In today’s episode of This Day in Miami History, we talk to Joe Shaw of “25 for 25: The story of the Miami Fusion from those who lived it,” about the team that preceded Inter Miami CF in Major League Soccer and its 2000 attempt to win the trophy that the Herons are competing for tonight. We also talk about family, loss, and preserving memories.

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25 for 25: The story of the Miami Fusion from those who lived it (

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[00;00;00;04 – 00;00;24;29] Matthew Bunch: Tonight, some South Florida sports history may be made. Inter Miami will be hosting the Houston Dynamo in the final of the 108th edition of the U.S. Open Cup. I don’t want to get too far into the weeds of how soccer works, but open cups are usually competitions held nationally to try to figure out the team that is best among them all.

[00;00;25;01 – 00;00;52;18] Matthew Bunch: Instead of dealing with a league where every week there is a game and everyone plays everyone else, it’s one-offs. Win or go home. And Inter Miami in this competition has done a lot of winning. Even while the team has struggled in its Major League Soccer schedule, the club was able to reach the semifinals without the help of recent arrival in Argentinian uber star Leo Messi.

[00;00;52;20 – 00;01;09;12] Matthew Bunch: The team had Messi for the semifinals of the competition, but still needed to go to penalty kicks to defeat FC Cincinnati on the road. It wasn’t Messi, but instead Key Biscayne product Benja Cremaschi, who scored the deciding penalty take

[00;01;09;15 – 00;01;20;00] Ray Hudson: Benjamin Cremaschi is his name! That will be in the headlines in the Miami Herald tomorrow! That’s for sure.

[00;01;20;02 – 00;01;44;16] Matthew Bunch: The voice you heard there on the CBS broadcast was that of Ray Hudson. Hudson is a bit of a soccer broadcasting legend here in the United States with a very distinctive voice. But his broadcast career is not the reason I include this clip in the intro for this episode. Because he had a different career, and in fact, a very close connection to South Florida.

[00;01;44;18 – 00;02;12;15] Matthew Bunch: He was the manager the last time a Miami club appeared in the Open Cup final. That club is the Miami Fusion, a team that predated Inter Miami by nearly two decades. And today, we’re going to talk with a very special guest to learn a little bit more about that club, its place in Miami sports history and what the Open Cup means to those who were on the Fusion and to what it might mean to the players on Inter Miami today.

[00;02;12;18 – 00;02;29;14] Matthew Bunch: This Day in Miami History: September 27, 2023. When Inter Miami faces off in the hopes of winning its first open club title in its team’s history and the first open Cup in the history of South Florida.

[00;02;29;18 – 00;02;49;19] King Elizabeth: ♪ “Miami Sunrise” by King Elizabeth ♪

[00;02;49;19 – 00;03;06;23] Matthew Bunch: Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Whenever you’re listening, happy to have you. I have a very special guest on this evening. A guest who is doing some work that really could not be more up my alley. And I’m just discovering it way too late in the game. But I’m very excited to be discovering it nonetheless in kind of perfect time to do so.

[00;03;07;00 – 00;03;09;10] Matthew Bunch: His name is Joe Shaw. Joe, how you doing this evening?

[00;03;09;12 – 00;03;14;10] Joe Shaw: Matt, I’m doing great. And it’s always a good day to talk about soccer in Miami, that’s for sure.

[00;03;14;13 – 00;03;39;11] Matthew Bunch: Yes, sir. So your show is entitled “25 for 25, The Story of the Miami Fusion from Those Who Lived It.” And it is such an ambitious project for such an important part of Miami soccer history that while all the energy that’s currently around soccer in South Florida, which is wonderful, exists, there is this other chapter that goes untold.

[0;03;39;11 – 00;03;54;08] Matthew Bunch: And there are so many players in today’s world in soccer that are adjacent to that Miami Fusion team of the late nineties and early 2000s. What attracted you to this project in the first place, trying to cover this team’s story?

