“You can be leading 3-1 and the next second be losing 5-1. It all happens within a blink of the eye.”
-UM Soccer Club member Lucas Faria.
Standing amongst the tallest buildings in Brickell, Miami is a feeling unmatched by most, and playing soccer on a rooftop surrounded by these buildings sounds pretty sweet. Brickell Rooftop Soccer played host to 24 teams competing to win Red Bull’s Fiesta de Futbol Nov. 22. Players of all different nationalities from Florida came together to battle it out over sweat, injuries and ejections.
Each team allowed three players on the field at a time. Each team elected one defender to play “goalie” and two men upfront trying to work the ball into the net. The teams were divided into groups of three of which the top two teams advanced into a 16-team playoff.
“There’s a high level of competition, very high. Fair games, skillful players… Very balanced teams, it’s very competitive,” said the University of Miami team who entered in the event.
A three-on-three style tournament played on only half (of an already smaller) field made for intense, high-scoring games. As many as fourteen goals were scored by one team in a game, which, for those of you who don’t know, is a lot for a soccer game. Every time I hit the shutter on my camera it seemed as if another goal had been scored. As in “regular” soccer, each goal was followed by cheering, hugs and some kind of celebration.
The level of intensity and desire to win clearly grew immensely as teams were eliminated. Slide tackles became way more prevalent, as did the yellow and red cards that followed them. The spectating teams were even getting more heated and into it, screaming each time a player missed a shot or went down.
However, the crowd during the final was dead silent, watching as two teams juked it out for the grand prize of $1,000. Team “The Chickpea” won first place, with “FC Rio” taking home second place of $500.
words & photos_ mark cartier.