Dutch brewing giant continues to invest in soccer and now has sponsorship agreements with 11 MLS clubs in addition to league-wide deal.
Club Internacional de Fútbol is positioned to become the first global team of Major League Soccer.
Miami, Fla. (Monday, August 5, 2019) – Kenneth Russo
The teaser ad went live on last Friday on Inter Miami CF’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, complete with announcers speaking in a distinct Miami accent, asking the question, “What will Inter Miami CF do with their first “draught” pick?”
The promo was filmed last month right here in Miami, and, the theme was a nod to fans of more traditional “American” sports like American football and basketball, where there is always a buzz around what player gets selected with the first draft pick.
“The answer is that this pick might just be the best in the world and it’s used to doing well under the sun, which is so key here in Miami.” The ‘sportscasters’ also predicted that this pick was going to be European.
And correct they were.
Today, the club announced that Heineken will be the official beer of Inter Miami CF. The multi-year deal establishes Heineken as the first Founding Partner and Official Beer of Inter Miami CF, granting them signage, intellectual property rights, and retail activations. The brand will work closely with Inter Miami to continuosly elevate the fan experience in South Florida. The deal comes after Inter Miami appointed London-based KIN Partners in February as their exclusive sponsorship sales representation agency. As is the custom, no financial details about the partnership were made public. However deals like this customarily represent a multi-million dollar investment by the sponsor in the club over the term of the agreement.
At the announcement yesterday, at El Tucán in downtown Miami, the official commercial was shown for the first time. The is available on Inter Miami’s official website (www.intermiamicf.com) and on social media channels. It was filmed in July, 2019 at Toe Jam Backlot in Wynwood (Miami) and feature the club’s three official supporters groups, Southern Legion, Vice City 1896 and The Siege Supporters Club.
Present at yesterday’s announcement was Heineken’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jonnie Cahill, who said that Heieneken “could not wait” for Miami to join Major League Soccer. “After much anticipation and excitement around the return of MLS to South Florida, we are thrilled to play a role as Inter Miami CF’s first official partner, and look forward to celebrating many future firsts together,” Cahill said. “We are known worldwide as a devoted soccer brand, and through this partnership, we can’t wait to provide soccer fans across South Florida with the premium experience—and beer—they have come to expect from Heineken for years to come.” He went on to say that Heineken will be with the club every step of the way to make Inter Miami CF the most iconic club in MLS.
Inter Miami CF have established the Founding Partner level of partnership for partners who seek the highest levels of visibility, access to the team and experiences that can be customized to forge an unprecedented connection with Inter Miami CF fans throughout South Florida and beyond.
“Our goal at Inter Miami CF is to provide the best possible experience to our fans. With Heineken we have an excellent partner who not only shares our vision and passion for the sport but also understands the importance of being a community-first organization who engages directly with our core audience.”
“We have an excellent partner who not only shares our vision and passion for the sport but also understands the importance of being a community-first organisation who engages directly with our core audience.”
Jurgen Mainka, Chief Business Officer, Inter Miami CF
“Since 2014, Heineken has been an invaluable supporter of Major League Soccer and our clubs, so it is with great pride that we congratulate Heineken and Inter Miami CF on the announcement of their partnership,” said MLS Deputy Commissioner and President of MLS Business Ventures, Gary Stevenson. “Heineken has a deep history of forging authentic relationships with fans across the league through celebratory moments and numerous club partnerships. We look forward to working with both brands to engage fans in Southern Florida in innovative ways for many years to come.”
The agreement mark’s Heineken’s 14th club sponsorship in MLS, in addition to it’s league-wide partnership which is in the second year of a five-year extension signed in March 2018.
Miami, Fla. (Saturday, August 3, 2019) – Kenneth Russo
Inter Miami begins its first season in Major League Soccer next March, and team officials were present at last Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game in Orlando. Managing Owner Jorge Mas spoke with BBC Sports and other reporters, telling them that the team is “very close” to hiring a manager, and further that it is “someone you’re going to know who has coached before at the highest level and who has played at the highest level.” He said they are looking for a long-term coach.
“We are trying to get someone who can also commit here for a period of time and leave his fingerprints on our team,” Mas said.
