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Bend It Like Zinho

The stateside arrival of global icon David Beckham has put soccer on the collective radar of the American populace for the first time since Pelé and his New York Cosmos teammates rubbed elbows with Mick Jagger at Studio 54 in the Seventies. There is good reason to hope this time will be different. As the NHL melts under its revenue crisis and nearly extinct television ratings, the door opens for a new game to claim the fourth “major” sport slot alongside football, basketball, and baseball. The world’s game is poised to make a real splash in this country, and you have a chance to get in on the pitch level.

Miami FC, the Magic City’s two-year-old United Soccer League club, is in the midst of a heated playoff race and a significant winning streak (five in a row at press time). The team even has its own incarnation of Pelé and Beckham in Crizam “Zinho” Oliveira. The 40-year-old legend boasts five Brazilian championships, three Brazilian Cup titles, and the 1994 World Cup title, and he brings his sharp-as-ever skills to the USL as Miami FC’s leading scorer. The club continues its playoff push today at 6:00 p.m. when it battles the Atlanta Silverbacks at Tropical Park Stadium.
Sun., Aug. 12, 6 p.m.


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