Despite the team coming up short 1-0 to Cincinnati FC, Miami fans should be proud of their performance on Wednesday night.
The game drew 10,415 supporters (on a weeknight, no less!) for the quarterfinal match of the US Open Cup. That breaks the previous attendance record for a Miami FC game and dwarfs the 2017 season average of 6,265.
On top of that, the game fell only a few days after 66,014 fans showed up for the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid showdown at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Sure, El Clasico could probably draw similar figures in even the most remote cities around the world, but it’s still a promising sign for a city on the verge of having an MLS team.
The next challenge will be building a fan culture around a club that has yet to play a game.
Remember, Miami FC is not the team that will be moving into the MLS. Miami FC and its already established supporter group, the Dade Brigade, will still exist in the NASL alongside the yet-to-be-named Miami MLS club.
Will Miami FC loyalists willingly swap allegiances? Is there room for both teams to thrive with local soccer fans cheering for both? Or will Miami FC and the new MLS club cannibalize each other and create a watered-down version of fan culture?
Only time will tell, but we hope David Beckham, his fellow owners, and the Southern Legion supporters are building community support as we speak.