Double Helping of Footsies

Miami doesn’t have a top-tier professional soccer team, but don’t be fooled into thinking the world’s game doesn’t resonate with the city’s diverse ethnic underbelly. Haven’t you seen those carpeted mini-soccer fields sprouting up like weeds all over town? The Miami Heat might have three kings, but to the city’s Hispanic and Caribbean population, soccer is king. And if you have any doubt, head to Florida International University’s Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium Friday for the CONCACAF Gold Cup Soccer double-header featuring Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Grenada. Sure, nobody has heard anything from Grenada since Reagan sent troops to fight the biggest military mismatch in history, but the other three teams have some legitimate soccer acumen. For instance, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz participated in the 1998 World Cup (it’s like the Super Bowl times a hundred), and Bob Marley was a lifelong player and fan. Honduras competed in the last World Cup, and if anybody doubts how soccer-crazed the Catrachos can be, just look at the war sparked between Honduras and neighboring El Salvador after a soccer match in 1970. Guatemala never qualified for the World Cup, but it won the Gold Cup in 1967. The 2011 Gold Cup is being played across the United States, and Friday’s double-header represents the only matches played in South Florida. Jamaica takes on Guatemala at 7 p.m., and Grenada plays Honduras at 9. The first- and second-place finishers in this group will go on to compete in the quarterfinals later this month.
Fri., June 10, 7 p.m., 2011

 
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