster, so was Barcelona’s bid for a team. Miami FC has been no better. Hopefully things will turn around in terms of tangible support when the Fort Lauderdale Strikers return to the field at Lockhart this spring. In the old NASL and later the ASL/APSL, the Strikers did draw good crowds consistently.

  7. Jim says:

    Question from an outsider, are Miami people more or less likely to go because this event is being held in Ft. Lauderdale?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Jim, good question. Hopefully it makes no difference. It’s only 30 minutes from Miami to Fort Lauderdale. It’s 60 minutes from my home near West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale, and I’m definitely going.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  8. duder says:

    Miami soccer fans are much more deserving of the 20th franchise than NY, especially after all they have been through with their old owner destroying their club. NY already has a club and has had the most money sunk into it more than any other MLS club. They don’t deserve a second team, they already have the cream of the crop. They don’t need a cross town rival either… they did it in LA and it’s stupid, LA’s rivalry with SJ and Seattle is much bigger than Chivas. Besides, NY already has nearby rivals in Boston, DC, and Philly.

    • Miami Ultra says:

      Couldn’t agree more. People make the argument that South Florida already had a chance, and shouldn’t get another team, but it’s okay for NYC to have two at the same time? It makes no sense.

      If RBNY can sell out their fantastic stadium 5 years in a row, AND MLS gets back into the southeast, then start talking about two teams in one market. New Yorkers can moan all they want about the Red Bulls being in Jersey, but it’s more accessible than the Meadowlands was and there are 18 million people in the area. If they want the Cosmos so bad then complain to RB and petition them to change the name.

      • Clampdown says:

        It actually doesn’t matter what any of us think regarding whether or not NY “deserves” a second team, or its relative merits compared to trying South Florida again. As soon as MLS thinks the Cosmos are ready to join, they will be joining MLS. It’s all about the brand and marketing.

        (for the record, I am a Red Bulls season ticketholder and am in favor of Florida having a team in MLS)

        One other thing … if San Jose does not get its own stadium within the next few years, they will relocate, again.

        • Duder says:

          “One other thing … if San Jose does not get its own stadium within the next few years, they will relocate, again.”

          Wow, it’s people like you who are what’s wrong with MLS. SJ plays in the worst stadium in MLS, had their fanbase completely wrecked by the first move, and they still draw similar to a team with a SSS – Dallas, and you want them to move? The Bay Area is the 5th largest media market in the country. Are you insane? That would be terrible. SJ is going to get its stadium built you have to be patient because it is being 100% privately financed, unlike all the taxpayer subsidies other teams are getting.

          • Clampdown says:

            Hey genius, where did I say I would like San Jose to move? I didn’t, and I wouldn’t want that. I spend a lot of time in the Bay area and have friends who are season ticketholders for San Jose. They all worry about this.

      • Dave C says:

        the NYC metro area with like 18 million people can’t sell out games for the MLS team they already have, with the best soccer stadium in the country and great players.

        I know non-New Yorkers may scoff at this, but RedBulls being based in NJ is a serious reason why I (and I assume many others) don’t go to see them. I live in the middle Queens, pretty much near the geographic center of the five boroughs, and within five minutes walk of the subway…but it would take me about an 1:30mins on public transit (according to google maps), and about the same via car (in traffic, again according to google maps). Now bear in mind, google-maps tends to underestimate travel times in metropolitan areas, doesn’t account for weekend delays, etc etc, so if anything, those travel times are underestimated. I can’t imagine what the situation must be like for people coming from further east, or people farther from public transport.

        While I might make a four-hour round trip for a team for which I already had an established fandom, I’m not going to do it on a “try it, you might like it” basis for the Red Bulls. And if I were to ever go, it would probably be a one-off, to say I’d done it. I certainly would never commit to regularly trecking that kind of difference. (I know a few other NY-ers who are big soccer fans, and only a handful have ever been to see the Red Bulls, and only for such one-off visits. I don’t know any regulars).

        On the other hand, if there was an MLS team playing within about 1 hr of where I live, I would probably be a regular fan, even if they didn’t have the greatest players or the nicest stadium.

        I assume the vast majority of RB regulars are from NJ, rather than NYC, which is a shame given the number of soccer fans in NYC.

        • Clampdown says:

          Yes, there are plenty of people in NYC who refuse to go to NJ. Personally, I think it’s a shame, but I’m not going to lecture anyone on the issue. However, I will tell you that there a lot of people who come from NYC to the matches. It appears mostly from Manhattan, though, which is much easier than the outer boroughs. My door-to-door for RB matches is about 1:15 on the way to the match, and depending on who is playing as much as 1:45 to get home in Brooklyn.