Jorge has previously mentioned the fact that the team had been to Europe to talk to candidates. With the above criteria and taking into account managers who are available, a shortlist of candidates would include:
The 42-year-old Argentine played at River Plate, Atlético Madrid, and Inter Milan, and has coached the Argentine national team, Real Madrid youth and briefly Real Madrid CF.
Solari took over the reigns at Real Madrid after Julien Lotepegui was dismissed following a 5-1 thrashing to Barcelona in El Clásico at the Camp Nou last October. He was the victim of two fatal weeks, in which Real said adíos to having a chance to win any of the three competitions in play (Copa del Rey, Champions League and La Liga). His time in charge ended on March 11, 2019 with the arrival of Zizou.
Solari retreated after his dismissal to his house in Ibizato relax and destress. He still is being paid his salary by Real Madrid as his contract with the Merengues runs until 2021. He reportedly also received an offer to work at the club as a coach at their academy (“fútbol base de Valdebebas”) in April 2019 but wanted more time to respond, and ultimately did not take that job.
Both Solari and Julien Lotepegui want to continue to manage at the senior level. In the case of Lotepegui, he has received offers in the past from clubs in the Premier League, and it is thought that his preferred coaching style would be well suited to that competition. Solari was reportedly considered by Real Betis as a replacement for Quique Setién, who managed Betis for the past two seasons.
Massimiliano “Max” Allegri
Allegri, 51, Italian, is a former midfielder who played in the Serie A and most recently led Juventus to five consecutive Scudettos (Serie A league titles, four Coppa Italia titles) and two Champions League finals from 2014-19. His five straight Scudetti is a first for a Serie A manager. Since his first appointment at Aglianese in Italy’s Serie C2 in 2004, Allegri has been on an increasing upwards trajectory which has now placed him as one of Europe’s top coaches. He won the Serie A title in his first year coaching AC Milan in 2010-11 season.
Allegri is ranked number four in the ESPN ranking of the world’s top 100 Coaches. Apart from his very obvious leadership qualities, Allegri’s success is also due to his tactical flexi bility, which makes him probably the most complete coach in the world. Allegri has also proven he can handle big personalities and players, with names likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Antonio Cassano and more recently Cristiano Ronaldo shining under his leadership.
“Playing well is one thing, winning is another.”
The 56-year-old Scot played at Celtic, then coached at Preston North End, Everton Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham United).
Moyes recently spoke openly about his experience when first beginning at Everton:
He also recently had this to say about Manchester United, where he was hired in 2013 to replace the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and later sacked after just 10 months at Old Trafford. He admits he will always be disappointed that he failed to carry on Fergie’s run of success.
Klinsmann, 55, is a former German international and US Men’s National Team coach who resides in Southern California. He too fits the description. He played for VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan, AS Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich, and played on the 1990 World Cup Champion team for Germany. In addition to the United States, Klinsmann has coached Germany, guiding Der Mannschaft to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup. No matter where he has managed, he has left behind a slew of supporters and detractors. As a club manager with Bayern Munich, Klinsmann lasted less than a full season, being fired in April 2009. He was credited with bringing new philosophies and even new-age training ideas to a club steeped in tradition.
Klinsmann seems like an unlikely candidate for the Inter Miami job. He has indicated a willingness to get back into coaching, but only if the right opportunity were to arise. It also appears his interests lie in coaching a national team rather than a club.
“Ahead of the World Cup in Russia, I had four or five inquiries from teams playing there,” Klinsmann told Sport Bild. “But I turned them down because their goal was to survive the group stages.”
“I had this goal with the U.S. (at the 2014 World Cup). It’s not enough for me now. If (I return), I want to lead an association of a certain calibre and with the goal to reach the semifinals at the World Cup. But if such a situation does not come to pass in the foreseeable future, I wouldn’t mind it for family reasons. My daughter Laila still attends school. And when she attends university next year, the situation changes.”
The current manager of the Belgium national team, Roberto Martínez, 46, was linked as a potential successor to Ernesto Valverde at FC Barcelona. The Spanish national is originally from Catalunya. He is under contract with the Belgian federation until June 30, 2020, as is Valverde at Barcelona.
According to a local Barcelona media report, the Blaugrana would prefer a coach who is ‘tougher’ in training, more ‘daring’ with his tactics and substitutions, and plays a more ‘attacking’ style of football. That local media outlet settles on Martinez as an individual who ticks those boxes.
