Maybe you've had your attention squarely directed on the rumors swirling around the Miami Heat free-agency hunt. Maybe you've just been preoccupied with all the festivities that came with this week's MLB All-Star Game. Or maybe you thought soccer in Miami was reserved for David Beckham-owned teams that will finally begin playing around the time you own a flying car.
If any of those scenarios match your excuse for not noticing the amazing run the Miami FC has been on this season, that's on you — but we're going to change that right here and now. The 305's professional soccer club has been on an astounding run that included a recent 14-game undefeated streak, two wins against top-tier Major League Soccer teams, and, last weekend, a 7-0 beatdown to clinch a spring season championship in the team's second-tier North American Soccer League.
Tonight the Miami FC will host FC Cincinnati of the United Soccer League at FIU Stadium in the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Open Cup.
This is the perfect game to right your wrongs and check out what the Miami FC fuss is all about. Here's why it's worth the trip to Sweetwater:
1. The Beer Garden serves local craft brews
The Beer Garden is one of the best features inside Florida International University's newly upgraded Riccardo Silva Stadium. For as little as $20, you can buy a ticket to the game that comes with two beers. The selection of suds includes multiple local craft varieties, including Concrete Beach.
The Beer Garden also offers food and live music, so you'll get the feel of grabbing a bite to eat at Bayside, but instead of the water, you have yourself a soccer match right in front of you.
2. The seating options are pretty badass
Miami FC has seating options that cater to everyone. In the "Dade Brigade" section, you'll find the rowdy fans singing along to music, playing brass instruments and drums, and chanting along for the full 90 minutes. In the Beer Garden, you'll get the feel of the Marlins Park Clevelander. The Sideline Club is your VIP section that is closest to the action but at an affordable price. And, of course, the general-admission seats are open if you're bringing the entire family.
Bonus: Parking is free in most cases. VIP parking is also available if you're fancy.
3. The in-game soccer experience is like no other sporting event in South Florida
A huge part of the fun — and what makes a Miami FC game different from, say, a Marlins game — is the crowd's passion. Hard-core Miami FC fans spend the entire game singing and chanting: That's the soccer experience South Florida has been waiting for, and it's going down at FIU Stadium every time the Miami FC takes the field. Unlike other sports, soccer actually encourages standing and making noise throughout the game, not just during the in-game action. Miami FC matchups are one big party.
The Dade Brigade, a section of fans known for, well,
4. Miami FC has world-class talent
Yes, the NASL is technically the second tier of U.S. soccer. But Miami FC has put MLS-level investment into the club. National soccer fans became aware of star striker
Oh, yeah, did we mention the club's coach, Alessandro Nesta, is a World Cup winner and former legit superstar in Italy?
To sum it all up: The Miami FC is damn good.
"This is a soccer town," says Christopher Corey, head of an advertising firm that works with the club. "In Miami, more soccer is watched on TV than any other county in the U.S... These guys are not fucking around! They have the talent and the money to go the distance."
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5. While we wait years for MLS to arrive, Miami FC is right here already
Aren't you sick of waiting? David Beckham has taken his sweet time getting his crap together in hopes of finally bringing an MLS team to Miami. It might soon happen, but who knows? Miami FC is right here, kicking ass, waiting for you to come out and enjoy the team's dominating roster. Plus, this town loves a winner, and Miami FC is on a Heat-LeBron-era-winning-streak.
So what are you waiting for? Tonight is the night to get out to FIU Stadium and watch an actual soccer team, not an imaginary-maybe-in-the-future-news-conference-having-team. The Miami FC are here and now, winning. Don't be the last to check them out.
Miami FC vs. FC Cincinnati 2017 U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, at Riccardo Silva Stadium, 11310 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-4263. Tickets cost $10 to $150 via tickets.completeticketsolutions.com.