Miami FC

The Miami FC is an American professional soccer team based in Miami, Florida that competes in the USL Championship, the second tier of the American soccer pyramid.

Miami FC
Full nameThe Miami FC
FoundedMay 20, 2015 (2015-05-20)
StadiumRiccardo Silva Stadium
Capacity20,000
PresidentRiccardo Silva
Owner(s)Riccardo Silva
Head CoachNelson Vargas
LeagueUSL Championship
2019–20East Coast: 1st
Playoffs: Champions
WebsiteClub website

The club began play in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in the 2016 season. Following the demise of the NASL, the club participated in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) before moving to the USL Championship for the 2020 season. The team currently plays its home games at Riccardo Silva Stadium on the campus of Florida International University. It has also played matches at Buccaneer Field on the campus of Barry University.

History

North American Soccer League

The club was announced on May 20, 2015 as the 12th North American Soccer League franchise with plans to begin play in the 2016 season and later confirmed it would play out of "Ocean First Stadium" (Now Riccardo Silva Stadium) on the campus of FIU.[1][2] The team, co-owned by media entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and former Italian national team defender Paolo Maldini, came only one year after former English national football team star and Major League Soccer legend David Beckham announced his intent to launch an MLS team in city.[3][4]

In September 2015, Alessandro Nesta was appointed as the club's first coach.[5] On November 20, 2015 Italian sportswear company Macron were announced as the club's kit suppliers on a three-year deal.[6]

Nesta resigned as coach following the completion of the 2017 season, on 17 November.[7]

National Premier Soccer League and 'Miami FC 2'

In January 2018, following the suspension and later cancellation of the 2018 NASL season, the organization announced the creation of "The Miami FC 2" in the National Premier Soccer League with 12 members of its 2017 NASL roster.[8][9] The intention was for The Miami FC's players to play with The Miami FC 2 while waiting for the NASL's proposed winter schedule to take effect.[10][11] The team hired Paul Dalglish as the new head coach on January 25.[12] The team played its home matches at its former training grounds on the campus of St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens.[13]

The team went on to dominate the regular season in the NPSL's Sunshine Conference. Only one loss to Jacksonville Armada FC in the regular season lead the team to finish top of the table and in the conference playoffs the beat the Armada, 3–1, to win its first NPSL trophy.[14][15] After advancing in the national playoffs, including winning the NPSL South Region, Miami FC 2 won the organization's first ever league championship when it defeated FC Motown, 3–1, for the NPSL National Championship on August 4.[16]

For the 2019 NPSL season, the team returned to playing as 'The Miami FC and repeated its previous year's success by finishing atop the regular season table and winning the Sunshine Conference over Miami United FC, 3–2.[17] It won the South Region for a second straight year before becoming the first club to win a second NPSL National Championship when it defeated the New York Cosmos B, 3–1, and earning the organization's eighth trophy in three years.[18][19]

National Independent Soccer Association

On November 15, 2018, the NPSL announced that Miami would be a founding member in a new professional league, commencing with the "NPSL Founders Cup" competition from August to November 2019, followed by a full league schedule in 2020 at either division 2 or 3 level.[20][21][22] However on July 24, 2019, it was announced that Miami would instead join the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) for the inaugural Fall 2019 season.[23][24] The team went undefeated through seven games during the regular season, clinching the top playoff spot in the East Coast Conference. On November 9, Miami won the NISA East Coast Championship over Stumpstown Athletic, it's ninth trophy in three years.[25][26]

USL Championship

On December 11, 2019, former USL Championship club Ottawa Fury FC announced that it had transferred its franchise rights to the Miami FC ownership group, and the club would begin competition in the league beginning with the 2020 season.[27][28]

Year-by-year

Season League Div. Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA Pts. Overall Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Top goalscorer Manager
Name League
2016 NASL Spring 11th 10 1 4 5 7 15 7 7th Did not qualify 3R Darío Cvitanich 9
Alessandro Nesta
Fall 5th 22 9 6 7 31 27 33
2017 Spring 1st 16 11 3 2 33 11 36 1st Semifinals QF Stefano Pinho 17
Fall 1st 16 10 3 3 28 17 33
2018[lower-alpha 1] NPSL Sunshine Conference 1st 12 8 3 1 30 5 27 1st Champions 2R Jaime Chavez 9
Paul Dalglish
2019 Sunshine Conference 1st 10 9 0 1 48 5 27 1st Champions 1R Miguel González 13
2019–20 NISA Fall – East Coast 1st 6 4 2 0 19 6 14 1st Champions Dylan Mares 5

Average attendance

YearReg. SeasonPlayoffs
2016 5,427
2017 5,172 7,115
2019[lower-alpha 2] 569 1,309
  1. Competed as Miami FC 2
  2. Only includes National Independent Soccer Association attendances

Players

Current roster

As of December 5, 2019[29]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth.

