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.
Miami United are looking like a club that could have made a long run in the U.S. Open Cup had they only had a chance to enter the tournament. Not having dropped a match since their season opener against cross-town rival Miami FC, United have won their last four matches by an impressive margin. Unfortunately for the pink and black, their cross town rivals are outgunning them against the same set of opponents.
Back in 2017 we had a nice little run going here at Magic City Soccer of nailing score-lines of Miami FC matches. If you look back at the preview, we hit the match right on it’s head. It took Miami quite a while, for their standards, to get their first goal of the match. It just took one to open the floodgates and secure three points in Winter Park.
It’s been a long, long, time since the Miami FC played an official match in central Florida. The Orlando area has always treated Miami quite well on the pitch. I don’t have to remind you of the 2017 #cupset over Orlando City behind the hat trick from Stefano Pinho. Those days are long gone, but the Miami FC are in fine form and look to keep racking up the wins in the 407 over NPSL Sunshine Conference newcomers CFSC.
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.