The highly anticipated rematch between the top two teams in the NASL fall table 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’s been a while since Miami FC have faced off against the football club from “La Isla Bonita”. These teams know each other well although it doesn’t really seem that they play often. Perhaps that’s because these games have been less notable than those against other NASL foes.
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.
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.
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.
In a topsy-turvy match, The Miami FC overcame an early deficit then and withstood 35 minutes of playing down a man after a red card was issued to Kwadwo Poku to beat the New York Cosmos 2-1 and come even closer to the NASL spring championship.