Lee Ifans
Lee Ifans

Lee Ifans is a former amateur player and expert in the game of football. Originally from Wales, fate has brought Lee to the Magic City. You can contact Lee at ifans.mcs@gmail.com.

April 2019 Magic Six

What a month of soccer we’ve had in this part of the world. Who caught the eye in April?

Bryant Martin – GK – Florida Soccer Soldiers

OK I was going to put Bryant in before his heroics in the Open Cup. What an absolutely fantastic display that was but if you’d been watching our streams you’d already have known all about him. A fantastic keeper who is an incredible shot stopper and great at one-on-ones as we saw in the game vs Red Force.



Ferdinando De Matthaeis – COACH – Miami United

In the NPSL Sunshine season opener the result went with the form book and Miami FC won 2-0. Many expected a similar result in the second half of the Magic City Clasico. They were wrong. United scored two goals of their own and kept it tight at the back and the main man is who they have to thank. Ferdy got his tactics 100% spot on at North Miami Athletic Stadium. The tactical tweaks of playing in behind FC’s backline and utilizing his side’s strengths by playing a lightning fast counter attack game was top quality coaching.

Marc Duroscar – MF – Palm Beach Spartans

In the top of the table clash between PSL United SC and the Spartans the Spartan Army found themselves trailing 2-0 and staring at a defeat. That is until coach Cheddi Johnson introduced Marc Duroscar. He came on and changed the game with a goal and assist, rescuing a point for his team mates.

Rian Jamai – FW – Port St. Lucie United SC

If you were ever lucky enough to watch Ryan Giggs play then that is exactly what you get with Rian Jamai. Everything down to wearing the #11 jersey. A classy player that glides along the pitch, creates chances and scores great goals too. One to watch for the future. He’s just 18 years old!

Hialeah City FC

Going to put the whole team in for the fifth pick. After a shaky start to the season, the Blue Fury went on a 5 game unbeaten run which is no easy feat in the UPSL Dade Division. It looks like they are really gelling into a good side now. Lots of attacking weapons on the lineup and they are much more disciplined at the back.

Pwayko Skybank – FW – Breakers AFC

Not been an easy season so far for the Dudes but they finally got a win in April thanks in part to a brace from the spectacularly named Skybank in their matchup with Palm Beach Flames. The Breakers need to keep scoring to sneak into the playoffs and have a decent looking run of games to round out the regular season. Pwayko will need to keep his shooting boots on.

Miami FC v Florida Soccer Soldiers: Previewing The Open Cup Match

The matchup that fans of the lower leagues in South Florida have been wanting for the last year is finally here. Today is the day two of the finest teams in the state go toe-to-toe in a competitive game. A US Open Cup first round encounter that sees NPSL champions Miami FC against UPSL national finalists Florida Soccer Soldiers.

March 2019 Magic Six

Soccer is back! March saw the return of the UPSL with the 2019 spring season getting under way from Port St. Lucie to Kendall. These magicians caught the eye in the opening couple of weeks…

Franco Guglielmucci – FW – PSL United SC

Franco writes his own scripts. When Boca and Chad Johnson came to town, Franco turned in a man of the match performance and created the winning goal in PSL’s first UPSL game breaking the hearts of the Rat Pack and Ochocinco.

Jean Paul Garcia – GK – Atletico Miami CF

Having lost their opening two games in the UPSL, Atletico Miami put themselves in the driving seat in their third game against Miami AC with two early goals. Then they gave AC a lifeline – a penalty. Garcia saved low to his right and kept it out. Atletico went on to win 3-2 but they can thank Jean Paul for getting 3 points instead of 1.

Djamslie Milorel aka ‘James’ – FW – Himmarshee FC

Just watch the goal.

Don de Locker – DF – Palm Beach Spartans

Much is made of Spartans fearsome attack, holding things down at the other end of the pitch is Don de Locker. A reliable central defender who is also good with the ball at his feet. Spartans got two wins out of three in March thanks to his leadership at the back.

David Holguin – FW – Red Force FC

The Miami soccer legend, who we have affectionately dubbed Gordinho, inspired Red Force to a win in their first UPSL game with two goals. An absolute joy to watch this man play soccer.

Wikemlove – AMC – Boca Raton FC

Boca were 2-1 down at the half against the Spartans and made changes. One of them was bringing on tricky attacking midfielder Wikemlove. A goal and an assist later Boca were 3-2 up and in control. Gamechanger.

Gordon Banks: Former Fort Lauderdale Strikers and England keeper dies at 81

Gordon Banks (left) passed away at 81.

One of soccer’s greatest goalkeepers, Gordon Banks, passed peacefully in his sleep last night at the age of 81. Banks was a World Cup winner with England in 1966 and part of the original NASL revolution in the 1970s. Banks was the goalkeeper for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in their infancy playing on the NASL roster alongside a whole load of greats including Gerd Müller, Teófilo Cubillas, Elías Figueroa and George Best. 

The Miami FC in 2018, Part 3: You’ll Never Beat Miami

Fans of The Miami FC react to a game. Photo by Lee Ifans.

Looking at the two Miami teams you saw a real contrast. Miami United had come out of the gate well and had a great run in the cup which ended with a match up against an MLS side. The Miami FC 2 had labored early on but had grown as the season progressed. United’s season was over in the Sunshine Conference playoff semi. Dispatched comfortably by Armada by a 4-1 scoreline. It was to be the final many people expected at the start of the season in the Sunshine Conference. FC vs Armada.

The Miami FC in 2018, Part 2: Life On The Road

Photo via Lee Ifans

 

After playing six matches in the 305 it was finally time to hit the road and see what the rest of the Sunshine Conference had to offer. First up was a drive north to Palm Beach Gardens to take on Palm Beach United. Obviously when you play in a national league away trips are hard because the USA is massive. So being able to drive for an hour or so to a road game was pretty fantastic. A stop was planned at Funky Buddha Brewing on the way to catch the Champions League final. Everything looked pretty perfect but as usual the day was ruined by the weather. An absolute monsoon blew through South Florida that day and while that made the drive up the I-95 a bit hairy. It also made the conditions less than ideal for soccer.

The Miami FC in 2018, Part 1: All I See Is Changes

The Miami FC fans set up before the team's first game. Photo by Lee Ifans.

It’s the evening of 5th of November 2017. I’m bent double with my head in my hands as the sounds of boisterous celebration by the contingent from the New York Cosmos in Riccardo Silva Stadium confirm that The Miami FC’s 2017 NASL season is over. Mason Trafford has just planted his shootout effort onto the woodwork. For the first time in my life I couldn’t watch a penalty. It meant too much. Of all the players I didn’t want to miss, it was Mason. He’d not put a foot wrong all year, the likable boy from Boynton Beach had become a fan favorite for his consistent performances in defense. Soccer is a sport that writes cruel scripts.