Previewing The Match: Charleston Battery v The Miami FC

The Miami FC enter Friday’s contest versus a struggling Charleston side with a wide variety of quality in their performances. Miami is 1-1-1 in their last three matches which includes a hard fought draw against Pittsburgh after an epic second half collapse to Rio Grande Valley. Currently sitting fifth in the Atlantic Division, the boys in blue and orange have some work to do if they wish to make up ground on division leaders Tampa Bay.

Miami defensive core looked shaky early during their previous outing against Pittsburgh. Allowing a goal in the first ten minutes of the match is never part of Paul Dalglish’s game plan. Miami was able to right the ship with a late first half equalizer from striker Cristiano Francois. Miami was without a few players in the previous fixture as they were away on international duty. That will not be the case on Friday night. 

The Charleston Battery are having a rough start to their 2021 campaign. Once a darling of the American lower divisions, the Battery look like a shell of their former self. In fairness, Charleston has had two matches postponed (both against MLS2 sides) and haven’t played a game in 10 days. Coming into the contest at 1-2-1, Charleston desperately need to secure points at home against a Miami side that knows all three points are for the taking on the road. 

Keys To A Miami FC Victory

I have said privately that Miami has had their best keeper in quite sometime with the addition of Connor Sparrow. Despite allowing an early goal to Pittsburgh, Sparrow looked comfortable while directing Miami’s backline. The back four received a considerable boost with the addition of Luca Antonelli to the lineup. The former AC Milan defender is lining up as a centerback in Paul Dalglish’s system. Antonelli and Gigi Craig need to be on the same page moving forward while directing Ballard and Lobe on the wings. Charleston has been known for their prolific attack and now is not the time to let the Battery get hot.

The Miami FC need to show more consistency in their attack. While having already scored nine goals this season, there are easily over nine goals that have been easily left on the pitch so far. Billy Forbes needs to make the most of his chances with his dynamic runs into the opposing penalty area. Don’t be surprised to see Ariel Martinez look to release Francois and Forbes as often as possible if both get the start up top. An early goal will be key to Miami dominating possession and controlling the match.

Prediction

Paul Dalglish and company know what is at stake in this game. With Hartford sitting above them in the table with two games in hand, Miami needs to begin collecting points where ever they can grab them. Charleston has not played a game in ten days and while that may benefit them, there will inarguably be some rust on the Battery. Miami needs to unlock the middle of the field with Ariel, Forbes, and Baggio Kcira. Expect Miami to get forward early and often as they look to take a commanding lead into half time. 

 

Charleston Battery 3 – 1 The Miami FC

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