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Mark Pais  United States
2 Forward Othello Bah  Liberia
3 Defender Marco Franco  United States
4 Defender Matheus Silva  Brazil
5 Defender Callum Chapman-Page  England
6 Midfielder Dylan Mares  United States
7 Defender Maximiliano Schenfeld  Chile
8 Midfielder Tomás Granitto  El Salvador
9 Forward Mohamed Thiaw  Senegal
11 Forward Lloyd Sam  Ghana
12 Forward Miguel González  Mexico
14 Midfielder Robert Baggio Kcira  United States
16 Midfielder Harrison Heath  England
17 Midfielder Brian James  United States
20 Midfielder Alessandro Milesi  Peru
21 Midfielder Héctor Morales  Cuba
22 Goalkeeper Bryant Gammiero  United States
23 Defender Brenton Griffiths  Jamaica
25 Midfielder Lance Rozeboom  United States
33 Goalkeeper Lionel Brown  U.S. Virgin Islands
45 Defender Jalen Markey  United States
88 Defender Shawn Chin  United States

Staff

As of March 3, 2019[30]
Position Nation Staff
Head coach United StatesNelson Vargas
Assistant coach United StatesAnthony Hazelwood
Goalkeeper coach EnglandPaul Crichton
Equipment manager EnglandBrad Smith
Head athletic trainer United StatesAlex Witter
Assistant athletic trainer United StatesEmmanuel Garcon

Individual records

Top goalscorers

As of match played 9 November 2019
Name Years League Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Total
1 Jaime Chavez2016–201824 (63)1 (5)3 (6)28 (74)
2 Dylan Mares2017–present21 (56)4 (12)2 (9)27 (77)
3 Ariel Martínez2016–201915 (72)9 (13)1 (7)25 (92)
4 Miguel González2019–present18 (14)4 (7)0 (1)22 (21)
5 Stefano Pinho201717 (27)0 (1)4 (3)21 (31)
6 Darío Suárez2018–201910 (24)4 (17)2 (5)16 (46)
6 Mohamed Thiaw2019–present14 (15)2 (7)0 (1)16 (23)
8 Vincenzo Rennella2016–201814 (39)0 (1)1 (8)15 (48)
8 Kwadwo Poku2016–201713 (49)0 (1)2 (5)15 (55)
10 Darío Cvitanich20169 (26)0 (0)0 (1)9 (27)

Most appearances

As of match played 9 November 2019
Name Years League Playoffs US Open Cup Total
1 Ariel Martínez2016–201972 (15)13 (9)7 (1)92 (25)
2 Mario Daniel Vega2016–201875 (0)6 (0)8 (0)89 (0)
3 Mason Trafford2016–201869 (0)6 (0)9 (0)84 (0)
4 Rhett Bernstein2016–201866 (2)6 (0)6 (1)78 (3)
5 Dylan Mares2017–present21 (16)12 (4)9 (2)77 (27)
6 Jaime Chavez2016–201863 (24)5 (1)6 (3)74 (28)
7 Blake Smith2016–201755 (1)1 (0)5 (0)61 (1)
8 Kwadwo Poku2016–201749 (13)1 (0)5 (2)55 (15)
9 Michael Lahoud2016–201745 (1)1 (0)6 (0)52 (1)
10 Richie Ryan2016–201742 (0)1 (0)6 (0)49 (0)

Managerial records

As of match played 9 November 2019
Name Nat. From To P W D L GS GA %W Honours Notes
Alessandro Nesta  Italy 1 September 2015[5] 17 November 2017[7] 71 35 17 19 111 77 049.30 (1) NASL Spring Season
(1) NASL Fall Season
Paul Dalglish  Scotland 25 January 2018[31] 13 November 2019[32] 45 36 5 4 143 30 080.00 (2) Sunshine Conference Championship
(2018, 2019)
(2) NPSL South Region Championship
(2018, 2019)
(2) NPSL Championship
(2018, 2019)
(1) NISA East Coast Championship
(2019)
Nelson Vargas  United States 14 November 2019[33] 0 0 0 0 0 0 !

Club culture

The Miami FC draw the bulk of their support from the suburbs in the south and west of Miami.

Rivalries

The closest team geographically was the Fort Lauderdale Strikers with games between the two sides often labelled the FL Clásico.[34] Fixtures with the other two teams in Florida, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Jacksonville Armada are also keenly contested. These four teams competed for the Coastal Cup over the course of the 2016 season.

After the 2016 season Tampa Bay left the NASL for the United Soccer League and Fort Lauderdale ceased operations because of financial issues. That left Jacksonville as The Miami FC's only in-state rival in the NASL. Miami did however face Tampa Bay in the third round of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup, defeating the Rowdies by a score of 2–0.

When the NASL cancelled the 2018 season, Miami and Jacksonville continued their rivalry in the NPSL in both 2018 and 2019 as both clubs continued operation. The team also began a rivalry against Miami United FC dubbed "Magic City Clasico." The teams met in the Second Round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup where United shocked FC, 3–1, to advance.[35]

Supporters group

Dade Brigade are the official supporters group of The Miami FC and they occupy the east stand of FIU Stadium which is known as the Brigade End for home games.[36] They are named for Miami-Dade County.