Martínez began his playing career at Balaguer (his hometown in Spain), then played in England and Scotland (Wigan 1995-2001, Motherwell 2001-2002, Walsall 2002-2003, Swansea 2003-2006 et Chester 2006-2007). As a coach he has been in charge of Swansea from 2007-2009, Wigan 2009-2013 and Everton 2013-2016 prior to accepting the position with the Belgian Federation in 2016.
Martinez signed a contract to become the manager of Wigan Athletic in June 2009. Upon his arrival at the Barclays Premier League team, Martinez quickly established himself as one of the best young minds in the ranks of European football managers. He spent four Premier League seasons at Wigan.
Martinez was named the manager at Everton FC in June 2013, taking over the team from David Moyes who replaced legendary Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
His most notable distinction to-date is leading Les Diables Rouges to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup. He also guided Wigan to the FA Cup title in 2012-13.
Henry, the 41-year-old former French international, won a World Cup with Les Bleues and is one of the best strikers of all-time, and has played and coached at the top level. Henry played for Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal (leading scorer in club history with 174 goals), Barcelona, and the New York Red Bulls, which gives him MLS experience. He was an assistant coach for Belgium’s World Cup team in 2018 and coached in his first assignment as a manager at Monaco last season, but was let go.
Italian sports daily publication La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that former Italian international midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is one of the leading candidates to become the first manager of Inter Miami CF and has been in serious talks with the club. Gattuso was one of the key players on some great AC Milan squads during the early 2000s, playing alongside such stars as Defenders Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta, midfielder Andrea Pirlo and under the direction of manager Carlo Ancelotti. He was also a teammate of David Beckham in 2009-10.
Gattuso, 41, resigned as coach of AC Milan in late-May after the team finished in fifth place in Serie A, one spot short of qualification for the UEFA Champions League. Talking about his emotional departure from the Rossoneri he told La Repubblica:
“Deciding to leave Milan’s bench is not easy. But it’s a decision I had to make. There was not a precise moment in which I made it, it was the sum of these 18 months as coach of a team that for me will never be like the others. Months that I lived with great passion, unforgettable months. Mine is a painful but thoughtful choice.
“Am I giving up a two-year contract? Yes, because my story with Milan can never be a question of money.”
He went to say that the stress had gotten the best of him. “I’ve barely slept in the past 18 months, mentally I’m in pieces.” He had two years left on his contract at the time of his resignation; he asked that his remaining salary be divided among his assistant coaches.
Gattuso played 468 matches for Milan from 1999-2012 and wore the captain’s armband after Paolo Maldini retired. During his career, he won Champions League titles, Serie A championships, and played in three World Cups with the Italian national team, including as a member of the World Cup Champion side in 2006.
Gattuso was known for his fierce play. He left everything on the field every match, becoming famous for his fighting spirit, heart and determination. There is no doubt that he has first-hand knowledge about what it is like to play for a championship side.
Gattuso previously coached AC Milan’s U19 team, assuming the managerial post for the first team midway through the 2017-18 campaign following a tough start to the season for the Rossoneri. Pundits immediately questioned the decision due to his lack of experience. Gennaro tackled the question at his initial press conference: “It’s ridiculous to me that all we ever talk about is my grit,” he said. “They didn’t just give me my licence, I studied to get it.” Gattuso lit a fire under the Milan players, and whatever he may have lacked in managerial experience, he was able to get more from the players than predecessor Vincenzo Montella and steered Milan to sixth spot, as well as the Coppa Italia final.
As a result of his fine work, the Italian was handed the job permanently at Milan and signed a contract until 2021. Overall with AC Milan, he won 40 games, lost 20 and drew 22. Milan’s fifth-place finish in Serie A last season was its best since 2012-13, but he opted to leave.
According to La Gazzetta, he recently turned down the coaching job at French club Nantes. He was also linked with the Newcastle job in England, but they hired Sheffield Wednesday coach Steve Bruce.
What could we expect from the man nicknamed “il ringhio” (the Italian word for growl) in Miami at the helm of the Rosinegro? At his very first press conference with AC Milan, Gattuso confirmed that he would deploy a back three, four in midfield and some variation of three forwards, a 3-4-1-2 looking likely. He also has deployed on many occasions at Milan a 4-3-3, with an emphasis on possession and a patient build up in the attack. He makes full use of the full backs get high and wide to take the place of the wingers should they go looking for the ball deep or infield, which they often do.
