MADISON, NJ — The Miami FC 2 claimed the 2018 National Premier Soccer League Championship, defeating FC Motown 3-1 at Ranger Field on the campus of Drew University on Saturday night. In front of a Motown record crown that saw over 2100 people attend the final. Motown attempted to flood the midfield as they did often throughout the season.
Miami’s first goal came in the 33rd minute, when Jonny Steele fired a rock into the upper-right hand corner. The corner came from the foot of Dylan Mares who’s outswinger found Steele sitting all alone outside of the technical area. Miami’s lead would be short lived as Motown would be quick to fire back.
Motown would find their equalizer in the 35th minute. Miami has found themselves vulnerable when being indecisive along the back line. Jonny Steele would find himself the next victim of the situation as his errant pass into the midfield was picked up by Motown. The ball was fed over to Dilly Duka who scored his third goal in three straight matches during the NPSL playoffs.
The match turned in the 57th minute, when defender Chris Riordan fouled Jaime Chavez on the edge of the box and picked up a second yellow card. Riordan’s rash challenge would leave Motown a man down, and give Miami their best opportunity of the night. Dylan Mares converted the free kick to the low right-hand corner, and gave Miami a lead it would not relinquish.
Motown would push their numbers forward into the 80th minute with reckless abandon. With their backs against the wall Motown found several chances to equalize, none better than Julius James opportunity in the 76th minute. With numbers pushed forward, the assistant referee saved Motown a few times before Jeffrey Michaud broke free in the 81st minute.
As the final whistle blew, Miami’s vindication story has been written. The former NASL Spring and Fall champion would find themselves again a top another league’s final standings.
This is the first postseason title for The Miami FC as a club, and the first postseason title for any Miami professional soccer team.