After getting out Puerto Rico with three points despite giving up plenty of chances, Miami FC had to return home and get ready to play the same club again. Entering the game Miami had not allowed a single goal since Eamon Zayed’s 88th minute tap in three weeks ago. Would Miami’s back line hold up? Would Mason Trafford make an appearance?
Miami needed to provide an answer to its critics coming into Saturday’s game against Indianapolis. 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.
The biggest question The Miami FC had to answer coming into the 2017 campaign was “Can this defense hold up?” Boy, have they ever held up their end of the bargain. After allowing 42 goals in 2016, the backline has found the chemistry necessary to shut opponents down. Through 16 league games, the boys at the back have only allowed 11 goals and have helped Mario Daniel Vega hold seven clean sheets. In an extra four games of U.S. Open Cup play, Miami has allowed five goals while keeping a clean sheet against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Let’s take a look at this part of the team’s season so far and their best moments.
What a difference a year makes.
Back in 2016 with the spring season of the NASL drawing to a close, The Miami FC were struggling. Porous at the back and mis-firing up front, the promise the franchise showed off the pitch had not been fulfilled. They finished 11th of 11 and deserved no more than that.
Fast-forward 12 months and Alessandro Nesta’s men are playing scintillating soccer, marauding their way to the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals and trouncing teams by four goals… seven goals even, while also keeping clean sheets. So what has changed? In truth, it’s not been a revolution but an evolution.
Riccardo Silva couldn’t have dreamed it when he first formed The Miami FC.
9,000-plus fans. A hot but beautiful night. Major League Soccer competition on the field against his squad. A back-and-forth affair keeping everyone in their seats until the final seconds, when a Miami FC player streamed toward goal and finished a one-on-one opportunity to send the club into the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.
His, and many other, dreams were realized Wednesday night when Miami FC dispatched yet another Major League Soccer side from the U.S. Open Cup, this time toppling Atlanta United 3-2 with one of the best finishes a soccer fan could ever hope to see.
It was, simply put, the most consequential week in the history of The Miami FC. The entire podcast is dedicated to Miami FC, who easily dispatched with MLS side Orlando City SC in the Open Cup then thrashed Jacksonville Armada to maintain a seven-point cushion at the top of the NASL table. Matt and Omar walk you through it, featuring comments from Stefano Pinho, Ariel Martinez, Nesta and Bruce Silverman. Join us, won’t you?