View Full Version : Brazilian Romario & Haitian Stephane Guillaume are finally set to make MiamiFC Debut

05-05-06, 10:16 AM
Romário's debut is finally set. After enduring visa problems and a calf injury, Brazilian legend Romário will play his first game with Miami FC tonight.

Romário will finally make his Miami FC debut tonight at Tropical Park against the Rochester Raging Rhinos.

The Brazilian legend and 1994 World Cup MVP missed the season-opening tie against Montreal because of visa complications, but all the paperwork is straight, Romário's calf injury is healed, and he is ready to continue his chase toward 1,000 goals. Romário is 36 goals shy of the milestone, which has been reached only by Pelé in modern times.

''I am honored to start playing for my new team and I hope to see a lot of fans having fun in the stands [Friday night],'' Romário said at a news conference Thursday.

Romário insisted he is ready in three languages -- Spanish, Portuguese and English.

His teammates are eager to get on the field with him.

Fabian Sandoval, a Mexican-American who grew up in Los Angeles, said he used to pretend he was Romário when he was a young boy.

''During the 1994 World Cup, me and all my friends would play soccer in the park and all of us would want to be Romário,'' Sandoval said. ``I can't believe it's the same guy that is now on my team. It's such an honor.''

Guatemalan forward Mario ''El Loco'' Rodriguez said Romário will make Miami's attack much more potent.

'I can't say I'm alone up there without Romário because the other players have done a good job, but with a guy like Romário there, he will attract the defenders' attention, which will open it up more for the rest of us,'' he said.

``And if we can get him the ball near the goal, there's a good chance he'll get it in. It will be a different team with him.''

The match also will mark the debut of Haitian defender Stephane Guillaume and Brazilian midfielder Diego Walsh, both of whom also had visa delays. Guillame said Thursday he hopes to help Miami FC win the United Soccer Leagues championship in its inaugural season.

The team played well in its scoreless tie against Montreal, one of the best teams in the league the past few years. Miami FC had more scoring chances, and a free kick by Brazilian 1994 World Cup midfielder Zinho just missed after bouncing off the crossbar.

Rochester also will be a good test for the expansion Miami team. The Rhinos have traditionally been one of the strongest teams in the league -- on and off the field. They finished 15-7-6 last season and drew 9,570 fans per game, a big reason they are a few weeks away from moving into a new 13,500-seat soccer-specific stadium. The Rhinos are starting their season with seven straight road games while the stadium is finished.

Tonight's game will be a homecoming for Rochester's Kevin Taylor, a 6-5 defender and Miami native who led Gulliver Prep to back-to-back state championships in 1999 and 2000.

He was an All-American at the University of Michigan and was drafted by the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer in 2004 before joining Rochester.


Romario set to debut
Striker is fit, has work visa
May 5, 2006

Barring another late surprise, Romario will finally make his debut for Miami FC tonight against the Rochester Raging Rhinos at Tropical Park.

Brazil's 1994 World Cup star signed for the first-year United Soccer League team at the end of March, but he has been available for only a few practices. He strained his left calf two days before a friendly and watched that game from the bench. He was in Brazil finalizing his work visa for the USL opener against Montreal two weeks ago.

Romario returned from Brazil on Tuesday with his injury healed and his visa completed. He rejoins a team that drew encouragement from its scoreless tie against 2005 league leader Montreal.

"I'm excited about playing," Romario said. "I want to see a lot of fans at the stadium having fun. Now that the team is complete, we're ready to start playing some good soccer."

Romario hasn't played competitively in almost two months. He stopped training with his former club Vasco da Gama in mid-March. He begins the season with 964 career goals.

If you go
Who: Rochester vs. Miami FC
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St., Miami
Tickets: $6-$35
Information: 866-576-4264 or MiamiFC.com

05-05-06, 03:27 PM
I've always enjoyed watching Romario play soccer, he's a great player (of course!), hope his team comes up north (NY) soon. Thanks Bana for that very good news!