What to Know
- Soccer started in the area in 1977, when the Fort Lauderdale Strikers were formed in the North American Soccer League.
- In 1998, the Miami Fusion started play at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium following a deal to play at the former Orange Bowl fell through
- In 2006, the Miami FC club formed in the United Soccer League and played for five seasons before becoming the new Strikers.
Major League Soccer is back in South Florida following Monday’s announcement that the league has awarded an expansion franchise to a group of investors led by soccer legend David Beckham – continuing a long history of “futbol” in the area.
The new MLS franchise will be the second time the league has been in the area. In 1998, the Miami Fusion started play at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium following a deal to play at the former Orange Bowl Stadium fell through.
The Fusion went to the postseason in their first two seasons before missing out in 2000. The following season, Miami would finish with the best regular season record in the MLS – but were forced to fold along with the Tampa Bay Mutiny due to financial problems. A team in the National Premier Soccer League took the Fusion name starting in the 2015 season.
Soccer started in the area in 1977, when the Fort Lauderdale Strikers were formed in the North American Soccer League and made the playoffs each of their seven seasons – while creating a fierce rivalry with the Tampa Bay Rowdies – before moving to Minnesota in 1984.
In 2006, the Miami FC club formed in the United Soccer League and played for five seasons – including the final two in Fort Lauderdale before taking over the Strikers name for six seasons.
Miami FC has been the most recent soccer team in the area, playing their inaugural season in 2016 before finishing with the best record in the latest North American Soccer League in 2017, losing in the semi-finals of the playoffs.
Several other professional soccer clubs call Miami home thanks to the American Premier Soccer League, including Miami-Dade FC – a team that won the league’s title in 2017.