The time between the conference final kickoff’s and tonight’s NPSL South Region Semi-Final kickoff is only 72 hours. Three days is a short turn around for any club in the midst of a playoff race. The NPSL playoff fixtures come hard and fast. Very few have the championship pedigree of Chattanooga FC, a club that has been to the national final in back-to-back seasons.
Chattanooga arrive at this contest as winners of the Southeastern Conference. Both conferences, Southeast and Sunshine, are comprised of six teams. Additionally, the level of talent is equally distributed with each having three teams with a winning record. Chattanooga overcame early hiccups in the season ending with a 7-1-2 record. Three teams amassed winning records (Greenville & Asheville), and Chattanooga cruised through the playoffs. 15 different players have scored for CFC, which shows the depth and quality of their roster.
The Keys To A Miami FC Victory
In FC’s last game against Miami United, the tactical adjustments at half-time paved the way to victory for the Orange and Blue. For Miami, the second half tactics need to be repeated to insure a victory against this strong Chattanooga side. Building play through the middle and fighting the urge to create primarily from the flanks is crucial. Dylan Mares must be activated early and often. Mares will be the key to open space for Ariel Martinez, Dario Suarez, and Miguel Gonzalez.
Othello Bah and Lloyd Sam will look to wreak havoc against the CFC fullbacks. If Bah and Sam can provide the supplementary attack after Miami dissects Chattanooga up the middle it will be a long night for the contingent from Tennessee. Defensively, Callum Chapman-Page must continue to be the defensive anchor for Paul Dalglish. Chapman-Page, a Palm Beach Atlantic University product, has risen the ranks and is pivotal in keeping chances away from goalkeeper Mark Pais.
Both clubs are stout defensively and this match may just be a battle of attrition. The Orange and Blue have only allowed seven goals all season. On the other hand, Chattanooga have allowed twelve through twelve matches. The biggest challenge for CFC is can they contain Miami’s potent attack. While defense does win championships, you must be able to score at this level. 15 players scoring a goal for a club is an impressive testament of the quality of a side, but when it matters most can you depend on a single player? Miami FC have those players in their arsenal. Chattanooga will need that tonight to get past the Orange and Blue.
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