[00;03;54;10 – 00;04;17;20] Joe Shaw: Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s my favorite topic to talk about. So first of all, thanks for having me on. I’m very excited to discuss this project. So for me, I’ve been storytelling in some form or fashion most of my life. So I have got the background in theater and then I’ve been doing storytelling through podcasting since 2016, but I’ve always wanted to tell sports stories, specifically soccer stories.

[00;04;17;21 – 00;04;35;07] Joe Shaw: And for me, there’s no more important stories to tell than those of Major League Soccer. A lot of people fell in love with the game by watching the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A. There’s a lot of fantastic teams and history, but for me, my story dates back 25 years ago to 1998 when I was a ball kid for the Dallas Burn at the Cotton Bowl.

[00;04;35;09 – 00;04;58;10] Joe Shaw: And the first game that I watched was a 8-1 thrashing the L.A. Galaxy gave to the Dallas Burn. But the one goal that Dallas got was an Olimpico goal scored by Damián Álvarez. That’s a deep cut for those that know. He scored an Olimpico from the corner. And it was the side that I was working and I watched that ball arc beautifully around the defenders and the wall and the goalie and tuck into the far post.

[00;04;58;16 – 00;05;23;21] Joe Shaw: I was hooked after that. It was love at first sight and you never forget your first love. So for me, the stories of Major League Soccer, specifically the stories of the early days of Major League Soccer are very important to me. And what drew me to the Miami Fusion specifically is the fact that here you had a team that won the Supporters Shield, had the best record of Major League Soccer in the regular season, their final year of existence in 2001.

[00;05;23;23 – 00;05;44;26] Joe Shaw: And yet they still get folded. Like, that right there is interesting enough for me to want to dig into why they were folded, why the league made the decision to fold the team, and how did those decisions inform the steps that Major League Soccer took when they brought soccer back to Miami four years ago as well? So we’re at a bit of a serendipitous moment.

[00;05;44;28 – 00;06;07;10] Joe Shaw: And then my personal connection, Captain Jim Rooney of the Miami Fusion. I’m very close to his brother, Al. So Al and I have known each other for several years now. And I realized that 1998 was 25 years ago here in 2023, 25 years ago, the Miami Fusion first entered the league. And it’s also the fourth year of Inter Miami and the fourth year of Miami Fusion.

[00;06;07;13 – 00;06;30;06] Joe Shaw: And it felt like there was a lot that the universe is bringing together. And so I pitched this idea to Al that I want to do 25 interviews across 29 episodes to honor the 25-year history of the Miami Fusion coming into MLS. Jim said, “Yes,” we were off to the races, did the first episode and then when the first episode published, all of these players and coaches and staff came out and it’s been a wild ride.

[00;06;30;13 – 00;06;50;20] Joe Shaw: To me, there’s no better person or persons to tell the history than those that truly lived it. So instead of trying to, you know, have me tell the story through stats and figures and that’s cool, that’s been covered. A lot of people have done it and have done it really well. What’s more important to me is to tell the oral history of the club.

[00;06;50;23 – 00;07;31;01] Joe Shaw: Jim’s got incredible stories that a woman like Dona Cardoza who worked in the front office does not have. Dona’s got stories that John Trask, who is a coach, does not have. But together they weave this tapestry of this beautiful history of this club that, while they only lasted four years, there’s some mysticism and magic surrounding it. And I think it’s not lost on me that even though DRV PNK Stadium is a new stadium, and it’s not Lockhart Stadium. It is still on those hallowed grounds. And so a lot of that magic that people felt with the Fusion seems to be coming back up here 25 years later in 2023.

[00;07;31;03 – 00;07;51;17] Matthew Bunch: So you decide to jump into this with Jim. And I do want to let folks know who are listening and we will circle back to this again before we wrap up. But there’s no better time to promote something than the present, that you have a live podcast recording on the books for Friday, October 6th [2023] at Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub & Restaurant there in Hollywood.

