It was a strong NASL debut for Miami FC this weekend, as 10,156 fans created a party atmosphere for a first home game at FIU Stadium.
The game wasn’t played under ideal circumstances, as a competing event in the area caused some major traffic jams leading to FIU Stadium. But in the end Miami FC fans showed up in force to see their team tie the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-1. The large crowd may be an indication that Miami can handle two pro soccer teams: with David Beckham and investors working toward a new MLS stadium down the line, the NASL team headed by media mogul Riccardo Silva and Italian soccer legend Paolo Maldini may have a solid niche. From the Miami Herald:
“You dream about it, you wish for it to happen, and now, it’s actually happening,” said NASL commissioner Bill Peterson, who attended the match. “It’s a very impressive gathering here. I love the stadium. It’s right, the fans are right on the field, it’s a great atmosphere. It’s only the first game here, but already feels like their home.”
The fans went wild when Argentine forward Dario Cvitanich scored Miami’s first goal in the 17th minute, off a cross from Brazilian midfielder Matuzalem. Cvitanich scored Miami’s lone goal last Saturday in its 1-1 tie at Fort Lauderdale in the team’s inaugural game….
The fans were into the game. In one end zone, Miami FC’s fan club “The Dade Brigade” cheered and waved flags, including two that read: “Forza Miami” in keeping with the team leadership’s Italian roots. Nesta was a former star on the Italian World Cup team and also with AC Milan and Lazio.
“It is great to finally have soccer back in Miami,” said Ramon Rodriguez, a season-ticket holder from Coral Gables. “The venue is the perfect size for this team. I am very impressed with the quality of soccer being played. There are so many youth soccer clubs from all over the city united to cheer for the FC. Great memories being made for the kids.”
Dario Cvitanich, who scored the first goal in Miami FC history, also scored against the Rowdies.
Image of Miami FC’s Dario Cvitanich courtesy NASL.