VIDEO: Relive how MLS’ last Miami side excelled in 2001, then got shut down – MLS Insider



Following David Beckham and MLS’ announcement on Wednesday that a franchise will be back in Miami for the first-time since 2001, I just had to dig this out.

Of course the last time MLS had a team in South Florida, the Fusion folded after severe financial problems forced the league to cease operations in both Miami and Tampa Bay.

After watching this clip and seeing a trembling Ray Hudson break down on camera, there won’t be many dry eyes left out there.

This clip from MLS Insider, released back in September, details the remarkable 2001 season when the Miami Fusion dazzled MLS and won the Supporters’ Shield with the best overall record.

(MORE: How would Beckham’s MLS franchise in Miami be any different this time around?)

In that team they had the likes of Preki, Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Diego Serna and Alex Pineda Chacon who spearheaded an attack-minded assault on MLS and came out on top. The colorful and hugely loveable Hudson led them as manager, after switching the broadcasters booth for the dugout, and succeeded in galvanizing his team of talented individuals.

A trip around their old Lockhart Stadium, speaking to the fans, players and the people of Miami, this video gives a taste of the passion and commitment to soccer Beckham and his business partners can expect.

In truth the Fusion were right on the edge of breaking into the mainstream of sports in South Florida, before it was all taken away so abruptly at the turn of the millennium.

Here’s hoping it all turns out better this time in MIA.

Zlatan confirms Manchester United departure

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has confirmed myriad reports he’s leaving Manchester United with a perfectly-Zlatan Instagram message.

Ibrahimovic is expected to join the LA Galaxy next week.

[ MORE: MLS All Stars vs. Juventus ]

The words aren’t too important, but Ibrahimovic posted an old graphic of him in Greek god garb, arm-wrestling a devil. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

The living Swedish legend, 36, has been limited to seven appearances, one start, and one goal in returning from a season-ending knee injury, but finishes his Manchester United tenure with an impressive 29 goals and 10 assists in 53 games (deduct the seven and one for peak impressiveness).

Bale breaks Wales scoring record

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Gareth Bale has now unquestionably written his name into Wales history.

The 28-year-old Real Madrid scored a hat-trick for Wales in its 6-0 demolition of China, taking his overall tally to 29 goals, breaking Ian Rush’s record.

“It is right up there, maybe as the best,” Bale told reporters after the game. “I suppose when I was a little boy I never dreamed of being a record-breaker for Wales. It is a massive honor. I was not thinking about it, but now it has come it’s an incredible honor and one of the best things I’ve achieved in my career. On a personal note it’s great to break the record, but I could not have done it without my team-mates.”

Bale was unable to carry Wales to the 2018 World Cup, but he first became a National Team legend by helping take Wales to the Euro 2016 semifinals, scoring three goals along the way.

Here’s a look at Bale’s record-breaking goal.

Sporting KC giving away creative “Bike Opara” bobblehead

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In his ninth Major League Soccer season, Ike Opara has scored just a dozen regular season goals.

He’s known more for his physicality in the backline, for creating space for teammates on set pieces, or heading balls on to teammates with slightly more fleeter feet.

But in June 2017, it all came together for Opara in a magical moment, where he beat an offside trap from the LA Galaxy and scored an insane bicycle kick for Sporting Kansas City.

Now, to honor Opara’s ridiculous goal, Sporting KC has announced the first 10,000 fans through the gates at Children’s Mercy Park on March 31 will get a “Bike Ike” bobblehead, with him in flight kicking the ball towards goal over his shoulder.

You’ve gotta love the creativity and fun the Sporting KC marketing department is having. Hopefully, Opara can give the team another memorable goal in 2018.

Van Dijk named new Netherlands captain

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Virgil Van Dijk has had a pretty decent last three months since moving to Liverpool, and the towering defender earned a new personal achievement on Thursday.

Van Dijk was named the newest captain of the Netherlands National Team, where he’ll play under former manager Ronald Koeman. Van Dijk’s first game as captain will be against the nation where he currently plies his trade, England, on Friday.

“I am very happy with it, it is a great honor to be the captain of your country,” van Dijk said at a pre-match press conference Thursday. “Everyone knows that Koeman gave me the chance at Southampton, I am very grateful to him. This is very special.”

Van Dijk’s commanding presence in the Liverpool backline and previous stops at Southampton and Celtic make him an obvious choice for captain, taking the place of the now-retired Arjen Robben. At just 26-years old, van Dijk could carry the armband for a half dozen years if he keeps up his strong form.