[00;07;51;19 – 00;08;32;14] Matthew Bunch: Nice middle ground between the DRV PNK and Dade. You and Jim will be hosting that and we’ll be sure to share the link for that in the show notes so people can check that out and put that on social. And hopefully I’m able to make it, sounds like a hell of a time. So you kind of mention this club, when people think about the Fusion, if they think about the Fusion and thankfully what you’re doing, you get a chance for people to think about a little bit more. You can think, oh yeah, there was a team that like started in Miami, moved up to Broward, never really took off, and then went away. But you alluded to the fact that there is a there’s actually a different hook to this, which is they got good. They were a good team, and that still wasn’t enough to save them.

[00;08;32;17 – 00;08;47;07] Matthew Bunch: What is the reaction, again, without giving away too much of your own show, how do the folks involved feel about that? Do they have this kind of sense of what ifs about what the club might have been? Have they been able to stick together?

[00;08;47;10 – 00;09;12;15] Joe Shaw: [100 percent. Everybody that I’ve spoken with, even folks who passed through the Fusion before the 2001 season. So there’s guys like Garth Lagerwey, who’s the current president of Atlanta United, who is a goalie for the Fusion in ‘99, specifically. Primarily, he was in there a little bit beyond ’99, but ‘99 being the most. And he still felt that the Fusion had so much more left in the tank that they could have dominated the league in 2002.

[00;09;12;17 – 00;09;37;17] Joe Shaw: And it is, you know, there’s a little bit of nostalgia. I think we all like to wist fondly for what could have been and like to play out these scenarios. But the thing you have to remember is that there was momentum. There was strong momentum from this team. There was a veteran leadership at every single position and there was a huge mixture of youth, guys like Pablo Mastroeni, Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman were on this team.

[00;09;37;20 – 00;10;00;25] Joe Shaw: And so you had a perfect blend of talent that really would have dominated the league. I think what we’ve discovered through the podcast is the fact that it was it was a bit of a series of unfortunate events, so to speak. So Miami had a lot, the Fusion had a lot of momentum when they started and they weren’t good.

[00;10;00;27 – 00;10;25;18] Joe Shaw: Then they got good and they were winning back fans, but they hadn’t won back all of the fans yet, but they were on their way. They also had a situation within the league where the league recognized that they needed to stop the bleeding, so to speak, of a lot of the money expenditures. And they were figuring out what do we need to do to sort of cut losses and, short term, so we can build and grow to the league we have today.

[00;10;25;20 – 00;10;48;23] Joe Shaw: And unfortunately, the decision was made to fold a couple of teams. Miami got caught up as the secondary team because Tampa Bay was already going to be folded as a league-owned team and there was a matter of could we find a buyer for Miami? We cannot buy a find a buyer for Miami and the owner, Ken Horowitz, was not going to be able to sort of go to the next level that the other owners wanted to go to.

[00;10;48;24 – 00;11;09;09] Joe Shaw: It was a time of a lot of things converging. Soccer United Marketing was starting. And so it really was just a bit of an unfortunate series of events that led to the Fusion getting folded. But if that doesn’t happen, and we did a little bit of a bonus episode of like, what if there is a 2002 season? Then play that out.

[00;11;09;11 – 00;11;23;11] Joe Shaw: I think you would have seen Miami dominate the 2000s in a similar way to how you saw teams like the San Jose Earthquakes and a little bit of the Houston Dynamo and then the L.A. Galaxy in spots dominate as well.

[00;11;23;14 – 00;11;46;20] Matthew Bunch: Yeah, it’s really funny when you look at the best 11 from the 2001 season, you’ve got two Miami forwards, one Miami midfielder, two Miami defenders. Half the team is Miami, you know, half the outfield players are Miami players. And as you said, when you go to the average attendance, Miami wasn’t last and it wasn’t second to last.

[00;11;46;20 – 00;12;13;20] Matthew Bunch: And something, in terms of, again, that I’m curious about in your poking around on this topic, Tampa Bay was the team, and you just phrased it a second ago, they were the team that was getting dropped. The league had taken over ownership. Things were kind of messy there. If, say, for example, San Jose was the team that had been taken over by the league and Tampa Bay was a bit stronger.

[00;12;13;23 – 00;12;22;25] Matthew Bunch: Do you think that Miami makes it through? Do you think it was a matter of geography as well as the challenges that Ken Horowitz was facing as owner?

