For the third straight year the Open Cup symbolizes a battle between South and Central Florida. You already know that Miami United will host Orlando City tomorrow night. You already know that the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and The Miami FC have defeated the MLS foe in consecutive years. What you don’t already know is, Can Miami United make it three straight years of South Florida dominance?
When your club starts a season with a 3 match home-stand you usually send a thank you to the scheduling gods for giving them such a gift. FC Miami City fans are doing no such thing. Each of City’s first three matches have ended in heartbreak for the Ligue 1 affiliated side. Saturday’s match against North County United would prove no different.
Miami United have benefited from good fortune so far in the 2018 season. In fairness to the club, the fortune seems to be a direct correlation to their approach in the matches. United will head west on Interstate-75 today to do battle with Naples United FC, in a match that carries a similar “tune-up” mentality to the victory over Storm FC prior to their 3rd round cup fixture.
The Miami FC 2 are in the middle of running the NPSL gauntlet with a fixture clog that rarely happens in the leagues at the top of the pyramid. MFC2 have seemed to find their way in the NPSL and finally realized what it takes to earn victories in the Sunshine Conference. Miami will embark on the 40-mile journey up Interstate 95 and head into Boca Raton FC territory collecting wins in their previous two road campaigns.
We’ve mentioned on plenty of our previews that Miami FC is this offensive juggernaut. Most of the times we are sure that you are reading this thinking if we’re just crazy because it’s yet to happen. It finally happened for Miami on Wednesday night in their match against Storm FC. It just so happens that we didn’t write a preview for this match.
Usually when a team comes off a losing effort the players, coaches, and staff will tell you “we’re just looking forward to our next match”. For Miami FC it must have felt like an eternity for the next fixture date to arrive. Coming off a 3-1 loss in the 2nd round of the U.S. Open Cup, the Blues return to the field after a 10 day layoff hoping to begin climbing the NPSL Sunshine Conference Table.
FC Miami City came into Wednesday’s match with a point to prove in the PDL season. Dropping points due to costly errors against the Lakeland Tropics in their previous outing, City needed a strong showing to bounce back in their 2nd game of the season. Boasting a roster of local collegiate talent and international players, City playoffs chances look slim in a conference they should be contending in.
The Magic City will get to see MLS competition for the second straight year courtesy of Miami United FC and their deep run into this year’s U.S. Open Cup tournament. In a first for the club, Miami United FC will host Major League Soccer side Orlando City SC in Round 4 of the U.S. Open Cup on June 5 or 6.
The fourth-round draw took place this morning and in a shocking turn of events, Orlando City opted out of a chance to host for the round. Orlando City has had poor attendance and even worse luck in this round of the tournament in previous years, especially when taking on an opponent from South Florida.
Miami United will look to be the newest addition to the club of lower division sides to knock off Orlando. In 2016, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers were able to get past Orlando in extra time with a game winning goal from Victor “PC” Giro (now on the OCSC roster). In 2017, now NPSL foe, Miami FC knocked out Orlando with a hat trick from Stefano Pinho (now also on the OCSC roster). Miami United has the right amount of firepower up front and tactical ability on defense to provide South Florida with another #cupset for the third consecutive year.
The match date has a placeholder for June 6th (subject to change) and it will take place at Milander Park in Hialeah. This will be City’s first visit to South Florida in the history of its existence in MLS. For years, the South Florida market has been ignored by City amidst the talks of a possible MLS Miami team coming in. Perhaps leaving the South Florida market untapped may come back to haunt Orlando as United look to pack the stadium in a true showing of Miami soccer pride.
Matthew Bunch contributed to this report.
When we began the 2018 campaign here at Magic City Soccer we had a feeling a Miami club would make the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. When you have five teams in the tournament from the area, surely one would come out of the local fixtures and get the opportunity to play for a match against a Major League Soccer opponent. What we didn’t know was that Miami United would be that very club.
When Jorge Mas said that we would hear news about the Miami MLS project soon, we were all hoping for it to be in the coming weeks after the announcement. We’re close to being four months away from the date that MLS declared Miami was officially getting a franchise and we’re starting to get some early clues as to how the franchise will honor the Magic City. While it’s nothing from the horse’s mouth, the connections are too big to ignore. Miami Freedom appears to be in the lead position.