Paul McDonough, Miami’s Sporting Director, said last week that they had serious conversations with two coach candidates and that they won’t hire someone unless it is the perfect fit. He said MLS experience was not mandatory.
“MLS experience is not a hard-fast requirement; but if we brought a coach in who did not have MLS experience, then we’d certainly understand there’s a void there and add MLS experience to his immediate support staff,” McDonough said.
Another Historic Day In The Life of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami.
Club Confirms Previous Reports Here And Elsewhere.
Miami, Fla. (Friday, July 26, 2019) by Kenneth Russo
Another day. Another first. Two of them, to be precise.
The team that for so long didn’t have a name; didn’t have colours; didn’t have a chance according to some; lacked this and didn’t have that; whose supporters were mocked for supporting a fictitious team. All this has changed over the past year and a half, of course.
And today, the dream is more tangible than ever. For today, the Rosanegra has announced the signing of its first two jugadores.
The club was expected to name its first players over the summer. Exactly when wasn’t known for sure. However, reports out of Argentina in recent days and weeks suggested that transfer deals were in place, and research revealed that the players whose names had been reported on had indeed visited Miami.
This morning, Inter Miami raised expectations that an announcement was forthcoming by posting several tweets on its Instagram account. It seemed to be a prelude to something big:
And big it was. “Matías Pellegrini. El Primero.” That was the caption on the first video announcement that was sent out on social media at 3:57 p.m. EDT. a video that was described with words such as “clean,” “more like a raggaeton singer intro,” “dope merch,” “dope marketing,” and “dripping in swag.” In other words, a very Miami-like production, right down to the essential Miami trait of mixing Spanish and English in the course of a single statement.. Shortly thereafter, the second announcement was pushed out, at 4:20 p.m.: “Seguimos. #LaFamilia is about to grow stronger.” | 4:30 p.m.: “Julián Carranza. Welcome to #LaFamilia.”
Pellegrini, 19, is a native of Magdalena, Argentina. His primary positions are as a left winger and centre forward. He was promoted to the first team in August 2018, having been part of the reserve squad of Estudiantes’ de La Plata (U20) prior to that. His first goal as a professional cane against Boca Juniors. He has made 15 appearances for Estudiantes this season, with three goals and one assist. He has logged 1,053 minutes across all competitions (903’ in Primera División and 150’ in the Copa Libertadores). Pellegrini joined the Estudiantes Academy at the age of 11.
Mati joins Inter Miami CF from Estudiantes via transfer and will be classified as a Young Designated Player. He will remain on loan with Estudiantes through January 2020. The value of the transfer is listed on Transfermarkt as being $9.23 million USD. (8.1 million EUR).
Carranza, from Oncativo, Argentina, also 19, is in his second season as a professional. He joined the senior squad of Club Atlético Banfield in 2017. Since then, he has made 29 career appearances for them, scoring 8 goals. He has logged 1,871 minutes across all competitions. Carranza featured in two matches for the Argentina U17 team at the 2017 South American Championship in Chile, and has also trained with the U20 team.
Prior to playing as a professional with El Taladro, Carranza came through Banfield’s academy system, having moved to Buenos Aires at the age of 13 to join their academy.
Like Pellegrini, Carranza will remain on loan with Banfield for the fall Superliga season, and will join his future teammates for training camp at the end of January, 2020, in advance of the inaugural season in MLS which begins next March. His transfer is listed on Transfermarktas being for $6.16 million USD (5.5 million EUR).
“Julian is a very grounded player with an impressive work rate. He’s the player that strives to score goals and is very good in the box”
And it’s only the beginning. The secondary transfer window in MLS is open until August 7th (the last date for inbound transfers) so there is reason to believe fans of Inter Miami can expect more names to be announced. To stay on top of news from Inter Miami, look on this site or on the club’s official website at http://www.InterMiamiCF.com.
Club will not seek naming rights partner for the revitalization of the Bernabéu Stadium; Has “great opportunities” in business without changing the name of the stadium.
Miami, Fla. (Thursday, July 25, 2019) – Kenneth Russo
What’s in a name? In the case of a famous one, a reason not to alter it.
