What if I told you the off-season would leave Miami’s only professional club in absolute chaos? What if I told you the roster would suffer an exodus of talent? How about if I told you the team would rally and reach a national championship? Would you have believed me? I wouldn’t blame you if you wouldn’t. Yet, that’s exactly where Miami FC find themselves today. One match against FC Motown away from a national title and a vindication story made for the movies.
The Miami FC 2 signed off a six-game stand at home by easing past Duluth FC with three unanswered goals.
Somehow the deluge engulfing the rest of Florida on Saturday evening missed the Opa Locka-Miami Gardens area and the fans were treated to lovely evening perfect for soccer. And the fans showed up. The hype of the International Champions Cup and the hoopla of Futbol Miami MLS has not dampened the enthusiasm of the Miami FC faithful. Many people in this part of the World claim to love soccer, the 1289 people who showed up to this claim are probably the ones who mean it. The second highest attendance of the season at the Bob.
For The Miami FC faithful, this season has gone just about as well as you could’ve hoped. Sure, a longer U.S. Open Cup run would have been welcomed, but this post-season has been a delight for supporters. Coming off the hiatus of the NASL, Miami FC was left with no place to play. In a scramble the organization created Miami FC 2 and entered the NPSL’s Southeast Conference. That last minute addition is now one of the final four teams vying for the NPSL Title.
In the words of the great musician Billy Joel, “Oh what a night”. The Miami FC 2 clinched their ticket to the national tournament and took care of business at the BOB. To make things even sweeter, Miami will get to play another match in front of the FC2 faithful. Despite some mid-week heroics, Little Rock was just no match for this professional outfit.
The season that just doesn’t want to end continues. Magic City soccer fans are going to be treated to at least one more match of significant importance Saturday as The Miami FC 2 take on the Rangers of Little Rock, Arkansas. In a season that has bloomed in the darkest of skies, Miami has a unique ability to win their second NPSL title of the season and earn a place in the national finals.
It wasn’t easy under the floodlights of the Bob for Miami FC 2 on a steaming hot Tuesday night in Miami. A very useful Atlanta Silverbacks squad was in town for more NPSL playoff soccer. Atlanta were the strongest side to come to the 305 all season and they might feel like they could have got something out of this very even game, but Miami’s unbeaten run continues.
Last week the Miami FC 2 managed to do something they couldn’t last year, win a playoff. Unlike the NASL, the NPSL has a “three-round” playoff system. After a team makes it out of their conference playoffs, they enter the regional stage, then move on to the national final four. During the playoffs each round is a one-legged fixture hosted by the team that earned a higher points per game tally during the regular season. Miami’s stellar regular season forces the Atlanta Silverbacks to come to town.
With the loss of forward Jaime Chávez to a red card and the late scratch of Don Smart, it appeared Saturday night’s challenge against Jacksonville Armada FC for the NPSL Sunshine Conference championship would be an uphill battle. But virtually from the moment of kickoff, The Miami FC 2 were in the driver’s seat and their play took them all the way to the title, thoroughly defeating the Armada 3-1.
Miami-Dade County was well represented in the NPSL Conference XI on Friday, as three players from The Miami FC 2 and two players from Miami United FC were recognized by the league for their performance in the Sunshine Conference. In addition, Miami FC coach Paul Dalglish was named the coach of the year in the conference.
We have the opponent, and we have the date. As we mentioned earlier, this 2018 NPSL season has been eerily similar to a roller coaster ride. You have the anxiety before you take your seat, the high’s, the low’s, the fear, the excitement. Yet, at the end of the ride you pull off your safety constraints and you get off knowing you always would. Despite everything that has happened, the draws, the losses, and the unconvincing victories, it’s Miami FC versus Jacksonville for the title. It’s what was always supposed to be.