On this Magic City Soccer Podcast, Matthew, Lee and Franco discuss The Miami FC and its victory over Charlotte Independence, as well as Inter Miami CF and its struggles on and off the field. Join us, won’t you?
There was plenty of reasons for soccer fans in and around the South Florida soccer world to be happy about this week.
The Miami FC got things off to a great start with a win away at New York Red Bulls II on Friday night. The game’s only goal came when Billy Forbes clipped a lovely ball through for János Löbe. The full back centered for Ballard who had his shot blocked but Jamaican international Speedy Williams rifled home a smart finish from the edge of the box.
For a moment against Orlando City SC, it appeared Inter Miami CF might be able to find its footing and get back into the match. Might be able to forge the first winning streak in team history. But that moment was fleeting, and a Mauricio Pereyra goal off the post put the Purple and Gold up for good, 2-1.
Orlando struck first, applying pressure and dominating much of the first half, including a Nani free kick striking off the crossbar. In the 34th minute, Miami defender Andres Reyes unluckily put the ball in his own net off a curling set piece.
Miami drastically improved in the second half, as the infusions of Dylan Nealis and Brek Shea sparked several quality chances early on.
Finally, in the 65th minute, it was former Orlando man Shea who took a service from Rodolfo Pizarro and headed the ball in for the equalizer. It was a deserved reward for Miami, but the joy wouldn’t last long.
— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) September 13, 2020
In what has become an unfortunate trend, a Miami goal is followed by a Miami concession. This time, the center of the Inter defense vacated a huge hole at the top of the 18-yard box. It was Pereyra taking a clever pass from Chris Mueller and slotting it past the diving Luis Robles.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) September 13, 2020
Just a few minutes after that, a wild sequence ensued. A low cross nearly found the foot of Miami forward Julian Carranza, and after video review, it was determined that not only was Carranza fouled by Orlando’s Rodrigo Schlegel, but it was the defender’s second yellow card of the match. Before Inter could even line up for the penalty kick, a second review showed Carranza offside as the ball was played in, nullifying the foul and the yellow card. Schlegel was subsequently allowed back into the match and Inter’s wait for its first penalty kick of the season continued.
In the third match-up between these clubs, and the last presently on the schedule, it’s advantage Orlando (2-1). Miami next faces Atlanta United in Georgia on Saturday at 7 p.m. The latest round of MLS schedule updates has Inter playing home to New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, September 23 and at Philadelphia Union on Sunday the 27th.
The Miami FC finally recorded an away win in the USL Championship with a 2-1 victory over ATL UTD 2, thanks to a second-half strike by Miguel Gonzalez.
The main conductor of the attacking play in the draw vs Charleston Battery, Sebastian Velasquez, didn’t make the trip. Possibly Paul Dalglish did not want to risk him against Atlanta’s no-nonsense tackling. Lloyd Sam dropped to the bench. In came Gonzalez and Griffiths. Again a back three was deployed with Hassan Ndam as sweeper.
Atlanta set out to disrupt Miami’s possession and gave no quarter in the 50/50s. Jalen Markey was bundled over more than once but despite the persistent fouling from the home side, the ref kept his cards in his pocket.
Miami stood up to the physical challenge from the hosts and took the lead when Romario Williams tapped in a rebound after Atlanta keeper Ben Lundgaard spilled a Tomas Granitto free kick. Williams looked to be in the mood for a goal after failing to find the net since the 2-1 over Charlotte last month. His movement was good, he was taking players on with confidence. A great night for the number 9.
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) September 12, 2020
In a familiar story for FC fans, Atlanta equalized minutes later. The Miami defense failed to clear a loose ball in the area, Ajani Fortune firing home a great effort. Miami have been much improved of late, especially at the back, but this was an echo of past collapses. Thankfully they steadied themselves and made it to half time tied up 1-1.
Sometimes you just feel a game is going the way of one of the teams. Last night it was our turn and Miami wouldn’t be denied three vital points. Miguel Gonzalez was the hero of the hour with a crisp finish from the edge of the area after a corner early in the second half. It’s two goals in two games for Miguel now. His confident, first-time finish for the goal sums up Miami FC’s renaissance. A bit of belief and swagger is coming back.
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) September 13, 2020
ATLUTD2 had a couple of chances to get level and even hit the crossbar, however Miami’s defense held firm. Keeper Mark Pais turned in a commanding performance. Mark controls his area so well and came bravely out of his goal to snuff out an Atlanta chance on the hour mark. Centerback Hassan Ndam was impressive too, as the Cameroonian provided a key block late in the game to ensure an important victory for the Orange and Blue.
90' – HUGE defensive tackle by Ndam to avoid the equalizer. pic.twitter.com/Lb3rfzsVrr
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) September 13, 2020
Although unlikely, the win means Miami still have a mathematical chance to catch second place in Group H, Charleston Battery. Next up is the “Magic City Derby,” as the Birmingham Legion will come to Riccardo Silva Stadium on Wednesday at 7:30pm, watch on ESPN+.
During the Coronavirus epidemic, the Magic City Soccer Podcast was able to catch up with some international club players that all come from the South Florida area. In this first of a special set of episodes, Omar and Lee chat with Pablo Punyed (KR Reykjavik), Krissy Fisher (Sporting Huelva), and Niko Hämäläinen (Kilmarnock, QPR) about their South Florida roots and their transition into the pro game. We wish you and your family all the best during this difficult time. Since we’re all trapped at home… join us, won’t you?
Inter Miami CF announced Thursday that it has established an English-language broadcast partnership with CBS Miami, which shares ownership of WFOR CBS-4 and WBFS My 33.
Due to the postponement of the Inter Miami CF hope opener against the LA Galaxy, and in the interest of promoting social distancing and support for our local community, Magic City Soccer will be providing a full-length, fully commentated Football Manager simulation of the game on Twitch on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The United Soccer League confirmed Thursday that it would impose a 30-day suspension of games due to COVID-19, referred to commonly as novel coronavirus. This means that The Miami FC’s home opener against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Riccardo Silva Stadium, will not go forward as planned.
Stay with Magic City Soccer as this story develops.
For 50 minutes Saturday, Inter Miami CF seemed poised to claim its first Major League Soccer victory. An early Rodolfo Pizarro goal, the first in the club’s history, was the cap of an early offensive blitz and reflected the dominance we would see from the team in the first half.
But one moment proved to be a harbinger of doom for the RosaNegra, taking them from 2-0 up to down 2-1 and a man within 10 minutes.
The wait for an inaugural point continues. Inter Miami fell at the hands of DC United Saturday, 2-1.
As Inter Miami CF kicks off its first game this afternoon, I’ve been doing some thinking. I wasn’t always a fan of soccer. In fact, I spent most of my adolescence harboring a strong dislike of the sport. Soccer was boring, no one ever scored, it was for other countries and not the United States.
Obviously, if you’ve read this website or listened to our podcast, you know that opinion has changed radically. It was a process that started in my hometown of Baltimore, but took hold in Miami. I learned to appreciate, then love, The Beautiful Game.
By the time my appreciation of soccer took hold, around 2008, I was driving to pubs on Miami Beach or Oakland Park to watch my club team, Liverpool. And I was also aware of a plan by F.C. Barcelona and Marcelo Claure to bring Major League Soccer to Miami. My first thought was: “Yeah, why the hell doesn’t Miami have MLS already?” My second thought was: “Awesome!”
My first thought was answered when I researched and discovered there had been a Miami team, and that it had been contracted after the 2001 season. My second thought was slowly killed off by the Great Recession and Barcelona’s abandonment of the project in 2009. It would be more than a decade before Major League Soccer would actually return.