[00;12;22;28 – 00;12;47;28] Joe Shaw: So there was a couple of things that we’ve discovered, and it appears to be that the league was . . . it seems that the league was pretty set on folding two teams together. Whether that was . . . so Tampa Bay was always pretty much there. Further discussions were San Jose, Dallas and of course, eventually Miami. What saved Dallas is the fact that the Hunts swooped in and bought their hometown club.

[00;12;48;06 – 00;12;48;26] Matthew Bunch: Yeah.

[00;12;48;28 – 00;13;11;01] Joe Shaw: That’s literally the only reason that Dallas is still here today, right? I mean, there’s more to it, but in simple terms, that’s it. San Jose. I’m not really sure what the full story there is, although a lot of the players and coaches from Miami have said that speaking to San Jose players and coaches years later, they had an inkling that they were going to get folded.

[00;13;11;01 – 00;13;40;24] Joe Shaw: And in fact, that playoff series where San Jose knocks Miami out, a lot of folks felt that it was a “loser leaves town,” so to speak, of a playoff series. Now whether, however much of that is true or not, who’s to say? But I do think that Miami sticks around if Miami can find an owner. I still think Miami gets folded if they’re unable to find another owner, because the league was changing with what they were requiring the owners to do.

[00;13;40;24 – 00;13;55;16] Joe Shaw: And Ken had said, “This is too much for me. I need to get out.” And the league, no one wanted to buy Miami for one reason or another. But I do think there’s an alternate earth out there where the hunters fancy themselves a Florida club and buy the Fusion and make a go of it.

[00;13;55;16 – 00;13;57;00] Joe Shaw: That would be pretty interesting.

[00;13;57;02 – 00;14;41;19] Matthew Bunch: Yeah, that’s, you know, in doing some reporting about the Miami situation or the Inter Miami situation, the stadium situation, and seeing as though it seems as though that the Inter Miami stadium situation is advancing. You know, shovels are in the ground at Melreese, finally, after about four years of waiting, seems like it’s actually happening. Seeing Joe Carollo being a central figure — and Joe comes up on this podcast a lot for a variety of different reasons. But seeing Joe Carollo be at the center of that debate when his fallout with Ken Horowitz was a big reason why the Fusion wound up leaving and settling up at Lockhart? It’s just, it’s very funny.

[00;14;41;22 – 00;14;47;19] Matthew Bunch: Again, the what ifs are: What if Ken and the city are able to work out a negotiation to fix up the stadium?

[00;14;47;22 – 00;14;48;03] Joe Shaw: Right.

[00;14;48;03 – 00;15;12;16] Matthew Bunch: And they keep the Fusion there. Maybe they keep the Hurricanes there. College football stays at the Orange Bowl there. All these other things that, when the Fusion go, there’s not that second impetus for a Miami stadium at that location, things go interesting. It is a very fun — for a variety of reasons, not just for soccer — the what ifs of the Fusion succeeding in Dade and then the what ifs of the Fusion succeeding at all.

[00;15;12;18 – 00;15;34;18] Matthew Bunch: So the peg to the reason why I wanted to talk to you originally — and again, for the listeners, to give you a little context, shamefully, I was not aware this podcast existed until about 5:00 tonight, which is September 26, [2023]. I’m an enormous soccer fan. I’m actually wearing my Miami Fusion jersey right now. I love soccer in South Florida.

[00;15;34;21 – 00;15;57;11] Matthew Bunch: I do work on a podcast called Magic City Soccer as well. So like how I missed it, I don’t know. But the reason why I wanted to talk to Joe so urgently is there is potentially a bit of local soccer history — well, there is local soccer history tonight as South Florida will be hosting its first major domestic cup final in its history.

[00;15;57;13 – 00;16;19;20] Matthew Bunch: The Fusion were the first team from South Florida to make the U.S. Open Cup final in 2000. The Miami Toros did reach the NASL final in ‘74, but that was played in Los Angeles and this Open Cup final in 2000 was against the Chicago Fire. And Joe, correct me if I’m wrong, that was in Chicago.

