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.
After the disappointment against FC Cincinnati in Wednesday’s quarter-final cup action, Miami finds themselves trying to pick up the pieces after losing two straight games. It’s been a while since Nesta & Company have lost multiple matches in a row. The last time Miami FC dropped repeated matches was towards the end of the fall season in 2016. Dropping three in a row? You have to go back to the nightmarish spring season of 2016.
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.
What a difference a year makes.
Back in 2016 with the spring season of the NASL drawing to a close, The Miami FC were struggling. Porous at the back and mis-firing up front, the promise the franchise showed off the pitch had not been fulfilled. They finished 11th of 11 and deserved no more than that.
Fast-forward 12 months and Alessandro Nesta’s men are playing scintillating soccer, marauding their way to the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals and trouncing teams by four goals… seven goals even, while also keeping clean sheets. So what has changed? In truth, it’s not been a revolution but an evolution.
In an unexpectedly tight matchup, The Miami FC of the North American Soccer League survived a serious challenge from South Florida Surf of the Premier Development League in order to advance to the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Cobb Stadium on the campus of the University of Miami on Wednesday.