One of the world’s most iconic football stadiums will not be adopting a corporate name. This news came from Real Madrid Club de Fútbol’s Global Head of Partnerships, David Hopkinson.
As reported in Spanish publication ReasonWby.Es, Hopkinson had been interviewed and asked about this ahead of the World Football Summit 2019. It was believed that Real Madrid would seek a stadium naming rights partner. He commented, “Anything is possible, but to put a corporate name on the stadium probably would be incorrect. There are places around the world that are iconic and must be respected.” (“Hay lugares en todo el mundo que son icónicos y deben respetarse”) He also added that Real Madrid enjoys an extraordinary assortment of income-generating opportunities that do not involve adopting a corporate name for the home of Los Blancos.
While the stadium’s name is not changing, many aspects of the stadium will be. The club is planning a complete transformation of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, which is expected to take until 2023 to finish.
Madrid’s ambitious plans for a “digital stadium of the future,” were made possible after securing loans totalling €575 million (£497 million/$641 million USD) in April, 2018 from two US-based financial institutions: Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan. They will start repaying the loans in 2023 at a fixed 2.5 percent interest rate through 2049. The club will service an annual debt of €29.5 million per year on the project throughout the period.
Hopkinson, a Canadian, (and graduate of McGill University) was hired in summer of 2018, after having worked with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), where he was the Chief Commercial Officer. MLSE is the parent company of Toronto Football Club (MLS), the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and Toronto Raptors (NBA). Explaining the overall business strategy of Real Madrid, Hopkinson said that Real Madrid believes the more it is able to internationalise its business, reputation, and fan base, in the process making the club a global enterprise, the more opportunities the club will have with sponsors around the world.
“Cuanto más podamos internacionalizar nuestro negocio, nuestra reputación, nuestra base de fans, para globalizar este negocio, más oportunidades tendremos con patrocinios en todo el mundo”, detalló.
The renovation will include a retractable roof, new services and experiences designed for fans, taking advantage of the latest in digital stadium technology.
While a football club can expect millions of dollars to have a corporate name on its stadium, in the case of Real Madrid CF, Hopkinson believes the benefit of not changing outweighs the increased revenue. Reaching that conclusion was probably also made easier by the fact that Real Madrid was looking for a naming rights sponsor but actually had difficulty attracting one. Potential sponsors were cautious to invest given the status of the stadium as one of the most famous in the world. It was thought, and altogether realistic to believe, that people would still refer to the stadium as the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu no matter what corporation sponsored the venue.
Pellegrini passes medical tests; Estudiantes releases statement on deal with Inter Miami CF.
Miami, Fla. (Tuesday, July 23, 2019) – Kenneth Russo
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami finally has a player: Matías Pellegrini.
Per a communication by Estudiantes de La Plata, the Argentine club and Inter Miami CF have completed a deal to transfer 19-year old Argentine midfielder Matias Pellegrini.
Additionally, Argentine publication El Dia de La Plata reported Tuesday that Matias Pellegrini returned from the United States and was in training with Estudiantes today, in advance of the club’s opening game in the 2019 Argentine Superliga this weekend versus Aldosivi de Mar del Plata.
The same report states that in addition to Pellegrini successfully completing his medical exam, Estudiantes was able to complete the deal with Inter Miami, worth about $9 million, and potentially up to $11 million depending on his future performance.
Estudiantes de La Plata released the following official communication that confirms what has been reported: (English Translation Below)
COMUNICADO DEL CLUB SOBRE PELLEGRINI
El Club Estudiantes de La Plata hace saber que el jugador Matías Pellegrini pasó con éxito la revisación médica en el Inter Miami CF y ya regresó al país, donde se puso a las órdenes del cuerpo técnico de Gabriel Milito de cara al inicio de la Superliga.
El futbolista viajó a Estados Unidos junto a Diego Ronderos, integrante de la Secretaría de Fútbol Profesional. El joven surgido de las divisiones inferiores superó los chequeos y ahora se ultiman detalles para su transferencia definitiva a la institución de la Major League Soccer.
