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Miami FC unveiled as 12th NASL team, will begin play in 2016

Miami FC owners


While MLS continues to try and work on a stadium deal in Miami, NASL has beaten it to the punch in launching an expansion club in the glitzy city.

NASL made a surprise announcement on Monday afternoon, revealing that Miami Football Club would be its 12th team and begin playing in 2016. Miami FC is co-owned by international businessman Riccardo Silva and retired Italian National Team legend Paolo Maldini, but there are no specifics as to where the club will play yet.

Miami FC will be the fourth Florida team in NASL, joining the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Jacksonville Armada.

“This exciting announcement is another testament to the strength of our rapidly growing organization, our owner-friendly structure, and the growing popularity of NASL soccer worldwide,” said NASL commissioner Bill Peterson. “Riccardo Silva is a world leader in soccer media, and he has decided, along with his partners, that Miami and the NASL are part of an important future for the game globally.”

The announcement of Miami FC comes just days before MLS commissioner Don Garber is planned to visit the South Florida metropolis to try and help strike a deal for a soccer-specific stadium.

MLS has stated since February 2014 that it intends to bring a a professional club back to South Florida through an ownership group led by soccer icon David Beckham, but the search for land for a stadium in or around downtown Miami has not been easy to come by.

In recent years, MLS has repeatedly expanded into NASL markets, including Atlanta and Minnesota. This move, however, marks the first time that NASL has beaten MLS to the punch in launching an expansion club in a city that both leagues were interested in.

“Miami finally has an ownership group with a global vision and the experience to build a proper club that all of Miami will be proud to support,” said Peterson. “This group is very focused on fielding a competitive team and being a partner to the entire Miami community.”


What do you think of NASL’s decision to launch a team in Miami? How will this affect Beckham’s MLS plans? How do you see Garber and MLS responding?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. This sounds like a terrible situation for the MLS! As we watch Garber try to expand the league, it becomes more clear that he really doesn’t have a solid plan in place with the clubs/ownership. The expansion of the league will ultimately lead to more contraction. Some of the product on the field except for a few teams is just horrendous. As a NYCFC supporter, I watched some of the most unskilled football I’ve seen in years!!! David Villa and Mix must feel like idiots taking contracts to play with such untalented footballers. The league has enough teams. They need to stop watering down the talent pool. If they want to make the league better add a higher salary cap to get better players. The fact that TFC spending $890,000 is the top of the league spending is a joke. ARoid for the Yankees at 40+ years old is making 20x the highest team in MLS!! Its a shame they pay these guys so little and they are trying to expand. Improve the quality of the game, then expand. I like what see from the top 5 teams but the rest are literally garbage . I love the league but it needs to sort out priorities!!!

  2. Clearly some MLS interns writing negative comments about this article, but most people should be savvy enough to see through that.

    Great move by the NASL. With Silva’s media distribution experience/connections, I see good news in this league’s future.

    • And the NASL intern has been outed!

      Please now write us a puff piece on how the Cosmos are going to bypass FIFA altogether and make NASL the world governing soccer body. They’ll do it with their 45 year old players, photoshopped without their walkers as well as their stadium in the Atlantic ocean, photoshopped to appear hovering above Manhattan!

      Its a win-win-win!

      • Troy, does NASL have to fail for MLS to succeed? Otherwise, what is your problem? Why do you even care about what NASL or their supporters are up to?

        There was a time when US soccer fans would have been excited that someone like Paolo Maldini would be involved with a soccer venture in the US – regardless of the level or league. If this causes Beckham and MLS to get their act together, then that’s a good thing for US soccer. If Beckham takes his ball and goes elsewhere, then that’s fine too – at least soccer fans in Miami can go support a team of their own if they choose to, instead of only being able to read breathless press releases about “making progress”.

        If Silva’s international media connections bring attention to NASL, then how is that a bad thing? I watch MLS games too, but this is a big country and there are more than 18-20 markets that can support pro soccer.

        Best of luck to Miami FC. I believe a rising tide lifts all boats.

  3. Clearly the Team Beckham is going nowhere. (These two aren’t going to put money into a NASL team if they think some MLS team is really going to be playing in the next couple of years.)

    I read the stadium reference in this as “we have an existing stadium lined up, we just can’t announce it yet” – probably Marlins Park. (Marlins are looking to monetize that stadium and the Yankee Stadium NYCFC situation seems to be working ok.)

    Honestly this news makes a Beckham-MLS team way less likely. If I’m a Miami Commissioner, I have no reason to help Beckham with a stadium if this other effort is underway and asking less in terms of city resources. And as much as MLS may want to fulfill it’s agreement with Beckham, promoting this effort if its proves itself in 5-6 years (like Minn) is a much safer bet for the league. A new stadium deal is a lot easier sell with a known commodity.

    If Becks is smart he’ll just flip his franchise rights – current market price is $100million, he has right to buy at half that, he can sell Sacramento entry to MLS and pocket $50million.

    • I thought they were referring to FIU.

      I don’t know the details of Beckham’s deal with MLS – not sure if he can flip his rights or if they’re just personal to him. If MLS was smart (and I have no reason to believe that they weren’t) they would have made the deal contingent on Beckham’s involvement with the new team since he brings so much attention. My guess is that MLS structured the deal with that in mind.

