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Man United, Liverpool, Spurs and Man City Aboard Miami Soccer Challenge Launch

miami soccer challenge 600x358 Man United, Liverpool, Spurs and Man City Aboard Miami Soccer Challenge Launch

City officials in Miami today announced a brand-new annual soccer tournament featuring some of the biggest clubs in world soccer. The new tournament, dubbed the Miami Soccer Challenge, will debut in January, 2013 and will run through 2015.

Marlins Park, the new stadium for the Miami Marlins baseball team, will host the annual competition. In January 2013, the baseball stadium will host at least one game featuring a top European club team against a top South American side.

Dutch legend Ruud Gullit was among the celebrities making the announcement.

Among the teams who have agreed to play in future tournaments are:

  • Manchester United,
  • Manchester City,
  • Liverpool,
  • Tottenham Hotspur,
  • AS Roma,
  • Boca Juniors,
  • Hamburg
  • Ajax,
  • Santos,
  • Benfica
  • And others.

While two or more teams will play in January, the organizers plan on having mini-tournaments scheduled at the baseball arena for future dates including the summer of 2014.

Today’s announcement comes hot on the heels of another successful summer of soccer in the United States where foreign teams have played in front of large crowds including 58,000 who saw AC Milan versus Chelsea at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami (the former home of the Miami Marlins team).

Summer versions of the Miami Soccer Challenge will undoubtedly be more convenient for Premier League teams playing in the tournament. It’s more likely that Bundesliga and South American teams will be able to compete during the winter.

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 →

10 Responses to Man United, Liverpool, Spurs and Man City Aboard Miami Soccer Challenge Launch

  1. IanCransonsKnees says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if the English teams taking part start to push for a winter ‘break’ now. If they were to introduce it then flew to the other side of the Atlantic to take part in another tornament there’d be hell up over here. I’m not sure how that would go down with the Premier League either. That said I’d be happy for them to wander off over there chasing all the dollar bills whilst wearing themselves out even more. At least they wouldn’t be able to trot out the too many games or fixture congestion excuses.

    Like The Gaffer says I can’t see the English sides taking part unless its held in the summer really.

  2. FCAsheville says:

    Nobody will even begin to take this seriously unless there is major money to be won. Unless the winner gets a pile of cash this is nothing more than more organized friendlies. I’m no fan of the MLS, but it would seem to make sense to include the top 1 or 2 teams each year.

  3. NC says:

    Gaffer, is this a Marlins/City/County effort to hold events at Marlins Park (money grab). Or are there groups involved that are interested in pro soccer in South Florida? If the latter is the case this seems like misplaced effort. Perhaps this comment belongs on mlstalk.com but south Florida’s pro soccer future is in Broward County, not Miami-Dade. If pro soccer organizers are involved they should focus their money and energy on getting people to Lockhart on Saturday nights.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Great question, NC.

      First, I agree with you that soccer fans in South Florida need to spend more time and energy in going to Strikers games at Lockhart. But attendance wise, they’re doing better than any soccer team has done in the past 10 years in South Florida (on the basis of attendance).

      Second, I think the move by Miami today is more of a response to try to start pumping money back into the stadium during the off-season since the stadium cost the taxpayers of Miami-Dade so much money. It’ll help give Miami more visibility as a MLS market, but I believe that wasn’t the intention of today. I don’t think they’re plugged in to trying to bring pro soccer to South Florida. They’re protecting their own interests (and those of Miami-Dade).

      I’m in agreement with you that South Florida’s pro soccer future is not in Miami-Dade. It’s either in Broward or Palm Beach County (FAU Stadium).

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  4. Joshua says:

    I really don’t see the point of a European team taking part in January. Except the Premier League, other Euro leagues have that break for a reason, and it’s not so they can be jetting off to friendlies across the Atlantic. If I was a player for one of those teams and forced to go play a friendly during “break” I wouldn’t be too happy.

    • Chris says:

      They do this nowadays in the gulf states, so why not Miami?
      Italy-Dubai is about 6 hours, Italy-Miami is 8 so not that much of a change.

  5. Mike says:

    Gaffer,

    Very happy at your decision to call it Joe Robbie Stadium. As it should be.

  6. Stephen says:

    Finally a reason to travel from my home in West Palm Beach to the new stadium.

  7. Javier says:

    Universidad de Chile should play this tournament!!!! is a great team, the best in South America!

  8. anthony lopez says:

    is this official ? and what are the dates for the tournament and is Atletico Nacional going to be in the tournament ??

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