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The jury is still deliberating over whether or not Miami is a “real” sports town. The city’s pride and joy, the NBA’s Miami Heat, do a good job filling seats—after the first quarter—and a new stadium helped raise the Marlins’ average attendance this past season, despite a lousy record. But Dolphin diehards are dwindling, and it’s easy to forget that the University of Miami is still somewhat relevant in college football, baseball and basketball. So what will convince the naysayers that Miami truly does love sports? Soccer. On Wednesday at 8 p.m., professional soccer returns to Sun Life Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens) with a FIFA-sanctioned international friendly between Colombia and Guatemala. If previous exhibitions are any indication of the size of the crowd you can expect that night, you may want to purchase tickets well in advance. When Chivas upset Barcelona at Sun Life in 2011, a record-breaking 70,080 witnessed it live. Given Colombia’s resurgence as a soccer powerhouse, the stadium may see that many on Wednesday. Sandwiched between fourth-place Italy and sixth-place England, Colombia has climbed 31 spots since 2011 to hold court as FIFA’s fifth best national team on the planet. Guatemala, on the other hand, has struggled in recent years; the team failed to qualify for World Cup Qualifiers, nixing any chance of a World Cup Victory in 2016. Nevertheless, good soccer is good soccer, and both these teams should put on a hell of a dogfight.
Wed., Feb. 6, 8 p.m., 2013


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