          People who don’t live here will never understand the issue, and I’m done explaining it. But, if you put a team in NYC, it would easily draw at least 30K.

          • Miami Ultra says:

            I do understand the issue, as when I was in NYC in 2008(to see the Marlins close down Shea Stadium), I tried to make it to a RBNY game at Giants Stadium, and after a day packed with sightseeing and so forth, we were stuck at our hotel in Queens and there just wasn’t enough time to make it over there before the game started.

            That still didn’t change my mind. I’ve driven an hour both ways to see Miami FC play on many occasions(before they moved closer to me), at a dumpy HS stadium with a track, and I don’t recall seeing any world class players there. I’ve driven 4 hours both ways to see road games in Tampa. If I can do that for minor league soccer, bad minor league soccer to boot, then with all the people in NYC the Red Bulls should not have a problem filling RBA.

          • Dave C says:

            @Miami Ultra…it’s admirable that you drive an hour way to see lower-level footy. It’s admirable that you sometimes drive 4hrs for an away game. But there’s a difference between a long journey to an away game, and a 1:30-2hr journey to each and every “home” game.

            I might go once just to say I’ve seen Thierry Henry live, but I would never want to do it on a regular basis.

  9. Garrett says:

    Wait so World Cup TV ratings are the measuring stick for a market’s MLS viability? Not success of D2 teams before getting promoted? What the hell is Garber thinking?!?!? We have to get a team in Miami AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and contract the teams in Seattle, Vancouver, Portland and Montreal immediately, if MLS wants to survive another year.

  10. mugwamp says:

    It seems real silliness to be bothering Commissioner Garber about adding a team in Southern Florida. If you guys want to have a MLS team in your area, find some people with the financial cajones and local connections to make it happen. The fact that nobody has come forward, even with all the money in the Miami area should tell you something. All you’re doing is making noise and wasting your time.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Mugwamp, how do you know that someone hasn’t come forward? Claure is still supposed to be interested and he has the financial cajones and local connections.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  11. Madison says:

    Gaffer,
    What really went down with the Barcelona/Marcelo Claure MLS bid? I always thought something was sketchy about the way the bid suddenly tanked at the last minute.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Madison, good question. Garber, I believe, blamed the lack of support in South Florida for a team in terms of low season ticket pledges. But the common belief is that when the economy took a nosedive, Barcelona changed their mind.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Miami Ultra says:

        Barcelona bailed AND Claure says he couldn’t justify dropping $40 million on a soccer team when he was laying people off from his company. The economy hit the bid very hard, but even still they could’ve stayed in it until MLS announced Vancouver and Portland. The whole thing was iffy from the get go, from the plans to play at FIU to the spelling error(“Show YOU Support!”) on the flyers that the ULTRAS, not anyone from the bid itself, handed out to get season ticket deposits.

        Garber’s BS about “low season ticket pledges”(which if memory serves was around 4,000 at the time the bid fell apart, and in 5 months with no promotion and no guarantee of a team is pretty good IMO), as well as his claim that he only got “1 email” from Miami supporters was bogus.

        And for the record, shut up Tampa fans. We may fail at bringing MLS back but it doesn’t hurt to try. You’d think fans in a market that was jerked around by MLS just like South Florida was would appreciate an effort to bring MLS back to Florida.

  12. WSW says:

    Miami is a joke, Do the Ultras even have a website? and comparing them too SOB is a disgrace to soccer fanbases in the U.S.

  13. The Gaffer and other Miami fans, make sure that your future MLS (if that is coming) don’t have a name like Barcelona Miami F.C. or something like, just as an example.

    I am brazilian and live here in Brasil (off course, Iv’e been in USA in 2007) and I can’t understand why some fans want the god dammit F.C. name in the teams plus some affiliation with another club from another country.

    I respect the fact tha Chivas decided to create a team there and don’t have nothing against the fans, but they should name something that relies in americans you know?

    You americans don’t realize how good is to have an identity like you have, as many teams in your country have. Try to keep your sports culture, no matter what.

    For the rest, good luck!

  14. WSW says:

    Gaffer, I’ve been to Miami FC games and the Ultras have 15 fans in their section. So don’t compare SOB to Ultras…hell the SA crocketeers have 250 members and they haven’t had a pro team. All the Ultras do is nag,cry,whine and complain to Garber, just shows what a bunch of losers the group is. If you want to impress the Don, Support D2 instead of I WANT MLS IN MIAMI NOW bullshit. Support local soccer, BTW WC tv figures doesn’t mean jackshit. Evertbody knows that Miami is a cesspool of immigrants who support their OWN home clubs and don’t give a shit about local soccer and MLS is local soccer.

