Last month, The Miami FC coach Paul Dalglish gave some clues as to how the club would be built in 2019. This week, fans and observers got a clearer view as to what kind of team might take the field this season.
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.
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.
The Miami FC CEO Sean Flynn and manager Paul Dalglish met members of the press and the general public on Thursday night promoting the club’s new partnership with Soccer Academy of the Americas. However, the club’s leadership also spoke about plans on the field in 2019.
It was the most highly anticipated matchup of the UPSL Florida South Division season so far. Undefeated and untied Florida Soccer Soldiers faced off with undefeated and untied Miami Sun FC. The game that started with such excitement ended with such controversy, as Florida Soccer Soldiers scored off a contested corner and the Miami Sun FC complaints reached such a fever pitch that the referees called the match more than 20 minutes early.
Thursday saw confirmation of possibly the worst-kept secret in US Soccer. The news that the National Premier Soccer League will start an elite national division on top of the existing NPSL in 2020. Leading into that, after the conclusion of the 2019 NPSL regular season and playoffs, the teams at the forefront of this movement will play a ‘Founder’s Cup’ as a way of ushering in the new era in the fall of 2019.
During the 2018-2019 offseason (and just like last season), Magic City Soccer writer Drew Housman is helping you keep up-to-date. Below you can find Drew’s “Off-Season Player Tracker,” which lists the known status of every current (or now former) The Miami FC player. The Miami FC Player Tracker updates you with inbound and outbound player movement. You can find more information by visiting the subreddit.
MADISON, NJ — The Miami FC 2 claimed the 2018 National Premier Soccer League Championship, defeating FC Motown 3-1 at Ranger Field on the campus of Drew University on Saturday night. In front of a Motown record crown that saw over 2100 people attend the final. Motown attempted to flood the midfield as they did often throughout the season.
Miami’s first goal came in the 33rd minute, when Jonny Steele fired a rock into the upper-right hand corner. The corner came from the foot of Dylan Mares who’s outswinger found Steele sitting all alone outside of the technical area. Miami’s lead would be short lived as Motown would be quick to fire back.
Motown would find their equalizer in the 35th minute. Miami has found themselves vulnerable when being indecisive along the back line. Jonny Steele would find himself the next victim of the situation as his errant pass into the midfield was picked up by Motown. The ball was fed over to Dilly Duka who scored his third goal in three straight matches during the NPSL playoffs.
The match turned in the 57th minute, when defender Chris Riordan fouled Jaime Chavez on the edge of the box and picked up a second yellow card. Riordan’s rash challenge would leave Motown a man down, and give Miami their best opportunity of the night. Dylan Mares converted the free kick to the low right-hand corner, and gave Miami a lead it would not relinquish.
Motown would push their numbers forward into the 80th minute with reckless abandon. With their backs against the wall Motown found several chances to equalize, none better than Julius James opportunity in the 76th minute. With numbers pushed forward, the assistant referee saved Motown a few times before Jeffrey Michaud broke free in the 81st minute.
As the final whistle blew, Miami’s vindication story has been written. The former NASL Spring and Fall champion would find themselves again a top another league’s final standings.
This is the first postseason title for The Miami FC as a club, and the first postseason title for any Miami professional soccer team.