Pellegrini, quien este martes entrenó a la par de sus compañeros en el Country Club de City Bell, comenzará a trabajar en su nuevo club en enero de 2020.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE CLUB ABOUT PELLEGRINI
Estudiantes de La Plata has learned that its player, Matías Pellegrini, successfully passed the medical check-up at Inter Miami CF and has already returned to the country, where he was placed under the command of Gabriel Milito’s coaching staff for the start of the Super League.
The player traveled to the United States with Diego Ronderos, Secretary of Professional Football. The young man, who emerged from the lower divisions, passed his tests and now the details are finalized for his definitive transfer to the Major League Soccer institution.
Pellegrini, who on Tuesday trained with his teammates at the City Bell Country Club, will begin working at his new club in January 2020.
Pellegrini started at left midfield last Saturday in Estudiantes’ 2-0 win over Club Mitre, scoring a goal that turned out to be the game-winner. Here is a video of that game:
Inter Miami officials confirmed in response to media enquiries that Pellegrini was in Miami on Monday to meet with team executives, but said they were not ready to make a formal announcement yet. These developments came while David Beckham was in Miami for a family vacation, and it is likely he was involved in meeting with the young Argentine winger.
Miami, Fla. (Monday, July 22, 2019 – by Kenneth Russo
After playing 70 minutes and scoring a goal for Estudiantes de La Plata this past Saturday in their 2-0 win over Club Mitre in the Copa Argentina (Twitter @copaargentina), Matías Pellegrini and his representative Gustavo Ghezzi flew to Miami yesterday, according to El Día in Argentina.
Today, he will have a medical exam and meet with Jorge Más and Inter Miami team officials to finalize his contract. The self-described “lightning trip” is because “Mati” intends to be able to play for Estudiantes’ this coming Sunday in the first game of the 2019 Argentina Superliga (La Primera División) versus Aldosivi. “No me voy a perder ningún partido.” – “I’m not going to miss a single game,” the young midfielder assured the media. Pellegrini’s transfer is reportedly in the $9 to $10 million range, with performance incentives structured into the deal.
Once officially an Inter player, the plan is for him to remain with Estudiantes on loan until the end of the year, which means he can complete the revised Argentine Superliga calendar prior to joining Club Internacional de Fútbol for training camp in early 2020.
According to various Argentine media outlets, Inter Miami is simultaneously working on a $6 million deal for 19-year-old Club Atlético Banfield forward Julián Carranza, who would also stay with his club through the end of the year and report to Inter Miami sometime between January and March 2020. Carranza has reportedly already been to Miami and taken his medical exam, which was described as “demanding.”
When asked about the status of negotiations for Inter’s first players, Sporting Director Paul McDonough told The Miami Herald’s Michelle Kaufman:
McDonough, who is in charge of building the roster and leading the team’s on-field soccer operations, also told Kaufman that the negotiations are complicated because some players require to be moved to another club on loan in order to continue to play during the next six months. With that come the finances that have to be also ironed out. Most often, players who are loaned out have their wages paid by the team that they are loaned to. However, in the end it’s about what the parties agree to. More importantly, Inter Miami must also work within the confines of MLS’ salary budget universe, where each player is assigned a “Salary Budget Charge,” the maximum being $530,000. There is also a limit of up to three “Designated Players,” whose total salary and acquisition costs exceed the maximum salary budget charge. Assembling the type of team that will electrify fans and get attention in Miami will require skillful handling of these considerations.
“We are in contract negotiations with up to six or seven players, heavily involved in that right now, with all levels of guys,” McDonough said. “We will have announcements coming soon. We’re close. We’d like to have between four and eight signed by September.”
Miami is in contract negotiations with six or seven players, and the first couple could be signed by July 31, according to McDonough.
McDonough is a proven expert at working out these nuances though, and it won’t be long before fans of the Rosanegra have real players to follow.
Miami, Fla. (Monday, July 15, 2019) – Kenneth Russo / Photos by Felipe Galvez Tabach –
Saturday night’s latest rendition of the Magic City Clásico was indeed befitting of its title. Miami Football Club came from behind to defeat Miami United FC 3-2 in the NPSL Sunshine Conference Final at Barry University, capturing its sixth overall trophy in the process. The game was fiercely contested and thoroughly entertaining.
Miami United FC (4-4-2):
Miami FC Starting Lineup (4-3-3)
Cheered on by La 12 United and one of Inter Miami CF’s supporter groups, Vice City 1896, Miami United came into Buccaneer Field as the underdog but ready to send a message to their crosstown rivals. Roberto Sacca’s team had defeated Naples United last Wednesday in Naples to set up the matchup for the conference championship.
