Miami enters this game against Indy Eleven venturing into uncharted territory. Only once in club history have they dropped four matches in a row. To call the third game of the fall season a must win is hyperbole at best, however, that may be the sentiment inside the locker room tonight for the Blues.
Indy Eleven closed the spring season on a high note, winning four of their five matches and grabbing a point in the other. Those matches were not against the bottom of the NASL barrel as the wins were collected against North Carolina FC (2), New York, and Jacksonville. Indy came to life amassing no wins prior to this incredible run and have found a way to claw themselves back within two points of the playoffs.
The catalyst for the latest Indy run has been goals coming from unusual suspects. When you think of the Eleven it’s easy to imagine their attacking coming through Braun and Zayed. Goals from Speas, Vukovic, Goldsmith, and Henderson have helped get Indy off from the ropes and within a fighting chance in the fall. Miami’s backline and midfield will have to watch out for these “five guys” tonight to get the ship righted.
For fans of Miami FC, a losing streak, let alone four losses in a row was unthinkable just three weeks ago. Nesta made four changes to his starting eleven last week against North Carolina FC. After a questionable game defensively, the backline will welcome with open arms the return of Hunter Freeman. Unfortunately, Mason Trafford is probably missing his second game in a row nursing a lower body injury.
The Blues’ attack can be described as dis-jointed in the previous three matches. The PPR express is not firing on all cylinders and the results have shown. Clubs seem to have started to figure out the attack and more importantly figured out how to stop the service to the supercharged attack. The play in the midfield has tapered with Richie Ryan’s key passing receding and the Dylan Mares question being solved early on by New York and North Carolina.
I think tonight Miami FC supporters will see a return to normalcy. With the homestanding ending, I believe Miami will earn a result tonight and kick start the momentum as they head on the road for the next three matches. It’s a quick turn around as Miami is back in action Tuesday, but, stopping the slide is the priority.
Score: Miami FC 2 – 1 Indy Eleven
Our projected XI: