South Florida Has A Winning Team: Men's Beach Soccer

We get it already -- the Heat lost. It was sad. But another team has been defending Miami's honor, and these guys actually won a championship -- Florida Beach Soccer FC, a five-man team of footballers with professional credentials who are now the North American Sand Soccer champions.

It's more serious than it sounds -- the tournament, held last weekend in Virginia Beach, had teams from as far away as California in its headline pro/am division, and Florida Beach Soccer came home with $10,000 in prize money and the first place trophy.

Player and club President Erich Kuhnke, who sells construction supplies during the day, says the team went to the tourney last year with haphazard preparations, but after taking third place decided they were "going to go back this year and win the damn thing."

Though they only practice for a few hours a week, all the players

are long-time soccer players with lengthy résumés, and three are current

or former members from the U.S. Beach Soccer Men's National Team, which

finished second in the Miami Cup tournament

last month.

In a 3-3 draw against Spain, Florida Beach Soccer's Oscar

Gil scored all three of the national team's goals in regulation, and the

team's Francis Faberoff scored the only overtime penalty kick.


said the team's next stop is a July tournament in Chicago, which, as it

turns out, has a beach. They're then planning to take on the Bahamas

National Beach Soccer Team in September.

Courtesy of Erich Kuhnke
From right to left: Gil, Kuhnke, Faberoff and an unnamed beach bum who appears to be stealing Gatorade.
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Rich Abdill
Contact: Rich Abdill