Reasons To Be Cheerful

It’s been a weekend off for Miami FC and that’s something the club’s players and staff have very much earned over the past six weeks. Since beating Charlotte Independence at home at the end of June the boys from the 305 have been pretty unstoppable. Eight games in six weeks, four at home, four on the road. Miami FC have lost just one, winning five and drawing the other two.

Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 1.

Miami FC are back. I know they never went away, but they are arguably back to the levels last seen at the end of the 2017 NASL season. The road back to this point had twists and turns that probably no other club in the USA will ever experience. A prolific exile to the NPSL with back-to-back national championships and a brief stint in NISA (and more silverware) before the jump to the USL championship and a return to Division 2 soccer.

Paul Dalglish and his coaching staff are now replicating the form of the NASL days. What’s more impressive is that they are doing so with intelligent recruitment of good young players from around North America. That, for my money, deserves more kudos than Alessandro Nesta’s achievements with an expensively assembled roster of aggressive purchases from rival teams and global imports.

Anyone who follows Miami FC will have a special place in their heart for that 2017 NASL team. Indeed there is much love for the players who stuck with the club in the NPSL and those who pulled on a jersey in NISA and the inaugural USL season. But finally it feels like everyone can look forward.

The soccer the team is playing is really good. Of course results matter but getting results the right way has always been a part of Miami FC’s identity. It’s a talented team that likes to play out of the back, control the midfield and get the ball to the attacking weapons to make a difference. Put simply, it’s fun to watch. Especially when you are picking up points and winning games.

Reasons to be cheerful? Fans are back in the stadium, the team are getting stuck into opponents and winning games and there is a good challenge going on for a playoff spot in a D2 league. It’s been a long wait to get that back. It is back. Long may it continue.

Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 2.

Oh but wait there’s more. Yes winning games and getting into the playoffs are important. But we mentioned having an identity. That’s more than nice passing patterns on the field. It includes the direction coming from the team’s leadership and on that score the arrival of CEO Michael Williamson has been important. The front office staff can take a lot of credit here also. Everyone from the social media crew to the support and operations staff. A lot of these people stayed through the uncertainty or signed up because continuing to build the club is something worth working towards. It feels like there is more clarity in the club’s voice off the field. Maybe it’s the smelling salts…

Coming back to the team, there was a positive reaction to the return of Ariel Martinez to Miami FC. This isn’t just because he’s a fantastic player. It’s because he is the embodiment of what this team means to those who have stuck with it. Ariel is captain for a reason and I think you can definitely see his passion for the club rub off on the players around him. He’s hungry for this team, sorry HIS team, to be successful.

You can see this hunger throughout the roster. You can see it in the determination of Junior Palacios, a player who fought probably more than any other to be on this team and will run through brick walls for his team mates no matter what position he’s picked in. You can see it in the standards goalkeeper Connor Sparrow holds his defense to. The endless running of Christiano Francois. Paco Craig has played every single game of the season so far and his consistency inspires the players around him to match that. Pretty important players were lost to international call ups and those that stepped in took their chance with both hands. The good form held. Character.

The character that defines Miami FC and the identity being cultivated is another reason to be cheerful. From the executive leadership who have the hardest job of selling this team and making it a success off the field against all odds, to the players who do understand the importance of the badge on their jersey to the supporters who never quit on them.

Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3.

A return to form in the USL and the continuing story of Miami FC are great things. It’s why the club just turned in two great performances in one week. In the recent good run there has been that one loss, a 2—0 defeat at the hands of Hartford Athletic. Having lost that game Miami completed a comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 vs Charleston Battery at home with 10 men. Paul Dalglish summed that game up perfectly to his players. Everything went against them and they still found a way to win.

The USL’s fixture computer was kind enough to give Miami a do-over up in Connecticut against Hartford after that win. They went there with just one day’s rest, travelled up the day after and came home with a point after a 1-1 draw thanks to Othello Bah. Their first points against Hartford who are one of the best teams in this year’s USL.

Miami FC currently lie 3rd in the USL Championship Atlantic division with a six point cushion to the playoff cut off point at the halfway point of the season. Their next two games are on the road vs table topping Pittsburgh Riverhounds and then a long trip to face Austin Bold.

The next home game? Why that would be against who else but Hartford Athletic on Sunday 22nd August. Tickets available here. Come and add your voice. In case you missed it, in-form Miami FC are currently playing very good football…

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  1. Pingback: The Miami FC v Pittsburgh Riverhounds: Previewing The Match - Magic City Soccer

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