Honors

North American Soccer League

  • Spring championship (1): 2017
  • Fall championship (1): 2017

National Premier Soccer League

  • Sunshine Conference Championship (2): 2018, 2019
  • South Region Championship (2): 2018, 2019
  • National Championship (2): 2018, 2019

National Independent Soccer Association

  • East Championship (1): 2019

Kit manufacturers and sponsorships

Period Kit manufacturer Sponsor Ref
2016– Macron No sponsor

References

  1. "MIAMI FC BECOMES 12TH NASL CLUB". North American Soccer League. May 20, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  2. Kaufman, Michelle (October 28, 2015). "Miami FC strikes deal to play its home matches at FIU Stadium". The Miami Herald. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  3. "David Beckham confirms Miami franchise in Major League Soccer". CNN. February 5, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  4. Das, Andrew (May 20, 2015). "N.A.S.L. Will Add Miami Team in 2016, Beating David Beckham Onto Field". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  5. "Alessandro Nesta lands top job at Miami as AC Milan legend starts coaching career". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  6. "MACRON AND MIAMI FC SIGN FOR A 3 YEARS PARTNERSHIP". macron.com. Macron. November 20, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  7. "Gianluca Di Marzio :: Nesta saluta il Miami: "Grazie di tutto. Sono pronto per una nuova sfida"" (in Italian). November 17, 2017.
  8. "MIAMI FC RESPONDS TO NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE CANCELLATION OF 2018 SEASON". MiamiFC.com. Miami FC. February 27, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  9. "THE MIAMI FC 2 SOLIDIFIES INAUGURAL ROSTER WITH 10 ADDITIONS". MiamiFC.com. Miami FC. March 5, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  10. "MIAMI FC 2 TO DEBUT IN NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE FOR 2018 SEASON". Miami FC. January 30, 2018.
  11. "THE MIAMI FC 2: CHAMPIONSHIP PEDIGREE". MiamiFC.com. Miami FC. March 8, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  12. "Miami FC Hires Paul Dalglish as New Head Coach". www.miamifc.com. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  13. "Miami FC 2 to debut in National Premier Soccer League for 2018 Season". www.miamifc.com. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  14. "RECAP: THE MIAMI FC 2 DROPS PHYSICAL MATCH TO ARMADA 1–0". The Miami FC. July 6, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  15. Bunch, Matthew (July 15, 2018). "The Miami FC 2 claims NPSL Sunshine Conference title in complete performance against Jacksonville Armada". Magic City Soccer. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  16. "MIAMI FC 2 CROWNED 2018 NPSL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS". National Premier Soccer League. August 5, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  17. "RECAP: The Miami FC Comes From Behind to Capture Sunshine Conference Championship". www.miamifc.com. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  18. "Tulsa Athletic falls at Miami FC in South Region finals". Tulsa World. July 20, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  19. Lewis, Michael (August 4, 2019). "THE MIAMI FC CLAIMS 2019 NPSL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP". National Premier Soccer League. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  20. "ELEVEN FOUNDING MEMBERS TO LAUNCH A NEW LEAGUE IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE". National Premier Soccer League. November 15, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  21. Carrick, Buzz (November 15, 2018). "NPSL is launching a pro league – could Fort Worth Vaqueros be involved?". Dallas News. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  22. "Eleven Founding Members to Launch a New League in Association with the National Premier Soccer League". Miami FC. November 15, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  23. Official, NISA (July 24, 2019). ""We are very excited @TheMiamiFC is joining @NISALeague and will begin competition this Fall 2019. Miami FC has a legacy of success and we welcome the level of competition they bring to the pitch," – Mr. John Prutch, Commissioner, NISA. #MiamiFC #NISAnationpic.twitter.com/34B7puXcP6". @NISALeague. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  24. "The Miami FC Join NISA, Return to "Pro" Soccer". Magic City Soccer. July 24, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  25. "MIAMI FC LIFTS 9TH TROPHY, WINNING NISA EAST COAST CHAMPIONSHIP 3-0 VS. STUMPTOWN ATHLETIC". Miami FC. November 9, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  26. Carmenate, Achillies (November 10, 2019). "MIAMI FC WINS NISA EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP, 9TH TROPHY IN FOUR YEARS". Lemon City Live. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  27. "Ottawa Fury FC Announce Relocation, Sale of Franchise Rights to The Miami FC". uslchampionship.com. December 11, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  28. Kauffman, Michelle. "Miami FC moves to USL Championship, returns to FIU Riccardo Silva Stadium. Here's why".
  29. https://www.miamifc.com/roster
  30. "Staff". Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  31. "Miami FC Hires Paul Dalglish as New Head Coach". www.miamifc.com. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  32. "THE MIAMI FC APPOINTS PAUL DALGLISH AS GENERAL MANAGER" – The Miami FC, November 13, 2019
  33. "Nelson Vargas Appointed as Head Coach of Miami FC". www.miamifc.com. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  34. http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/fort-lauderdale-strikers-look-to-win-the-first-ever-florida-clasico-as-they-face-miami-fc-this-weekend-7989187
  35. "2018 US Open Cup Round 2: Miami United eliminates shorthanded Miami FC 2". Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  36. http://www.dadebrigade.com/
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