[00;16;19;22 – 00;16;20;16] Joe Shaw: Yes, it was.

[00;16;20;16 – 00;16;39;29] Matthew Bunch: Yes. Thank you, so I thought I had that right. So, yeah, this is the this is the first time that a major domestic cup is going to be contested in South Florida. I want to talk a little bit about the Fusion’s run, though, because this was a signal that the Fusion were making progress in advancing.

[00;16;39;29 – 00;16;58;25] Matthew Bunch: And the Open Cup, for those of you that don’t follow soccer, you have your normal league competition. You normally have a cup competition. Soccer typically doesn’t have a playoffs, it has a regular season winner and then kind of a knockout competition winner. In the U.S., there are playoffs in MLS, but getting away from that point, this this knockout competition is more than 100 years old.

[00;16;58;27 – 00;17;25;24] Matthew Bunch: It’s the oldest soccer competition in the country. It was, until COVID, the longest continuously contested cup competition in the world, even beating England because of World War II, things like that. So it’s a big deal. I’m an enormous U.S. Open Cup nerd. So the Fusion make this run in the Cup. And what does that mean to the club, to be able to to get some wins in this competition and actually get all the way to the final.

[00;17;25;27 – 00;17;48;22] Joe Shaw: So there’s a couple of things I want to key in on. And I do want to acknowledge, right, that . . . it’s so it’s so interesting how history repeats itself. Right? So here we are talking about a U.S. Open Cup final featuring a Miami MLS team 23 years later from when the last team did it, got to the finals and yes, Inter Miami won the Leagues Cup, which hats off to them.

[00;17;48;25 – 00;18;11;11] Joe Shaw: That’s incredible. And we’re hoping that they can get the double and get the Open Cup as well. When Ray Hudson took over in the 2000 season from Ivo Wortmann, after Ivo Wortmann was let go, Ray had never coached before. Yes, he was a former player with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Incredible player. He was a commentator. The most coaching experience he had was, I think it was a youth girls team, if I’m not mistaken.

[00;18;11;14 – 00;18;48;13] Joe Shaw: That was it, right. However, Ray knew the game inside and out. And what’s interesting and we get into it in the episode featuring Tyrone Marshall, Ray was watching the team week in and week out, studying them, understanding them as part of calling the games, but also understanding what he liked and what he didn’t like. And he didn’t like a lot of what Ivo was doing from the team, and he knew he wanted to put his own stamp and his own style on the team, but he didn’t quite have all of the players that he wanted in order to do that.

[00;18;48;16 – 00;19;19;09] Joe Shaw: Some of Ray’s criteria that I’ve heard from others is he had to have players with good feet. So if you look at the 2001 season, you’ve got Alex Pineda Chacón, you’ve got like Preki, the Preki right? You’ve got Preki, you’ve got Ian Bishop, you’ve got Chris Henderson, you’ve got Ivan McKinley, you’ve got Tyrone Marshall already on there. But all of — and of course Jim Rooney, right. Can’t leave out good old Jim. But all of these players had good feet and even Rimando in goal, right? What is he most known for? Being able to play with his feet. Having incredible feet.

[00;19;19;11 – 00;19;32;16] Joe Shaw: And so you could see sort of the building blocks for what Ray was wanting to do. The problem was from the league campaign, there was a bit too much of a hole that had already been dug for Miami to be able to get out of it and make the playoffs.

[00;19;32;21 – 00;19;50;29] Joe Shaw: The year 2000 was the only year in which the Fusion did not make the playoffs in four years of existence. However, Ray utilized the Open Cup to really, really put forth the team and the style of play that he wanted to put into place. And you saw, you saw them take off. They got all the way to the finals.