    • Charles says:

      Roger,

      IF you wanted pro/rel in the 1970s…you must love it now.

      Probably 100 more fans than the zero the teams in the 1970s had (zero ).

  15. WSW says:

    Gaffer are you kidding about the Ultras website basically it’s a facebook page.

    • Uncle Ed says:

      @WSW This is the Ultras site: http://www.miamiultras.com/
      There are over 300 members in the Ultras but regrettably most don’t show up to Div 2 games. Most joined for MLS.
      I see you looked up the worst possible video. Be sure to look up the video for tomorrow, I’m sure you’ll see a lot of people in that one.

  16. TampaRowdy says:

    Erm, I’ve been to three Rowdies vs Miami FC games in Ft. Lauderdale so far and your insisting that there are more than a dozen or so Ultras is ridiculous. Rowdies traveling support outnumbered the home supporter section for all three of those games. Attendance in general at all three games was abysmal. I think 4 Ultras made the trip to one of the Miami games in Tampa, super support.

    Ok, I understand Traffic hasn’t been holding up it’s end of the bargain as far as promoting Miami FC, but please stop trying to polish a turd with this “there are more than 15 Ultras” stuff. There aren’t. It isn’t even debatable. And if you think Don Garber isn’t capable of looking at pictures and seeing how crappy attendance is at Miami games and just how few Ultras there in reality are, you are kidding yourselves.

    The fact is there is a better city in Florida for MLS and the American brand of soccer, that city is Tampa. Better attendance and U.S. support for international matches, better attendance and support for our local pro soccer team, better attendance and support for our own defunct MLS team. FAR Better attendance and support for our old NASL Rowdies.

    Just better, deal with it. Comparing what the Ultras are doing to SOB and what those guys accomplished is so bad. Have you seen the kind of support Philly has for their games? Please stop the jokes, denizens of Miami may love soccer where they come from but they do not and won’t support U.S. soccer and MLS in the way we need our teams to be supported. Facts are facts.

    Please stop with the goofy stuff or we’re gonna have to start posting photographic evidence of just how bad the support in Miami is.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Sounds to me that the Rowdies fans are jealous of South Florida soccer fans meeting with Don Garber while the Tampa contingent are being ignored. Is there even a movement to try to get a team in Tampa? I haven’t heard a word about it.

      “Rowdies traveling support outnumbered the home supporter section for all three of those games.” You’re dreaming. Yes, you brought about 30 fans and stood in that little corner, but there were far more Miami Ultras that your lot.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • TampaRowdy says:

        You can’t be serious in insisting that the Ultras are anything more than a handful of goofballs. Can you? You must be, since you keep repeating it. You know the truth, it’s ok if it hurts. The Mob outnumbered the Ultras after the Rowdies first ever pre-season game and we all know your players and your FO can only wish they had the same kind of support in the stands as what we bring in Tampa.

        We’re not jealous of the begging and crying for MLS and there isn’t a movement to get MLS to Tampa because we spend too much time supporting our pro D2 team as it is. Try that out for a season or two, maybe you’ll be taken seriously by the rest of the soccer world. Even Orlando City is going ot show you guys up right out of the gate. How sad. Miami has been around for how long?

        • Uncle Ed says:

          Tampa fans just can’t get over the fact that South Florida is way better.
          While you guys sit there and do nothing there will be other cities getting MLS. If we are not team 20 we will be 21. Even lowly Orlando will beat you guys out.
          I’d love to see Tampa get MLS but your sedentary asses will wait forever because you don’t want it as bad as we do.
          Eat our dust boys.

  17. TampaRowdy says:

    I’m not sure why my comment got posted in the middle instead of the end of the discussion, scroll up for my thoughts.

  18. News! says:

    I heard that more than 60 Ultras and other soccer fans will attend the Garber meeting.

  19. nc says:

    Gaffer – According to the Sun Sentinel and the Herald today the Dolphins are talking with Broward County about getting their hotel/bed taxes put toward the Sun Life Stadium upgrades that were proposed to keep South Florida in the good graces of the NFL for future Super Bowl considerations. The renderings of these upgrades would make Sun Life appear to be a nice candidate to become a useful facility in the same way that the Sounders use Qwest. Especially given the MLS schedule and Florida heat, the seat covering would be perfect. If the stadium’s owner Stephen Ross could be convinced to get in on the movement that would make total sense. He’s losing rent revenue from the Marlins starting in 2012, and a Miami MLS team would slide nicely into the vacancy. Plus we’d have a team investor who also owns the stadiums which is clearly desirable. What do you thinK?

