It is here, it is finally here. Welcome to the official start of the 2018 soccer season in the Magic City. As fate would have it, the first match pits two of our local clubs against each other. Local NPSL powerhouse Miami United get to take on the NPSL newcomers Miami FC 2. The #MagicCityClasico will surely be one of the determining factors of who moves on to the NPSL playoffs and tops the table at the end of the year. Let’s take a look at both teams that have a chance to lift the newest trophy in the battle for Miami.
It was a lovely spring evening at St. Thomas University and the stage was set for a good battle between The Miami FC 2 and FC Kendall, two sides tuning up for some important upcoming games. Indeed this could have been a dress rehearsal for a possible rematch in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. We now know if The Miami FC 2 can negotiate a tricky tie with FC Miami City then the squad will probably line up against FC Kendall or Red Force in the first round.
For The Miami FC 2 preseason friendlies had been a cakewalk. South Florida FC and Weston FC had been dispatched rather easily. But the first challenge from a Miami-Dade squad proved to be more challenging.
In a 2-1 result, Miami FC 2 faced and dealt with its first serious challenge of their preseason schedule. But it wasn’t always easy.
Miami FC bounced back and looked like the team that all their supporters know and love yesterday in Indianapolis. After dropping points in their previous two games against the San Francisco Deltas, which brought the overall first seed in to question, the turnaround was massive for the club. Indy looked outmatched from the start and saw their season officially end after the final whistle.
Before we get started on the very rare double recap article below, we want to apologize for the lack of structure over the recent weeks. After Hurricane Irma, it is safe to say that we have been in quite a lull. Everyone in the Magic City Soccer family is safe and our families are doing well. Now, back to the NASL season already in progress.
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 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.
Miami enters this game venturing into uncharted territory. Only once in club history have they dropped four matches in a row. To call the third game of the fall season a must win is hyperbole at best, however, that may be the sentiment inside the locker room tonight for the Blues.
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 midfield has been The Miami FC’s best weapon this season. Not only can they provide extra bodies on defense in hectic situations, but they have been the key to allowing the forwards to counterattack quickly. Richie Ryan, Dylan Mares, and Michael Lahoud have all shined in the spring season playing different roles in the midfield. This unit has unlocked many of the answers against NASL and U.S. Open Cup opponents. Let’s take a look at the trio’s season so far and their best moments.