Vincenzo Bernardo has seen the world since starting his pro soccer career at age 16. But after bouncing between clubs — and sometimes countries — almost every year, Bernardo was looking for something more stable, and a little closer to home.
On Tuesday, he became the first player to sign with Miami Fusion FC. The expansion club will play a summer season in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). But the long-term plan is to leap to the second-division North American Soccer League, and possibly even Major League Soccer.
David Beckham has long been linked with a proposed Miami MLS team, but both Bernardo and Fusion head coach Ferdinando DeMattaeis denied any connection with this club. Backed by Intelisport, Inc., the Fusion is the culmination of a three-year project to bring professional soccer back to Miami. The former Miami Fusion played four seasons (1998-2001) in MLS before being contracted, along with the Tampa Bay Mutiny, in January 2002.
Watch for a full story in the print Daily Record later this week.