  4. In other NASL expansion ‘news,’ I live in San Francisco, and there’s some flotsam drifting around here re: an NASL move into the market. I’ve always firmly believed that SF would be an optimal soccer market if someone did it right. More Sounders-like than Quakes. Really do think there’s some room here for MLS – likely in the very long term – to either move in or else relocate the Quakes (someday).

    Might be a good fit for NASL in the meantime. But that would be curious for its potential – with a few marquee cities without a heavy MLS presence, like say, San Francisco, Miami, and maybe even San Diego, Phoenix, etc., they could conceivably try to actualize these grandiose dreams they keep spouting. (Baltimore, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, New Orleans?) It helps them that they can shoot for a much smaller/more flexible stadium situation than MLS requires at this point. I’d also seriously consider using the MLS 2.0 blueprint in cities where MLS 1.0 has too high of a legacy cost to really evolve: sort of like the Bay Area, but including a city like Chicago that still has a lot of untapped potential. Bringing in a midwestern presence in say, Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit,could have some potential. Anyway, just my two cents, and the point is that if they do it right, there’s plenty of room for a large scale NASL in this country.

    • I’ve been thinking along the same lines. San Jose would probably do everything they could to prevent MLS from putting a team in San Francisco. Same with DC United and Baltimore. But what’s stopping NASL from putting teams in those areas as long as they have qualified owners? Same with San Diego – MLS has stayed away because it’s “Xolos Country”, but maybe the numbers would work better for NASL in San Diego.

  5. NASL is like the kid brother always trying to one-up you.

    Funny as hell responses here though. A couple NASL interns clearly writing some posts but most here are savvy enough to treat this like it is an Onion piece.

  6. One scary thing that can happen against MLS, is what if mexican billionaires from ligaMX starts making farm teams in NASL .
    I can name like 8 or 9 team owners from ligaMX who can do that with NASL just to expand their marketing and money. In reality, D2 teams in Mexico are owned by the same owner of a D1 team but with different name and colors.
    I have always wondered why it has taken so much time that mexican team owners don’t approach USAs division 2 with a team.
    Imagine the biggest team in Mexico club America bringing a team to Dallas or San Francisco in the NASL but naming it different. That would be crazy and scary for garber, but seriously it will happen sooner or later and NASL might be monster leading that to happen.

    • LigaMX is the 5th biggest sports league in North America. It should absorb Seattle, SKC, LA Galaxy, LAFC, RBNY, Toronto, Portland, Vancouver, and the Union and fold the rest.

  7. wow, unexpected. but an escalation to the NASL vs MLS expansion battle!

    Miami seems like a better fit for NASL than MLS anyways. I wonder how Beckham and Garber will reply to this – hopefully they walk away and go to another market.

    • Agreed. A potential quick sand mistep in Miami just got messier.

      Are they going to race an NASL squad for attention and a start date? It would take a first class production by the MLS outfit to look anything but silly.. and so far we’ve nothing even close to first class. Disaster written all over it.

      Garber has got to put Sacramento on the clock.

  8. I can’t take this any more.
    First garber doesn’t believe in a MLS2 and then USL plans to make soccer stadiums for all the teams, yeah right. Then Nasl keeps expanding like if they have a serious plan or something.
    Then Monday garber at the LA2 announcement says red bull is doing better than ever, seriously.
    What’s next, Atlanta naming their team coca cola Atlanta.
    Garber needs to act like the boss of MLS and like a real commissioner of a sport league in the U.S.
    He needs to at least mention having an MLS2 in the future and please act like a real soccer league.
    If 2020 is suppose to be a big year, then what will 2030 be like.

  9. With no Miami movement and Minnesota United falling apart, MLS needs to bring its game to two markets ready to go yesterday – Sacramento and San Antonio. Come on Don G., abandon those other two places and let’s get teams in markets that are ready!

  10. If MLS keeps ignoring the NASL, they will be a real problem in the next decade or so. Not saying this team is going to be a resounding success, but the NASL keeps growing is becoming way more attractive to investors. MLS needs to get away from the single entity and stop suckling from the teat of the NFL and its owners.

    • Too bad for the NASL that Miami’s on the wrong coast. I wonder if Maldini knows his new team will be Div. 3 before too long.

      12 teams, and 4 will be in Florida?

    • Bro, MLS ain’t losing sleep over the NASL because it’s no threat to the MLS. None. Zippy.

      NASL clubs that have access to the capital that they need leave for MLS if they can get in. Or MLS enters in the market and the NASL franchise panics. Nobody from MLS has any interest in moving to the NASL. The fed’s preferential treatment of MLS and USL over the NASL probably won’t change anytime soon. I could go on…

      Donnie G and his crew will continue to looks at the NASL as the minor annoyance and not much else.

      I LOVE the NASL but I don’t drink the Kool-Aid because it’s been spiked with some sort of kind of strange artificial sweetener than triggers delusions.

      • I meant your comment is Brilliant, not you personally, I don’t know you. But the fact that neither Miami team has a stadium to play in certainly says quite a bit about the market in my opinion.


  12. They don’t have a stadium selected? Brilliant. Are we sure this isn’t a joke? That picture has Photoshop written all over it.


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