The Team Soccer Fans Have Been Waiting For

  • Share
By: Jennifer Agress

Soccer Fans Unite in Miami

With players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Hope Solo and Mia Hamm, soccer has risen to global stardom as a premier sport in the US, South America, Europe and beyond. Thanks to the 2016 launch of Miami FC here in sunny Miami, soccer fans have reignited that passion in the Magic City.

Go to a soccer game and you’ll see diehard fans painted in the colors of their teams, wearing their favorite player’s jersey and cheering, yelling and screaming louder than they ever have before. At its core, soccer is a game of passion.

History of Soccer in Miami

Soccer in Miami first began in the early 1970s, when Elizabeth Robbie brought the Miami Toros to South Florida in 1973, making her the first woman to own a professional sports franchise. During that time, the team made it to the championship in 1974 and named two players, Warren Archibald and Steve David, league MVPs in 1973 and 1975, before becoming the Fort Lauderdale Strikers a year later.

As the Strikers, the team was very popular in South Florida. Between 1977 and 1983, the team welcomed a packed stadium and reached the playoffs every year, and in 1989, they won a national championship. With soccer now on everyone’s radar, the years that followed saw soccer clubs popping up all over South Florida. From the Miami Freedom and Miami Sharks to teams from Coral Springs and Boca Raton, and for four years, the Miami Fusion, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team.

Soccer ball
Soccer ball

Miami FC Today

Fast forward to May 2015 as Miami soccer fans celebrated the arrival of the Miami Football Club, or Miami FC, then a member of the North American Soccer League (NASL), which kicked-off its inaugural season in 2016.

Today, the Miami FC is a part of the revamped United Soccer League (USL) after moving up from the NASL, National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA). They currently play home matches on the campus of Florida International University at Riccardo Silva Stadium.

The launch of Miami FC is not only changing the landscape of sports in Miami, which has long only had football, basketball and baseball teams, but also giving Miami fans what they believe will be the lasting soccer team they have long been waiting for.

“From the start, I think I was like every other Miami soccer fan: skeptical. There have been multiple teams come through Miami, and every time, we all get hyped about having professional soccer in Miami before it falls through,” says Chris Corey, a member of the Dade Brigade, the official supporters group of the Miami FC and one of the team’s biggest fans. “I’ve come to the realization that Miami FC is doing it now and they are a proper club.”

Of course, every great team needs amazing leadership, and Miami FC has some of the best. Its co-owners are sports media entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and five-time European champion, FIFA World Cup competitor and former defender for AC Milan, Paolo Maldini.

In 2015, the pair announced Italian soccer legend Alessandro Nesta – an iconic defender, one of FIFA’s 2004 “100 Greatest Living Players,” a four-time recipient of the Series A Defender of the Year and a 2006 World Cup Champion – as their first head coach in franchise history. "Miami is a fútbol town, and we have some of the most loyal, knowledgeable soccer fans in the nation,” said former CEO Sean Flynn.

“This is one of the country’s premier soccer teams, with an incredible coach, at the right time for soccer in Miami. When fans go to our games, they have so much fun, and it’s easy to see why. My favorite part about going to games is being able to interact with Miami’s incredible soccer community.”

And speaking of a fan base, the soccer scene in Miami definitely has one. More than that, like any sports team with a large following, the Miami FC and its followers have become their own family.

In its short time as a professional franchise, Miami FC has a pedigree with winning championships starting with Spring and Fall Championships in 2017 is the NASL. As part of the NPSL, Miami FC has won the Sunshine Conference Championship twice, the South Region Championship twice and has been crowned National Champion of the league twice in 2018 and 2019. In their short stint as part of the NISA, they secured the East Championship in 2019.

In the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Miami FC shocked the soccer world by defeating two Major League Soccer (MLS) Clubs in the first two rounds of the tournament. They defeated Orlando City (3-1) and MLS Cup Champion Atlanta United (3-2) before falling to FC Cincinnati (0-1) in the third round of the tournament. Former FC standout, Stefano Pinho, lead the tournament with four goals.

Find more information and purchase tickets to a Miami FC match online.

Things To Do Nearby

Choose a category

{{ctrl.swiper.activeIndex + 1}} / {{ctrl.totalItems}}