Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Friendly pulled from proposed Miami stadium
by Ridge Mahoney, January 20th, 2009 7:01AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS EXPANSION] What had been billed as the first of perhaps many soccer games to be played at the new football stadium of Florida International  University in Miami never occurred.

Instead, Honduras and Chile played at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale Sunday after Chile's coach, Marcelo Bielsa, refused to play on the FieldTurf surface at FIU. Honduras had scheduled the match at  FIU to prepare for its Hexagonal opener Feb. 11 on the artificial surface at Saprissa Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, and trained on the field for more than a week.

Apparently, Bielsa and Chilean soccer federation officials weren't aware of the FieldTurf until a few days before the game and requested a change, citing the chances of injuries to players unable to get accustomed to the surface in training.

Carlos Pavon
and Toronto FC midfielder Amado Guevara scored in the second half for a 2-0 Honduras win watched by a large crowd at Lockhart, the former home of the NASL Fort Lauderdale Strikers that also hosted the MLS Miami Fusion from 1998 until the team's demise in early 2002.
The official attendance was 12,282. The Miami Herald described the 18,000-seat stadium as "near-capacity." The FIU stadium is nearly the same size.

Whether this development hinders the bid of Bolivian businessman Marcelo Claure and Barcelona president Joan Laporta to land an MLS expansion franchise in Miami isn't clear, yet league officials have   already expressed concerns about the FIU facility as well as the Miami market.

Claure has been quick to reply on both counts.

"Miami has all the ingredients," says Claure, whose extensive cell-phone and communications businesses are based in the city. "Fort Lauderdale is not the place to play soccer. They don't have a stadium with the perfect capacity. We have all the ingredients, it's up to us to make it work.

"[FIU] spent $54 million to build a stadium and they play only five   home games. It's brand new. It might not be the most beautiful stadium, but it's a B-plus. We are in West Miami, where all the non-
Cuban Hispanics live."

He has also clashed with MLS about starting up next year, not in the proposed next round of expansion in 2011. If serious problems develop with the Chester (Pa.) stadium project, scheduled for completion in time for the 2010 season, so goes the scuttlebutt, MLS may have no choice but to go with Miami, and push Philadelphia back to 2011.

League officials are reviewing bids from the five surviving applicants -- NFL owner Arthur Blank withdrew his Atlanta bid last week -- and MLS commissioner Don Garber last week said the plan 
is still to add two teams in 2011, with Philly starting up on schedule next year.

"These are tough times but so far, sitting here where I am, I'm very confident we'll be adding two teams for 2011," said Garber during the SuperDraft in St. Louis. "We believe our two teams will be as successful as our most recent expansion teams."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Chile longshots begin Copa America prep    
For the USA, the match against Chile Wednesday in Rancagua will the first match of the ...
What They're Saying: Phil Neville    
"I'd be first over there and I'd probably look to two-foot him or take him out ...
Video Pick: Artist and maverick, Riquelme retires    
Juan Riquelme announced the end of his fascinating career on Sunday, at age 36. The Argentine ...
Hope Solo's U.S. future remains up in air    
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati hopes women's national team star Hope Solo makes progress during her ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati     
"Sure. ... We've asked her to do a number of things, and she's going to have ...
MLS Trade Central: Orlando signs Colombian Rivas    
Orlando City signed highly regarded young Colombian Carlos Rivas. The 20-year-old midfielder scored 12 goals in ...
U.S. women to play send-off series in May    
U.S. Soccer will hold a send-off series of three matches against three different opponents over three ...
The Good, the Bad and -- FA Cup shockers     
Europe in a nutshell: Paul Pogba, Lionel Messi and Neymarin moving pictures; Lyon sizzling hot in ...
Fire revamps with three new DPs    
The Chicago Fire has added Scottish international Shaun Maloney to the growing list of British players ...
Tab Ramos: 'We were behind the eight ball'    
The USA beat El Salvador, 2-0, on Saturday to qualify for the 2015 U-20 World Cup ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives