If you're looking for a hot, young sports hunk, you could do a lot worse than a hot, young soccer hunk. They don't get weird steroid bodies like baseball players, don't burst into flames like NASCAR drivers and, unlike in greyhound racing, they are usually humans.
But where to find hot, young soccer hunks in Miami? Why, on Miami United, of course! Until crusty, old "football" carcass David Beckham brings his ugly team to town, Miami United is the city's only professional soccer team.
Miami United Players have such juicy thighs, these guys could have been factory farmed. But if that's not enough to foul you in your penalty area, a portion of all 2014 jersey sales benefit Hope for Autism United, a coed team of autistic youth footballers who work with Miami United players and will be featured at all home games. (More at AutismSocer.org)
Miami United won their home opener Sunday (4-3) against the Tampa Marauders -- as if anyone marauds like Miami does. To announce this year's players, Miami United hosted a party at Segafredo in Brickell, which was packed thigh-to-thigh with hot, young soccer hunks. But what hunky thoughts were on the hot, young minds of Miami United?
Ferdinando de Mathaeis, head coach
Here's a list of who needs buttons: teddy bears, chickenshit fighter pilots who want to eject, doorbells. Did you notice that soccer coaches aren't on that list? Neither did Ferdinando de Mathaeis. He's too busy being a boss to read lists.
As a former hot young soccer hunk (and present-day regular ol' hot soccer hunk), de Mathaeis knows quite a bit about scouting talent. And at the nexus of hunkiness and soccer in Miami, few figures leap out so syphilitically as disgraced The Bachelor, Juan Pablo. Is Coach familiar with him?
"He seemed to be doing well during the season but at the end, he made a bad image for himself," de Mathaeis assesses quite accurately. But does he have what it takes to play on Miami United?
"People say he's somewhere in Miami. Maybe he has talent? Tell him to come by. We're open to everyone."
One of his sport's difficulties in the United States comes from league fragmentation. Miami United, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Tampa Bay Rowdies, and Orlando City each play in separate leagues. Instead of playing those teams, Miami United has matches scheduled against Puerto Rico.
"It's the system set up in the U.S. The leagues all have to work on their own," the coach says. "There's no unity. Everybody's happy at the top level and don't seem to care. But I think Miami United is going to get some people's attention this season."
Claudia Romani, the beautiful part of the beautiful game
Romani has been on covers of GQ and Maxim. Her legs aren't even in Denmark but that didn't stop Q from naming her "Denmark's Most Beautiful Legs." (legs not pictured) She grew up in L'Aquila as an AC Milan supporter, idolizing Paolo Maldini.
"It's in our blood in Italy, to love [hot young soccer hunks]," she says. "Maldini was so good and beautiful and at least as far as we know, is loyal to his wife."
But is there a Miami United player whom she finds especially hot and hunky? One she might want to date?
"Oh, no!" she says, recoiling. At first, we thought there was a translation error and "date" sounds like the Italian word for "slow murder." (Turns out that word is panini.)
"Well, soccer players are known for being a little...." She trails off, leaving the rest unsaid. "If you'd like to partake in that whole world, I'd say do it," Romani advises. "But it isn't for me."
Andrea Grieco, defender
When we spoke to Andrea Grieco, he had only been in the United States for two days. He was so new that he still hadn't decided what he thought of Miami.
"It's a very good city," he said. Then he revised his statement: "It is a great city."
A great city...filled with hunks! So is it just very good or is it great to be a soccer player when trying to meet women? None of the above, as it turns out:
We asked how many women he had hunked with since his arrival. He blushed and shook his head. We begged him not to ruin our impression of soccer hunks.
"Two or three?"
Miami, be warned: the soccer hunks are here and eager to please.
Stefan Nosko, forward
Nosko is a Miami guy but was playing soccer in Peru until February. Though in Peru, "the food is awesome," he's glad to be back.
"Who doesn't love it here? It's beautiful and the soccer scene here is growing, so it's a good time to be here and playing."
Still, some fans want to make soccer more exciting by requiring all player substitutions to take bath salts before they take the field. Where does Stefan Nosko stand on the issue?
"Maybe. It could get people charged up."
Giovani Montenegro, assistant coach
Montenegro is one of the men responsible for getting Miami United to maximum hunkitude. A lot of work goes into those thighs.
"It's a strict schedule: six days a week, morning and night," Montenegro says. "It's very physical. We have to strengthen those legs."
Thighs, Giovani. Thighs. If we wanted to wrestle calves, we'd be at a rodeo.
As a master tactician, Montenegro has been offering advice to his hunks.
