Things haven't gone well for Miami FC this season. A late start (As seems to be the norm for this club) was eclipsed by a few important signings such as former MLS players Christian Gomez, Abe Thompson, Chris Gbandi, Mike Randolph, just to name a few. The problem is that despite an interesting line up of players the Blues never seemed to find their groove. Perhaps it was the coaching? Maybe the late start of the preseason? What we do know is that Miami FC's current season is pretty much over. It's time to think about next season and get things ready NOW!
As most of us know Miami FC will become the Strikers next season and with that there is a responsibility to the legacy that is the Strikers name and it's history. A team that according to everyone's favorite soccer historian Robert Scorca, never failed to make the playoffs. With that in mind things need to be done right from the start.
Traffic Sports, Miami FC's owners will have to do their homework and not make mistakes as they have throughout their short history with Miami FC. Take this weekends game at Rochester, for more on the game go HERE. The Rhino's had a throw back game which saw the home team sport the old NASL Lancers KIT with Miami FC wearing a Strikers T-Shirt... because that's what it looked like, an ugly put together at the last moment, T-shirt. Just check out the picture taken from the Miami FC site.
Time to bring back the old Strikers look, not that T-shirt abomination we saw Saturday. Traffic also needs to bring out the Strikers brand during the few games that are left to get people ready to what is coming next season. Time to look at how they will advertise. They should go after a radio station, hell, go after a local TV station. In essence Traffic needs to go all out on this one. It's still going to be difficult to sell Division 2 soccer but there is still much passion and respect from those that remember NASL's Ft Lauderdale Strikers. Give us a good product from day one and people will be interested in this team.
Rumors have been going around that Traffic might be looking at taking the Strikers to MLS. It was even mentioned by Jeff Rusnack in the Sun Sentinel. If that is the case then it would be a good idea if Traffic announces those intentions. Why not? It would make many of those "Elitest Soccer snobs" who only support their teams from back home consider going to games to support a team that is bound for MLS. Look what it did for attendance at cities like Toronto who with the Lynx had low attendance, yet with Toronto FC things changed and look at attendance now. Same thing with the Sounders and MLS bound Portland.
With MLS's new 3 Designated player rule an MLS South Florida team could potentially be successful. If you think about it, what player would not want to come to Miami? A player like Ronaldinho alone could fill Lockhart. Give us 3 of that caliber and we might need a bigger stadium.
What it comes down to is that Traffic has the golden opportunity to make something happen with the new Strikers. Time to take the experiences learned with Miami FC and implement them to make this club a success. We can only hope that Traffic will learn from their mistakes and not give us another night with an ugly T-shirt and a hurried product.
***UPDATE 8/23/10 at 3:02 pm***
We learned that Miami FC had nothing to do with the Strikers jerseys worn in Rochester this weekend. It was, after all, a Rochester event organized by that organization.
So, for all those fans that screamed bloody murder, do not panic! Those were not the new jerseys.