[00;19;50;29 – 00;20;34;21] Joe Shaw: And I do want to take a moment and call out the fact that they almost didn’t make it to the finals. They barely beat a PDL, a semi-pro team called the Mid-Michigan Bucks in Saginaw, Michigan, on penalty kicks, and if they had lost that, we wouldn’t be talking about this right now. However, that game was so incredible and so many people brought up that game that I actually did a bonus episode with Joe Malachino, who was the player-coach of the Mid-Michigan Bucks. And he talks about that game from his perspective and he’s currently coaching at Eastern Michigan . . . I think it’s Eastern Michigan Central University. He’s a soccer coach there. So if you want even more Open Cup stories, you can go check out that bonus episode of 25 for 25.

[00;20;34;21 – 00;20;54;19] Joe Shaw: But yes, the Fusion ran through the Open Cup and really made their mark on, this is the style we’re going to play: fast, exciting. We’re going to hold the ball, we’re going to play with good feet and we’re going to do something that hasn’t been seen before. We’re going to play fun, fast, attractive soccer, and we’re going to win while we’re doing it.

[00;20;54;21 – 00;21;03;20] Joe Shaw: And then, of course, they ended up barely losing out to the Chicago Fire in Chicago. But yeah, what a run.

[00;21;03;22 – 00;21;26;16] Matthew Bunch: Yeah, that’s an interesting game that final because you wind up having . . . Chicago has, you know it’s in his older years, but one of the great players of all time in Hristo Stoichkov, winds up scoring the first goal. Then an own goal is given up late in the game, so it’s kind of done. Miami gets that that consolation goal back at the end.

[00;21;26;18 – 00;21;50;08] Matthew Bunch: But I don’t think anyone saw it as a missed opportunity rather than, you know, it’s something . . . one to grow on, it looking ahead. And I think that’s honestly, like you said, drawing parallels from the past to the current period of time. I think a lot of people are looking at this club today and saying, you know, this team was in dead last — I’m talking about Inter Miami now.

[00;21;50;15 – 00;22;07;21] Matthew Bunch: This team was in dead last. Dead, dead last. They were dead in the water. And with the arrival of Leo Messi, which, you know, the club I think had a sense that that was a possibility. I don’t think it dropped out of the sky on them. You know, there was no player with the number 10 on the roster this year.

[00;22;07;27 – 00;22;21;23] Matthew Bunch: That’s kind of unusual for a team. So, you know, for folks who say that, you know, playing dumb, they had no idea. No, I think they had some idea. But even then, they had dug such a hole that you figure that, okay, he’s going to get his feet under him, see what happens. And they really gone on this spectacular run trying to figure out who they are.

[00;22;21;23 – 00;22;43;19] Matthew Bunch: And you’re seeing that with the arrival of Leo Messi, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, that the players around them are raising their level, too. I mean, Robert Taylor is all of a sudden, you know, a world’s best striker and just amazing finishes. There’s something to be said about getting your feet under you and figuring out how to win. You got to figure out how to win.

[00;22;43;22 – 00;23;07;24] Matthew Bunch: And ultimately, like you said, I think Ray, he wasn’t, you know, the most highly regarded coach. But guy knows how to win. He was always a winner down here at Fort Lauderdale. Huge personality and a true leader of men and just kind of put the pieces together and did well enough that from that springboard — it wasn’t spring off the board and fall on your face.

[00;23;07;24 – 00;23;36;28] Matthew Bunch: They really did build and grow leading into some success. And then the heartbreak, right? And then the heartbreak comes. Talking to the folks after the Open Cup run, after the collapse of the club, what are the themes that you keep coming back to from people with their experience with the Fusion? What are the kind of the things they take away from their time there before they go on to their next clubs or their next responsibilities?

[00;23;37;01 – 00;23;41;17] Matthew Bunch: What are the things that jumped out to you the most as kind of the common themes that people are picking up on.

[00;23;41;20 – 00;24;07;13] Joe Shaw: So I think from pretty much everyone, at least everyone that was there in the final season, there’s this content. Everybody talks about the way it felt like a family and the fact that the Fusion felt more like a family than any other club that anyone ever worked with or played for. I got to, I had a conversation with Inter Miami sporting director Chris Henderson speaking of Inter Miami, and he talked about his time in 2000.

