What if I told you the off-season would leave Miami’s only professional club in absolute chaos? What if I told you the roster would suffer an exodus of talent? How about if I told you the team would rally and reach a national championship? Would you have believed me? I wouldn’t blame you if you wouldn’t. Yet, that’s exactly where Miami FC find themselves today. One match against FC Motown away from a national title and a vindication story made for the movies.
It’s easy to view Miami FC as the anti-hero. The club that has notably thrown a wrench into a system, that for some, was running perfectly. The Miami FC organization was unafraid to call out those in power and question the status quo with their CAS complaint and their push for #OpenSoccer. These bold stances could have played a part in the demise of the NASL and put them in the very position they are in today. They have found a way to re-emerge from a pit of misery and back into national spotlight.
A new coach, a myriad of new players, and other outcasts formed together to bring this team on a run that has seen them win nine straight. Undoubtedly the roster will see this match as an opportunity to play for future contracts. With most of Miami’s contracts officially coming off the books, USL and MLS trials can await many on the roster. A good showing against Motown may just be enough to land their next contract and earn paychecks well into October.
Keys To A Miami FC Victory:
Throughout the playoffs Miami has had the upper hand in professional skill and experience against all of the clubs they have faced. Since their Conference clinching match against Jacksonville, Miami has faced three straight opponents whose rosters are comprised of college athletes looking for a place to train before their upcoming season. Motown has a formidable roster featuring former USYNT call ups and MLS talent. Midfielder Dilly Duka boasts MLS experience, Julius James spent time with the strikers, and Matt Nigro picked up the league’s golden ball award.
Miami has done a fantastic job in taking what the opposing defense has given them and making a meal out of it. Against Atlanta and Little Rock, the opponent was content with allowing Miami to work the flanks during the extent of the match. The precision of the outside-in ball was key to Miami’s success. Should Motown attempt to quell the forward progress of Tyler Polak and Sean McFarlane, the midfield is more than ready to activate. If Dylan Mares and Ariel Martinez are given space to operate, expect slashing runs from Kris Tyrpak and Dario Suarez to cause havoc for the Motown defense.
The Blues have had to deal with adapting to the styles of many amateur clubs throughout the year. We’ve heard from many on the roster that having to adjust the mindset from what professionals do to what amateurs do can prove difficult. Motown have used tactics similar to what you will see on the professional clubs in this country. Employing a high-press to force Miami into mistakes, on the backline, will be unlikely as one wrong move can result in a deadly counter.
If it couldn’t have been a New York Cosmos versus Miami FC final, this match up was a close second. While Motown have put up staggering figures (40 goals for, 5 against), they’ve done so in a conference that cannot provide a thorough test of the roster. Portland took Motown to the wire in the semi-final, and Motown clung to a victory against the Cosmos. Motown has proven worthy of being in this match, however, lack the overall quality of this Miami side. Should Motown take an early lead, sitting back and not pushing the match will prove costly.
Miami FC 2 3 – 1 FC Motown
The NPSL will be hosting a live stream of the championship match. Click here for the live webcast!