Jacksonville Armada v Miami United: Previewing The Match

The Jacksonville Armada will take on Miami United. Graphic by Omar Moubayed.

You may have noticed that this website never put out a match recap after Miami FC 2’s win against Storm FC at home on Wednesday. Want to know the reason why? It was incredibly underwhelming. Now enough about Miami FC (for now), the NPSL Sunshine Conference final table will probably be decided based on this one match alone. Miami United travel north to Jacksonville to take on the Armada in a clash that has major ramifications for all three heavyweights. 

Jacksonville will have four matches left to play after tonight’s contest at Hodges stadium but United is arguably the toughest test left for the fleet to navigate. Despite a conference table in constant flux, the Armada currently sit second (on goal differential) to Miami FC 2 while holding two games in hand. Where the table really gets interesting is in the draw column. While all three clubs have only lost one match, Jacksonville hold the inside track to the top spot in the conference with only two draws. If the Armada can stay flawless the rest of the way, a fourth Magic City Clasico would bless soccer fans in Miami.

For United, a win in this contest keeps the pressure on Miami FC to stay perfect in order to maintain the inside track that will be come way of a Jacksonville loss. As we mentioned in the last preview article, goal differential may be key, as United need to add to their current two goal lead over Miami FC. The most daunting problem for the boys from Hialeah will be health and that could very well be their biggest obstacle.

Keys For A Miami United Victory:

Miami United no longer have the services of Nicolas Gorobsov at their disposal. Gorobsov was electrifying in his short stint with United amassing six goals across all competitions and providing an extra layer of attack from the midfield. With Gorobsov departing the club for opportunities in his native Argentina, United will have to rely on Tomas Granitto even more for guidance.

If Gorobsov’s departure wasn’t enough bad news for the club, their dynamic striker David Ochoa still hasn’t returned to the pitch after picking up an injury that forced him out of the Open Cup match against Orlando City. Thankfully, Victor Pelae has found himself back in health’s good graces as he returned with a brace in the previous match against Storm FC on June 17th.

If David Ochoa cannot return to action, United’s best chance of earning a result is going to come from their constant high pressure and discipline from the backline. If the back four can keep Jacksonville from getting clean looks at their goal, grinding out an ugly 1-0 win could be just enough to allow them to stay clear of a conference semi-final.

Prediction:

It should be expected that the Armada will be seeking revenge after being tossed out of the Open Cup and embarrassed at home. An Armada win would all but force United to the third spot on the roster barring a complete collapse by Miami FC. However, I can’t foresee Jacksonville getting the best of this club even with all its’ recent troubles.

Jacksonville Armada 1 – 1 Miami United   

You can watch the match via the Jacksonville Armada’s live stream. Click here to watch tonight’s contest!

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