Unfortunately, United were without two key players; left-back Max Schenfeld and goalkeeper Peterson Occenat. Occenat has been suspended for an abuse of an official in the final regular-season match at Naples, while Schenfeld was serving a suspension due to being expelled in the semi-final.
Miami FC began the game with good ball movement and were able to get past the middle of the United defense. The first minutes saw an overhead bicycle kick attempt by Miami FC’s Mohamed Thiaw that went just over the net.
After two early chances by United, Miami FC then drew first blood. A free kick by Dylan Mares was mishandled by United defender Javier Chila during chaos in the box. The referee whistled for a handball in the area. Ariel Martinez, known as the “Magic City Mago,” stepped up to the penalty spot and chipped a “Panenka” (a chip shot) straight down the middle and past diving United goalkeeper Omar Estrada for a 1-0 Miami FC lead in the 8th minute.
United regained the momentum however. Midfielder Matheus Gotler narrowly missed scoring chances in the 23’ and 26’, one shot missing just to the right of goal and the other being deflected off the horizontal crossbar. United were throughly outplaying Miami FC and the effort paid dividends in the 34’ when Defender Bruno Camacho headed a corner kick by Gotler into the goal to equalise 1-1.
Four minutes later United were on the score sheet again as they broke out on a counterattack and a long aerial pass found forward Brian Parea, who beat defender Jalen Markey and crossed to Forward Shamar Shelton. Shelton raced in to meet the ball as it was rolling across the face of goal and was able to bury it into the net, promptly celebrating his goal with a perfectly executed forward somersault. United nearly added a third in first half stoppage time on a shot that was kicked out and high by a Miami FC defender. The 2-1 scoreline held at the halftime break.
Miami FC Manager Paul Dalglish seemed to make halftime adjustments and the club came out in full force in the second half, creating scoring chances and a couple of near misses. In the 57th minute a through ball by Mohamed Thiaw split the United defense open, finding Miguel González, who ran on to the ball and played it to the middle for Dylan Mares. The midfielder played the ball off to Martínez next to him, who unleashed a potent volley that beat an outstretched Omar Estrada to level at 2-2.
Ten minutes later a pass by Mares found Ariel Martinez in front of the Miami United goalkeeper. Martínez dribbled to his right and as keeper Omar Estrada came out, Martínez then played the ball to the middle of the box for Miguel González, who tapped the ball into the empty net and put Miami FC ahead, 3-2.
After taking the lead, Miami FC continued to attack, nearly adding to their advantage on a Mohamed Thiaw attempt in the 73rd minute that barely missed wide. United, however, were not finished and pressured a visibly tired Miami FC side late in the match. Miami FC’s defense met the challenge and held together during a long second half stoppage time caused by injuries and substitutions. As the referee blew the final whistle, a well played match saw Miami United fall just short. Miami FC thus went out victorious in the Sunshine Conference Final.
Next up for Miami FC is a match against Chattanooga FC, champions of the Southeast Conference, at Buccaneer Field at Barry University in the NPSL South Regional Semifinal, Tuesday, July 16th at 7 p.m. .
Miami FC goals 🎥 via Miami FC
Miami FC celebrates the victory. 🎥via Miami FC
9’ – Miami FC: Ariel Martínez (pen.)
34’ – Miami United: Bruno Camacho
38’ – Miami United: Shamar Shelton
57’ – Miami FC: Ariel Martínez
67’ – Miami FC: Miguel Gonzalez
46’ – Miami FC: Out – #45 Jalen Markey > In – #2 Othello Bah
64’ – Miami United: Out – #5 Ezequiel Tejera > In – #6 Juan González
69’ – Miami United: Out – #7 Shamar Shelton > In – #2 Darryl Gordon
70’ – Miami United: Out – #13 Juan Fuenmayor > In – #19 Nicolas Micoli
88’ – Miami United: Out – #26 Bernanrdo Chila > In – #8 Chris Nurse
88’ – Miami FC: Out – #12 Miguel González > In- #8 Tomás Granitto
90’ – Miami FC: Out – #10 Ariel Martínez > In – #17 Brian James