"It's a good time to be a soccer player in Miami," he says. When interested parties ask which team the hunk next to them at the bar plays for, Montenegro suggests, "'Mumblemumblemumble.' And if they think you mean the thing Beckham is doing, then that's okay."
Andres de Abreu, striker
Andres de Abreu has been in Miami for seven years, having got his start on FIU's team. He claims to only wear his shin guards off the field "if people are trying to kick me in the shins."
We attempted to devise a scenario in which de Abreu would feel comfortable using his hands in a match. Something like if he had been born with hands for feet that he could easily conceal in his soccer shoes.
"Every sport has its rules," de Abreu says, gesturing with his hand-like hands. "Rules are fun. If you don't have rules, you don't have sports."
Alfred Santilus, defender
After playing overseas, Santilus is glad to be back in what he calls a "clean league." Not that uncleanliness is such an awful thing.
"In Puerto Rico, I was asked to sign -- actually, I shouldn't say it."
Ah, which means that he should. After a detailed off-the-record discussion, our hero decided it would be fine to say, "I was asked to autograph a woman's body part."
And did he?
Hunks: always going that extra mile. But which part? It could be one far more innocent than what you're thinking. But it'd be totally messed up if it were a spinal cord or lung or something.
As for the upcoming season, Santilus thinks, "Us against Jacksonville. That's the best match in the league."
Stanley Guirand, defender
Guirand used to play in Puerto Rico but is now back in America, Jack.
We'd like to make it clear that in no way was Guirand suggesting that Miami United fans squeeze his thighs and those of his teammates during halftime.
"I don't think it's allowed. With fans, you never know what they're going to do. You could try to prevent them but they're going to do what they're going to do."
After saying that, he didn't wink. But we did.
Miami United fans: don't forget to bring your hands to the games!
Enrique Herrera, midfielder
He's been in Miami for seven years and was in El Salvador before that.
Great, but other than soccer, what's the most impressive thing he can do with his feet?
"I can dance, man! A little bachata, whatever. You've got to see me dance."
Fine with us! You do the limbo, we'll be the pole. Yeee-ow!
German Tersano, defender
Tersano, however, claims that the most impressive thing he can do with his feet is, "Nothing. They're good for walking."
Not necessarily a winner's attitude. But maybe he just feels like he has nothing to prove? He deflected most of our hunk-related questions out of deference to his date, Katherine.
The best thing about soccer hunks, according to Katherine, is that "they're pretty good-looking."
Whatever. She doesn't even deserve Harman. Everyone knows that he's "hot," not "pretty good-looking." Holy crow.
Roberto Sacca, team owner and manager
Other than bringing a professional soccer team to Miami, what other aspects of Roberto Sacca's life has David Beckham shamelessly stolen?
"The stubble. Other things, too, but he and I are fine as long as he leaves my wife alone."
Former pro player and current playa emeritus, Sacca is the man who will lead Miami United to certain victory. His team will not only score more goals than its opponents but will also murder the opponents' families and then kick the severed heads into outer space. Metaphorically.
The man lives and breathes soccer, which as anyone who has ever stuck his face in a still-warm soccer boot knows, is harder than it looks. He's also excited about tournament play that will pit his team against those from MLS, perhaps including David Beckham's Miami team.
"I want to develop these players and I want to develop soccer in the area," Sacca says. And though we didn't ask, we assume he wants to be a part of the kicking heads into space thing.
Uncle Ed, super fan
Uncle Ed is a leader of Southern Legion, a local supporter's club that has been instrumental in luring professional teams to the area. Ed hopes that Miami United "might become the feeder team for Beckham's MLS team."
A major effort of Ed's was trying to convince investors to believe in Miami professional soccer as much as he and his Southern Legionnaires do.
"We spent years looking for billionaires," Uncle Ed says. Much of that search seems to have taken place in Fadó, an Irish bar in Brickell that shows soccer matches and, unfortunately for Ed's search, serves no beers priced higher than a billion dollars.
"We ended up just calling billionaires. You can Google everything these days," Ed tells us, a claim we have independently verified (although you may need to disable Safe Search).
So what of the hunks?
"I've already met women who say they want to 'break them in.'"
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Ouch! It would seem, then, that now would be a good time to pad your thighs, adopt a phony accent, and make a show of enjoying a drink at a bar without using your hands.
"Or you could buy a jersey," Ed offers, forgetting in his excitement that we are not billionaires.
Not a billionaire, either? Most tickets cost $10 and are available at the stadium box office or at MiamiUnitedSoccer.com, where you can also find a list of retail locations selling tickets. Home games are played at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Milander Park (4800 Palm Ave., Hialeah). The next home game is a rematch against Tampa on June 8 at 7 p.m.