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.
We’ve mentioned on plenty of our previews that Miami FC is this offensive juggernaut. Most of the times we are sure that you are reading this thinking if we’re just crazy because it’s yet to happen. It finally happened for Miami on Wednesday night in their match against Storm FC. It just so happens that we didn’t write a preview for this match.
The NPSL has proven to be a tough league to understand in the early stages of the 2018 season. Sure, we may have fond memories of the NASL and the whole “division two” thing, but it’s time to accept that those days are long gone. Miami versus Jacksonville was the showing that, no matter what competition these two clubs find themselves in, there is still very little love lost between both sides.
It was a game of firsts for The Miami FC 2, yet it seemed very similar at the same time. A new name. A new coach. Many new names.
Yet it was a number of familiar faces who led the way, as Miami FC 2 claimed its first victory, defeating Weston FC 5-0 to open the 2018 preseason at Bobcat Field at St. Thomas University.
It took a little while, but The Miami FC shook off its post-Hurricane Irma rust and showed its quality against Miami United FC’s APSL squad, 6-0.
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?
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 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.
Three weeks ago, The Miami FC was the hottest club in North American soccer. Just coming off a 14-game unbeaten streak, the club defeated second-place San Francisco Deltas 7-0 to claim the NASL Spring Season title and had everything to look forward to in a matchup against FC Cincinnati in which it would be favored. Mother Nature intervened and forced a postponement to Aug. 2. Three weeks isn’t that long, right?
For Miami FC and its fans (10,415 of whom showed up Wednesday night — a club record), it feels like an eternity. The club is officially on a losing streak, capped off with the indignity of a 1-0 home shutout to Cincinnati and an ignoble exit from a memorable U.S. Open Cup run.
A short roundup of coverage about Miami soccer:
And, in the midst of it all is Canadian Mason Trafford, who has been a regular starter with Miami FC since the team acquired him from the Ottawa Fury after the 2015 season. Trafford is a linchpin for the second-year franchise.
Steven Sandor, who is a color commentator for FC Edmonton and a writer at The11.ca, gives us a look at Mason Trafford, with a particular focus on his desire to play for the Canada men’s national soccer team.