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Miami FC And FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Rekindle 30-Year Rivalry In Costal Cup

April 30, 2010 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - Fort Lauderdale Strikers News Release

Miami, April 29, 2010 - Miami FC and FC Tampa Bay Rowdies are ushering in a new era in a rivalry that dates back more than three decades as the teams unveil the name for the new annual derby: The Coastal Cup.

The Coastal Cup will be played over the course of four Tampa v. Miami games during the season with the team with the most points from head-to-head competition winning the derby. If both teams have an equal amount of points, the tiebreaker will be determined through goal differential.

"It is very exciting for us to be able to renew this classic rivalry that has had a profound impact for soccer in North America," said Miami FC team President Aaron Davidson. "We hope to foster more fan involvement as we carry the legacy of this rivalry to new heights."

"This rivalry is synonymous with Florida soccer history," said FC Tampa Bay President and Team Owner Andrew Nestor. "We look forward to building tradition and making new history with the rivalry between these two cities and I hope fans enjoy it just as much as the first time around."

Fans will also be able to voice their opinion on the rivalry with the chance to vote on the name of the derby for the 2011 season through online polls on FC Tampa Bay and Miami FC websites.

The first meeting between FC Tampa Bay (1-1-0) and Miami FC (0-0-2) is set for Saturday, May 1, at Lockhart Stadium, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. The two teams will meet again on July 4 at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The third game will be played in Tampa July 25 and the last match up will take place at Lockhart Stadium on August 18.

The rivalry between the South Florida teams and Tampa teams dates back to the early 1970s when the original NASL was still in its early years. The rivalry began in 1975 when the Tampa Bay Rowdies were born and faced off with the Miami Torros.

In 1977, the rivalry was taken up a notch when the Torros moved a few miles north and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers were born. The Strikers-Rowdies rivalry became one of the most prominent rivalries of the NASL, featuring players like legendary Striker George Best and Rodney Marsh of the Rowdies, who were amongst an array of renowned talent.

The rivalry between the two regions continued in a different form when the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny were brought into existence in the newly created MLS in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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