Over 140 soccer players came out on Saturday, February 20 and Sunday, February 21 in hopes of earning a spot on Miami FC’s 2010 roster. Some traveled across oceans for the opportunity to play professional soccer in the United States. It was interesting to see how many people from different cultures and lifestyles came out in hopes of fulfilling their dreams of becoming professional soccer players. The event sort of mirrored the cultural landscape of Miami, a melting pot of people from varying backgrounds, all striving for the same goal, the same end. The intensifying interest also shows how fast the beautiful game is growing in the U.S. and in South Florida.
You know soccer season is just around the corner when players start gearing up and hit the field for preseason training. Miami FC's preseason kicked off Wednesday, March 3 at the Hilton Hotel in Sunrise, which has a FIFA regulation soccer complex. The team is wasting no time getting back into the game day mindset with a little over a month before the Blues kick off the season on April 10 against the Rochester Rhinos at Lockhart Stadium.
Some players who participated in the invitational and open tryouts were practicing with the team, along with a few former Miami FC players and others who have MLS experience.
With the exception of Cristiano "Kaka" Dias and J.P Rodrigues, all the Miami FC signings were there looking sharp on the pitch. New Miami FC defender Mike Randolph was showing off his speed and range in the backfield, while Jarryd Goldberg showed a commanding presence in the midfield.
Many players showed a lot of fight in practice, knowing very well that how they perform in the next few weeks will determine whether or not they will be wearing a Miami FC jersey come opening night. It's always great to see players going 110% on the pitch, leaving everything on the field.
Victor Pastora seemed comfortable in his new role as head coach, making his presence known and being very positive and hands on.
Director of Soccer Fernando Clavijo and General Manager Luiz Muzzi were also on hand for practices, and are continuing to keep an eye out for talent to fill the 2010 roster.
Zach Kirby Speaks Out
Zach is expected to be a leader on the field this season for Miami FC and he is excited to be a part of what is happening here in South Florida. Here he speaks out about being back on the field for that first practice:
"Regardless of where you areas a professional athlete, the first day of preseason is tense. Nerves and emotions are high and everyone aims to make a good first impression both on and off the field. Today we commenced our preseason camp in hopes to create a solid foundation for what will be a very successful year. There are many familiar faces and talented individuals that will inevitably make a very cohesive unit proving to have a large amount of potential. The process of learning about different styles of players and how to work with new teammates in order to compliment each other’s abilities is always an enjoyable experience. It is only the beginning, but I can assure you that there are many great things to come this year for Miami FC."
Miami FC takes on FIU and the Red Bulls
You will get your first chance to see Miami FC in action this Saturday March 6, when the team plays its first preseason match against FIU's men's soccer team at 10 a.m. at FIU Soccer Stadium. FIU head coach Munga Eketebi kindly agreed to the match in the midst of their spring schedule as he looks to prepare his Golden Panthers for the 2010 season this upcoming fall. FIU defeated FC Dallas 1-0 at Disney's Wide World of Sports soccer complex in Orlando on February. 21.
Miami FC will also host a scrimmage against the New York Red Bulls of the MLS on Friday March 12 at the Hilton Hotel in Sunrise at 11 a.m.