[00;24;07;13 – 00;24;38;25] Joe Shaw: When I asked him, I said, What did it mean to you to come to Inter Miami? To come to Miami again after being in Miami in 2001? And he said it felt like coming home. It felt like everything came full circle. I had to do this. I . . . So much of my time, this deep connection that he had with the city, he needed to come back and sort of give back to the city and this new team in a way in which it had given to him when he was playing in 2001.

[00;24;39;01 – 00;24;57;27] Joe Shaw: And so and on and on. And there’s so many other stories of people talking about how they really felt that they were a close knit family. They would go to this place called the Tudor Inn that was right by Lockhart Stadium and they would have drinks. Fans, coaches, players, staff, everyone all together because they said that’s the club culture they had.

[00;24;57;27 – 00;25;26;26] Joe Shaw: The club culture was, we’re your club. We are Miami’s club. We are Fort Lauderdale’s Club, we are the people’s club and we are here to be a giant family and look after each other and take care of each other. And so a little bit, you alluded to the live event a moment, a little while ago. It’s a little bit of what we’re trying to replicate at Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub in Hollywood, Florida, on Friday, October 6th, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time, is have that sort of family moment again to give folks closure.

[00;25;26;29 – 00;25;47;08] Joe Shaw: Yes, we’re going to do a live show. We’re going to tell some stories as well. Jim and I are hosting it. And then after it ends, people can just hang out and talk until they kick us out. The other theme that people come back to is a lack of closure because of the way that the league ended the teams so abruptly.

[00;25;47;10 – 00;26;07;07] Joe Shaw: And it was very quick. You’re let go, get your stuff and head out for the players. You’re going to a dispersal draft right away. It’s a conference call. Jim, you’re going to New England. Alex, you’re going over here to L.A., like on and on and on, different players going to different places. That’s it. There’s no opportunity to say goodbye.

[00;26;07;08 – 00;26;27;18] Joe Shaw: There’s no opportunity to celebrate the Supporters’ Shield. There’s no opportunity to even say anything because it’s gone. It’s their one moment gone the next. And there’s a bit of a bitterness that folks, as much as they feel this twinkling in their eyes and this wonderful feeling of family, it is a bit of a bitterness of, “I never got to say goodbye.”

[00;26;27;24 – 00;26;45;18] Joe Shaw: And so we’re also trying to provide that to folks as well, at the live event, is the ability to come and say goodbye and have the closure and really appreciate that this was a magical moment and we’re making new magical moments as well. But we want to preserve what happened before so we can appreciate what’s happening in real time.

[00;26;45;20 – 00;27;04;15] Matthew Bunch: I think that’s lovely. And Joe, you’re a real pro by getting the plug in there before I even set you up for it. But I do want to let folks know, please do check the show description here. One, for the tickets to that live event. And I believe it’s just general admission, you’re encouraged to reserve a spot, right?

[00;27;04;18 – 00;27;23;09] Joe Shaw: Yep, that is correct. So there’s no charge for the tickets. We do ask that people go via the Eventbrite link because it helps us out knowing how many people to expect it and we can set up accordingly. I do want to let folks know that Mickey Byrne’s, we’re working on a paint special, so there’s supposed to be custom engraved pints that you can purchase.

[00;27;23;11 – 00;27;42;15] Joe Shaw: I’m not sure which company is going to be sponsoring that yet, but shout out to Mark Rowe, who owns Mickey Byrne’s. He’s been a phenomenal partner in this. And so I would say they are an American Outlaws official pub and they host several inter Miami watch parties for away games. And if you can’t get into DRV PNK Stadium, you can go there.

[00;27;42;18 – 00;28;04;21] Joe Shaw: They have a special where if you have an open tab and you’re wearing Inter Miami gear, I think it’s the first goal that Lionel Messi scores it’s, the round’s on the house, so definitely is another reason to go check them out and support your local, your local pub, but yeah, they and Mark’s been fantastic. Mickey Byrne’s has been fantastic. It’s going to be an incredible moment and I do have to do one more plug as well.

