Despite not being awarded matches in the International Champions Cup or the Gold Cup this summer, South Florida is still proving to be a destination of choice for the world’s biggest clubs. Barcelona and Napoli have just come to an agreement to play a friendly at Hard Rock Stadium. Just up the road in Boca Raton, the most expansive series of matches will be contested between Latin American heavyweights in Copa Gigantes. Nacional (Uruguay), Peñarol (Uruguay), Millonarios FC (Colombia), América de Cali (Colombia), Pachuca (Mexico) and DIM (Colombia) are all showcasing at Florida Atlantic University.
It was a slow buildup but a euphoric ending for the Miami FC on Saturday night at Barry University. While the worry set in early for the Miami faithful, Naples could not contain the attack for long. For Naples, a result of any type could have earned the west coast club a playoff match at home. It was a couple of familiar faces whose performance would decide the contest in this top of the table fixture.
Soccer is perhaps the only sport where a title fight gets a rematch so quickly. Anthony Joshua would probably offer a king’s ransom to get the opportunity that Naples United have been afforded by the NPSL scheduling matrix. As you may recall, Naples got the early lead against the Miami FC last weekend. However, Miguel Gonzalez would have much to say before the match was over. Can Miami avoid disaster in a rematch?
Southwest Florida and the Magic City don’t have much in common. Beside the palm trees, fantastic seafood, and a passion to preserve one of the world’s natural wonders the two areas aren’t alike. Don’t tell the Magic City based football clubs that. Both the Miami FC and FC Surge felt right at home bringing back all of the points across Alligator Alley.
Saturday’s match up is one of the rarer fixtures that come in the National Premier Soccer League. The league has 91 teams and the sunshine conference is home of the second and fifth team in the league’s power rankings (points per game). Naples United has been perfect so far on the year amassing wins in their five matches. For Miami FC, despite some disappointment their recent form has been outstanding.
When a club goes on a run that includes outscoring their opponents by 32 goals, it’s inevitable that there is a let down coming. Very rarely are dominant performances like the ones displayed by MFC sustained in the long haul. In what may have been the first blimp on the radar since the loss to the Florida Soccer Soldiers, Miami managed to only score one goal by half time. It was the next 45 minutes that showed all the signs of a team ready for a lengthy playoff run.
There is an argument to be made that this form that the Miami FC have been on as of late has been the most impressive run this team has produced. The 2017 U.S. Open Cup run was special, and the 2017 13-game winning streak in the NASL was incredibly impressive. Even in 2018, the club went 10 straight games with a victory to clinch three trophies in the NPSL playoffs. These last four NPSL matches have just been complete domination with a combined scoreline of 33-1.
FC Miami City have been improving leaps and bounds over their previous season. The massive overhaul of the roster and staff has so far been vindicated by the results being earned on the field. While it hasn’t always been pretty, FC Miami City have found themselves near the top of the table 2 games before the half way point of the season. Their victory against Weston was another result earned by grinding out their opponent.
Two years removed from their previous clash in South Florida, Venezuela and Ecuador took the pitch behind the support of thousands of their patriots. South Florida has long been the destination for Latin American migration, and it showed proudly with the amount of Venezuelan and Ecuadorian fans at Hard Rock Stadium. Over 12,000 showed for a friendly that was missing some notable superstars for both nations.
FC Miami City’s home opener was a success given all the obstacles in the way of Miami’s lone USL League Two club. An early start time (noon kickoff on a weekday), stadium equipment issues, and a completely overhauled roster didn’t stop the match from earning an average attendance. Friends and family took to Tropical Park to watch FCMC square off against newly founded Daytona SC.