Miami FC

March 30, 2006 14:04 ET

Miami FC Signs ``Romario'' de Souza Faria; Brazilian Striker Returns to the Land where He Won the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the ``Golden Ball'' for Best Player

MIAMI--(CCNMatthews - Mar 30, 2006) -

Miami FC, the new USL (United Soccer Leagues) Division One franchise, announces the signing of the second leading scorer in world soccer history, Romario de Souza Faria ("Romario"), as its star striker for its inaugural season.

Romario, known in Brazil as "Baixinho" ("Shorty" in Portuguese), has had a prolific professional career. Romario became a national hero when he played a key role in helping Brazil win the 1994 World Cup in the United States. He was named the Best Player of that World Cup and received the "Golden Ball" for his efforts. Romario also went on to win the "FIFA Player of the Year Award" that same year. In addition to the World Cup, Romario won the 1989 and 1997 Copas Americas with the Brazilian National Team. During his 21-year career, Romario has played for several of the top clubs in the world including Vasco da Gama, Flamengo, Fluminense, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Valencia. Romario arrives to Miami FC fresh off of being the leading scorer in the 2005 Brazilian Championship in which he scored 22 goals for Vasco da Gama. Boasting a total of 959 career goals, Romario is rapidly approaching the magical number of 1,000, a feat which only "The King" Pele has achieved.

Julio Mariz, President of Traffic Sports and Miami FC, proudly commented about the signing of this world soccer icon, "Our objective with Miami FC is to build a winning team of international transcendence. Today with the signing of Romario, we have taken an important step in that direction. We invite all soccer fans to follow and support us in our quest for victory."

On behalf of USL, Vice President Tim Holt reacted to this signing by stating, "It would not be an overstatement to categorize Miami FC's signing of Romario as the most significant in USL First Division history. For a player of his stature and pedigree to display his talents in our markets throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean this season will be a special treat for our dedicated supporters and also immediately serve to raise the quality of play within our competition. The fact the ownership/management of Miami FC is able to attract such an important international star is a testament to their relationships in the soccer world."

Romario joins his teammates at Miami FC including most notably his World Cup 1994 teammate Zinho, Guatemalan international Mario "El Loco" Rodriguez, Jamaican international and 1998 World Cup player Onandi Lowe, Jamaican international Sean Fraser and Haitian international Stephane Guillaume.

The signing of Romario is complete simply pending the formality of international clearance which should be granted within a couple of days.

Miami FC will make its US debut in a pre-season friendly on April 16 against current Jamaican and Caribbean Champions, Portmore United. The game will be held at 4PM at Miami FC's home stadium, Tropical Park Stadium in the heart of Miami. Miami FC will host a series of activities all day in and around the stadium to celebrate its inaugural match and Easter Sunday.

Miami will then play its first official match when it opens its USL Regular Season against 2004 league champion Montreal Impact on Sunday, April 23 at 4PM at Tropical Park Stadium.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-866-57-MIAMI (1-866-576-4264) or visiting .

About Miami FC

Miami FC is Florida's new and only professional men's soccer team. Miami FC will play its home matches at Tropical Park Stadium, which is located on the grounds of Tropical Park in the heart of Miami-Dade County. Miami FC is owned by Traffic Sports USA, the North American subsidiary of The Traffic Group, the leading soccer event management company in the Americas with headquarters in Brazil and offices in the U.S. and Europe. Miami FC is committed to growing soccer in South Florida both at the youth, amateur and professional levels.

About United Soccer Leagues

USL is the largest organization of soccer leagues in North America. United Soccer Leagues is dedicated to growing the sport at the grassroots level in every community across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. USL and its franchises are committed to a quality family entertainment experience that is community-centered, accessible, affordable, exciting and educational.

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