Miami FC faces the challenge of proving that soccer can achieve popularity in this town. Not the level of popularity the sport enjoys in other Latin American capitals, but enough to keep the team in business. Even in Miami, high school students are relocating to qualify geographically for certain school teams, according to the cousin of one such player. And, in a happy surprise, FCs home opener, against the Montreal Impact, which had the best regular-season record in the USL last year, ended in a tie. Not bad. More than 3200 fans showed up for that game at Tropical Park Stadium (7900 SW 40th St., Miami). The scoreless game suggests the FC can contend they played without 40-year-old superstar Romario, who was stuck in Brazil awaiting a visa. The tenacious striker is closing in on his 1000th point, an accomplishment achieved only by Pelé. When he scores that point, hell again be absent: After 999, he reportedly will return to his first team, Vasco de Gama, to hit 1000 in front of about 120,000 Brazilian fans. Tonight FC takes on the Rochester Raging Rhinos.
Fri., May 5, 7:30 p.m.