South Florida Soccer Fans Crush Old Attendance Record, Make A Loud Statement For MLS Expansion FC Barcelona and the stars of the Camp Nou descended upon SunLife Stadium in Miami last Wednesday night to face 2010 Copa Libertadores runners-up Chivas de Guadalajara.
Despite the star power of Xavi, Iniesta, and David Villa or Marco Fabian’s brace and the 4-1 scoreline the big story last Wednesday night was the record setting crowd of 70,080 that turned out despite the heat and humidity making a thundering declaration to Don Garber and company that South Florida is futbol country.
After losing the Miami Fusion to contraction in 2002 naysayers have poured grief on South Florida’s soccer fans and their passion for the game ever since. The truth is that South Florida soccer fans are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in the USA. Floridian’s know their soccer.
Given the heritage and cultural history of South Florida the soccer fans of the region are highly knowledgeable about the game and demand a more possession oriented and beautiful style of play than what we see from most MLS teams.
Seventy thousand plus sent a message loud and clear to MLS management on Wednesday night that they will support the beautiful game in their city. Unlike other parts of the country Floridians know the difference between the beautiful game and poorly played soccer.
Floridian’s won’t support a team that employs anti-football tactics and style. Wednesday shows the potential for MLS in South Florida is huge, but it’s up to Don Garber and MLS to get the franchise and ownership group right to bring the fans out
It’s time for MLS to give back what they took in 2002, and bring the beautiful game back to South Florida.