    • The Gaffer says:

      NC, Sun Life Stadium would be perfect. It’s already been selected as the venue for the friendly between Barcelona and AC Milan this August. And the stadium was built for (1) soccer and (2) NFL. The last time I saw a soccer game there was 20 years ago! Let’s hope we can see plenty more soccer there in the future including possibly a MLS team.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • The Gaffer says:

        NC, are you planning on meeting Don Garber tomorrow to show the support for MLS in South Florida? If so, let me know as I’d love to meet you (and any other MLS Talk readers who are in the area tomorrow).

        Cheers,
        The Gaffer

  20. Roger says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qtNDkfuN_A&feature=related

    this is what we are missing on north american soccer.
    Just an example of what we cold have if we had the right system. This is a humble spanish club promotion to 2da A (not even first). Compare the atmostphere to our Dallas vs Colorado MLS Cup.

    • Jack says:

      Here’s where your logic falls apart. You claim that MLS is not a good league, but then you hold to this belief that if they instituted promotion/relegation, teams should be thrilled to be promoted….into a league that is not good.

      You assume that imposing a system that has no history in North American sports will instantly create passionate fans out of…well out of where exactly, Mr. Brilliant Soccer Promoter?

      • ExtraMedium says:

        Promotion and relegation would force crap teams to try harder in order to avoid relegation. Thereby increasing the quality of play from the ground up.

    • Charles says:

      Why do I get the feeling that the people that are in favor of promotion/relegation are 20 years old, with ZERO history of US soccer knowledge ?
      Seriously did you see the video posted above. I will post again:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_VVVspfmLA

      Do you think if we put pro/rel in place, this video turns into your video ? Seriously ? That is all it takes ? IF we had done pro/rel in 1970s like you proposed ( with no teams available I might add ) we would be there now ?

  21. Gaz Hunt says:

    The most important thing is to get a dedicated supporter’s group together. I remember ages before Philadelphia Union even had a name, the Sons of Ben were organized and getting people like me to sign up as supporters.

    Garrett, don’t worry about how many Ultras there are. If you think Tampa is a better location with more supporters, then suggest the leadership of that group to do something about it.

  22. Sancho says:

    HAHHAHAHHA!!!!

    I LOVE DERBIES!!! Both teams will be at MLS. I just can’t wait…

    This debate was awsome!

  23. ExtraMedium says:

    People in S. FL shouldn’t have to beg. A normal league structure would mean multiple FL teams. If you support MLS’ structure ask yourself whether Seattle, Toronto, Portland, Montreal, and Philly would’ve waited so long for teams…Hmm, I wonder what the abscence of $40+M franchise fees would mean for investment in American soccer. Hmm, I would if MLS would have more fans if instead of $40+M franchise fees, teams spent money on players…

    1. Independent clubs (the league has an absurdly low cap, so why does single-entity exist?)
    2. Open-pyramid
    3. Pro/reg

    This would help MLS because the league would no longer be on the hook for the teams financially like they are now. Over the long-run markets that could handle multiple teams would have multiple teams, and teams would generally settle at their appropriate level. This would cost $0.00 for MLS LLC/SUM LLC/USSF…Hell, you could keep single-entity but have local management boards. In Germany a minimum 50%+1 share of teams are held by the fans. So MLS could have a similar structure where Kraft, AEG etc. own MLS/SUM and all the trademarks, but long-term season ticket holders vote for club board of directors like Seattles GM votes.Win-win. Fans get clubs, MLS gets revenues.

    • Charles says:

      I can’t speak to Toronto, Portland, Montreal, and Philly
      But in Seattle. MLS wanted Seattle Sounders to join MLS…badly.
      As an original team. The Sounders didn’t want to join, like you they liked the free market idea better. Eventually they were sold, they were close to worthless.
      The new ownership jumped on the chance when a MLS friendly guy started running the Seahawks. He raised money and bingo, the Sounders are one of the most successful teams in the world….in MLS !!! AFTER BEING WORTHLESS !!! IN THE FREE MARKET LEAGUE !!!

      The idea that a Florida team would join MLS because they won a minor league soccer season is a joke. The MLS teams are putting tens of millions of dollars at risk. They are supposed to put their money more at risk just so they can be fair to all 310-20 million US citizens ?

      Give me a break. Lets say it happens ( again give me a break ).

      You just relegated Phildelphia, one of the highest drawing teams in MLS. They put up tens of millions of dollars a few years ago to get the team develop the team, etc. Now they are worth half that.

      Yeah, I see a ton of investors stepping forward now to support soccer in the US. Lining up at the door to provide top quality soccer as a charity.

  24. BTW says:

    It;s Time for Miami “to put up or shut up” after watching the meeting. Miami SHUT UP. Other supporters groups don’t need Garber has a motivational speaker.

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