[00;28;04;23 – 00;28;29;02] Joe Shaw: 25 for 25 has been honored in the Football Content Awards, which is a British football or soccer content awards dubbed, “The Oscars of the football content industry.” So this award ceremony’s in Liverpool, England in November, I’ll be there. 25 for 25 has been listed as “Best International Podcast.” So if you go to their Instagram and just comment @MiamiFusionPod, that gives us a vote.

[00;28;29;02 – 00;28;47;12] Joe Shaw: And then there’s also a website link that you can vote, it’s one vote per person per platform. So it really takes you like five minutes or less and then you do two votes and it’ll help us continue to get the stories of the Miami Fusion out there, because once we get over to the Brits and they hear about this club and it’s not Lionel Messi’s club, there’s going to be all kinds of wonderful questions.

[00;28;47;12 – 00;28;50;07] Joe Shaw: And we want to show up in full support.

[00;28;50;09 – 00;29;08;26] Matthew Bunch: That’s perfect. You took the words — you are one step ahead of me. I got my plugs queued up for you because I do want you two to wind up . . . That’s a that’s a really prestigious award in the world of football content. And again, seeing a Miami kind of adjacent podcast up for it, I’m like, wow, interesting.

[00;29;08;26 – 00;29;15;09] Matthew Bunch: Normally that’s the the Liverpools and the Man Citys and the Barcelona clubs. To see a Miami Fusion podcast. I’m like, well, hell yes. let’s go!

[00;29;15;16 – 00;29;16;02] Joe Shaw: Yeah!

[00;29;16;02 – 00;29;24;22] Matthew Bunch: So yeah, that’s wonderful. So again, please do check all that out in the show notes here on our website or on your preferred podcast provider. Just scroll underneath. You’ll see all that stuff there.

[00;29;24;24 – 00;29;47;13] Matthew Bunch: And again, the podcast, go ahead and follow that right now, just pause where we are: “25 for 25. The Story of the Miami Fusion from Those who Lived It.” There’s a lot of good stuff on there already and I have so many episodes to start listening to, I’m so excited. Joe Shaw, thank you so much for your time and your work in helping to preserve this important part of Miami Sports history that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

[00;29;47;16 – 00;30;00;27] Joe Shaw: Of course, I appreciate being on here because, as I said, Major League Soccer is the league I fell in love with. And for me, I feel it’s my duty to preserve these stories so we can continue to appreciate them while we’re also watching history being made right in front of us.

[00;30;00;29 – 00;30;05;03] Matthew Bunch: Awesome. Joe Shaw, thank you so much and best of luck with the awards and everything else.

00;30;05;05 – 00;30;05;18 Joe Shaw: Thank you.

[00;30;05;23 – 00;30;31;27] Matthew Bunch: Again, I want to thank Joe Shaw and remind you that the show is entitled “25 for 25: The Story of the Miami Fusion from Those who Lived It.” There are currently 20 chapters out, including some bonus episodes, and that live event at Mickey Byrne’s should be pretty darn spectacular. If you’re interested in South Florida sports, in soccer, in just the history of our community, I would encourage you to make it out there.

[00;30;31;27 – 00;30;50;07]: Matthew Bunch: I’m going to do my best to make it out there as well. Joe is a real repository of information about this club and it really shows through in the podcast and it’s a great resource. I do encourage you to check it out. Again, you can find those links in our show description. I will be sharing it on social media.

[00;30;50;15 – 00;31;12;25] Matthew Bunch: Remember, you can follow us on social media @ThisDayMiamiPod and pretty much every major social media platform. And you can find This Day in Miami History, if this is the first time you’re listening on any of your preferred podcast providers, that includes Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon, Spotify and now Pandora, I believe, has replaced Stitcher.

[00;31;13;02 – 00;31;29;03] Matthew Bunch: So wherever you can get it, it is there for you. And if you’re already subscribed to the show, again, a nice five-star review always helps the show tremendously. So until next time we will be rejoining you in the month of October. And until then, I’ve been Matthew Bunch.

[00;31;29;14 – 00;31;45;03] King Elizabeth: ♪ “Miami Sunrise” by King Elizabeth ♪

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