Chad Johnson, the high-profile NFL wide receiver known as “Ochocinco”, returned to the world of competitive athletics Sunday, taking the field with Boca Raton FC’s Florida Gulf Coast League side.
Often after a U.S. Open Cup appearance, participating teams suffer from post-Cup swoon. For FC Kendall, who suffered defeat in Round 1 at the hands of Miami United FC, their 2018 spring/summer league performance has been ascendant.
The club has completed an undefeated American Premier Soccer League campaign, capping it off with a 2-0 win over UD Miami FC on Sunday night at Kendall Soccer Park
Second goal of our 2-0 Win vs. UD Miami yesterday. @danigonz10 scores off a great pass from Icaro “Iko.” This was the 6th goal of Dani “Mini” Gonzalez in the @apslofficial 2018 Summer Season. pic.twitter.com/EViznzB8Pq
— FC Kendall (@_FCKendall) July 23, 2018
With the win, the team is now top the league table, five points clear of the nearest competition in South Florida FC. Both South Florida and FC Kendall will now heads into the APSL playoffs with a well-deserved bye. This weekend, Boca Raton FC’s APSL squad will face Heights FC of Deerfield Beach, while UD Miami will play Miami-Dade stalwart Red Force FC this weekend. FC Kendall will play the winner of the second game.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>After 13 exciting weeks, we have our <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Top6?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Top6</a> that will move on to the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/2018APSLPlayoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#2018APSLPlayoffs</a>. <a href=”https://twitter.com/_FCKendall?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@_FCKendall</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/southfloridafc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@southfloridafc</a> earn <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Quarterfinals?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Quarterfinals</a> Bye and will await the results of <a href=”https://twitter.com/BocaRatonFC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BocaRatonFC</a> vs <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/HeightsFC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#HeightsFC</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/UDMiamiFCFans?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@UDMiamiFCFans</a> vs <a href=”https://twitter.com/RedForceFC09?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@RedForceFC09</a> this weekend. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/APSLSoccer?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#APSLSoccer</a> <a href=”https://t.co/So581ae5En”>pic.twitter.com/So581ae5En</a></p>— APSL (@apslofficial) <a href=”https://twitter.com/apslofficial/status/1021899601408876544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 24, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The APSL season provides both vigorous competition for local players and a path to the U.S. Open Cup, so securing the league title will be of the highest priority for Kendall.
While the name is relatively new, the club is not. Originally Uruguay Kendall FC, the club changed names to FC Kendall last year. The club qualified for the 2018 Open Cup by defeating Nashville United FC last November.
The Miami FC 2 signed off a very successful inaugural NPSL regular season with a comfortable win against a lackluster Boca Raton FC side. With the home fans finally given a chance to enjoy a Saturday night game, there was a real end-of-term feel to proceedings and a quiet confidence that the job in hand could be completed and that 1st place in the Sunshine Conference would be sewn up.
It’s incredible to think that the 2018 NPSL soccer season is on it’s final fixture date here in the Magic City. The three month “flash in the pan” season reaches it’s end as Miami FC 2 take on the boys from Boca Raton in a final showdown. Unfortunately for Boca, this match means nothing other than a final showing. For MFC2, one point makes the difference between hosting a semi-final and potentially traveling, or having seven days off and hosting the Conference final.
Coming into Tuesday’s match, Paul Dalglish was forced to use his imagination due to injuries to Kris Tyrpak and Shaddi Atassi. Deploying a six midfield lineup (seven if you want to count Smart) against a strong Naples side was bold. Fortunately, it was enough and Miami was able to get an extra four days of rest and recovery for the strikers. With Vincenzo Rennella and Aly Hassan gone from the lineup the lone striker on the club, Jaime Chavez, can use all the rest he can get given the gauntlet that is the NPSL playoffs.
Jim Rooney’s boys will look to play spoiler tonight denying the Miami FC organization its third straight season title. The blueprint for beating this Miami side essentially public knowledge at this point. Time and time again we’ve seen the Blues get frustrated from having to break down five at the back and opponents using holding midfielders to clog up the passing lanes. If Rooney is determined to deny Miami FC 2’s first spotlight, it will be crucial to be organized at the back and keep an eye on the wingbacks.
The truth is, there is less pressure on this team today knowing that all they need is a draw in order to secure the top slot. Unfortunately for MFC2, the structure of the playoffs for the region will require them to get a win if they would like to host a NPSL regional semi-final if they make it out of the conference playoffs. Thankfully, there is some solace in knowing that the last time these two teams faced off Miami trounced Boca 5-0.
Keys To A MFC2 victory:
Miami was able to score early on Boca Raton in their previous fixture at Atlantic High School. Miami used their pace to create cracks in the Boca backline and cause chaos all day for the defensive unit. Much of the same should be expected today as Paul Dalglish deploys his fullbacks forward, asking them to become part of the attack. Don Smart, who has made the right wingback position his own, will look to terrorize the Boca back line with his space and crossing ability.
In a perfect world, Tyrpak and Chavez would be available to man the front line along with Dario Suarez. If Miami can play their best eleven, their biggest obstacles would be complacency and themselves. Expect the midfield to try and create passing lanes for the wingers and work to free Chavez in behind the defense.
All-in-all this match should be an easier contest than Miami’s previous outings at home. Boca’s lone win at home came against Storm FC and the south palm beach boys have given up a staggering 17 goals on the road this season. It should be all Miami early on as they look to seal the game early to allow for the bench to get involved as soon as possible.
Miami FC 2 4 – 0 Boca Raton FC
Tickets are still available for tonight’s contest! Click Here To Get Your Tickets Today!
Pundits usually argue whether an important match coming on the heels of a tournament loss is a good situation or a bad one. Whichever side of the coin you fall on, it doesn’t make Miami United’s match and against Boca Raton FC any less stressful. Miami United will host Boca Raton FC tonight in NPSL action coming off the loss to Orlando City in the 2018 US Open Cup. This match has consequences for both sides when it comes to the table.
DELRAY BEACH — After a staggered start to the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season, The Miami FC 2 appears to have found its form. The team has won three in a row, capped off by a 5-0 win over Boca Raton FC.
The Miami FC 2 are in the middle of running the NPSL gauntlet with a fixture clog that rarely happens in the leagues at the top of the pyramid. MFC2 have seemed to find their way in the NPSL and finally realized what it takes to earn victories in the Sunshine Conference. Miami will embark on the 40-mile journey up Interstate 95 and head into Boca Raton FC territory collecting wins in their previous two road campaigns.
Boca Raton FC will begin its NPSL Sunshine Conference season hosting Miami United FC in Delray Beach on Saturday at 6PM. These opponents are no stranger to each other, playing twice last year in the Sunshine Conference with Boca losing both games one to zero. United, who also placed a squad in the APSL last year, faced Boca twice with Boca winning both those games 2-1. The ties between the club go deep as Boca and United have also previously faced off in last years first round of the US Open Cup with United advancing to the second round.