The highly anticipated rematch between the top two teams in the NASL fall table, The Miami FC and Puerto Rico FC, is here. As we mentioned last week, the fall season has been a reverse of fortune for teams who found themselves at the bottom in the spring. Positions three and four are currently held by Edmonton and North Carolina who need a magical run in this campaign to earn a spot in the NASL playoffs.
It’s been a while since Miami FC have faced off against the football club from “La Isla Bonita,” Puerto Rico FC. These teams know each other well although it doesn’t really seem that they play often. Perhaps that’s because these games have been less notable than those against other NASL foes.
What we have coined as the #PalmettoDerby took place Sunday. The University of Miami Hurricanes squared off against the Panthers of Florida International University in front of more than 600 people at FIU Soccer Stadium. Ten miles and two goals separated these two clubs in what was a great display of talent for local collegiate soccer.
The Miami Hurricanes soccer team kicked off their season with a bang tonight at Cobb Stadium. Miami dominated Saint Francis (PA) by a score of 6-0. After working out the kinks following a 0-3 loss to upstate UCF, the Canes came back and dominated Florida Tech on Monday 7-0. They got off to a hot start Friday night as well.
Miami lost 4 key players coming into 2017. Three key players in defense (Auld, Dal Pozzo, and McCarthy) tallied two goals and eleven assists in 2016. Nothing hurts this team more than losing striker Gracie Lachowecki who tallied eleven goals and three assists in 19 games last season. Miami didn’t seem to mind losing these key players in this showing.
It feels like just about a fortnight ago that we discussed Miami and North Carolina FC. In fairness, it’s been ten days since these two clubs faced off in what was an exciting end to any soccer match. North Carolina were able to steal all three points from Miami by converting their third goal of the night from a set piece.
How have the two teams fared since that match on the fifth of August? Miami came back with a vengeance but suffered some setbacks in a 3-1 victory over the Indy Eleven. North Carolina could only manage a point in a 2-2 draw with the Jacksonville Armada.
Miami needed to provide an answer to its critics coming into Saturday’s game against Indy Eleven. Boy, did they ever make a response. After a miserable start to the fall campaign, that includes the end of the cup run, Miami returned with a similar flair that we had gotten used to in the spring.
Miami enters this game against Indy Eleven venturing into uncharted territory. Only once in club history have they dropped four matches in a row. To call the third game of the fall season a must win is hyperbole at best, however, that may be the sentiment inside the locker room tonight for the Blues.
On the day following the statement made by Dade Brigade with their #OpenSoccer tifo, Miami FC have filed a lawsuit in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Alongside Miami, the Kingston Stockade (New York/NPSL) joined the motion calling for implementation of Promotion/Relegation within the United States pyramid. Why such a strong action from the Riccardo Silva owned team? Let’s jump back to last week.
After the disappointment against FC Cincinnati in Wednesday’s quarter-final cup action, Miami finds themselves trying to pick up the pieces after losing two games in a row. It’s been a while since Nesta & Company have lost multiple matches in a row. The last time Miami FC dropped repeated matches was towards the end of the fall season in 2016. Dropping three in a row? You have to go back to the nightmarish spring season of 2016. They’ll be hoping to avoid that fate against North Carolina FC.
The Miami FC has turned into an offensive juggernaut in the NASL. Few teams in the league have the defensive ability to keep up with this group of attackers. Whether it’s blowing teams out by numerous goals or being able to cash in on the lone chance of the night, Pinho, Rennella and Poku have come in clutch all season. Their job has been made much easier thanks to the play of the midfield group that we recapped yesterday. Let’s take a look at the trio’s season so far and their best moments.