It was an eventful week for Miami United FC. On Thursday, representatives from both the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County proclaimed April 27 as Miami United Day.
The team has been heavily focused on Miami-Dade County the last few weeks, after all, with the first two matches of the Magic City Clásico. Finally, on Sunday, the club will have the opportunity to look away from Dade and face some competition from outside the county. Naples United FC will be traveling across Alligator Alley and visiting Ted Hendricks Stadium.
It’s the first game of the season for Naples United, a semi-pro outfit starting its second NPSL season on Sunday. 2017 wasn’t very successful for the club, as it won only won game (a 2-0 victory over Beaches United) and finished at 1-9-1, good for the bottom of the Sunshine Conference table.
Miami United, however, have had a pretty solid start to the 2018 NPSL Sunshine Conference season, with two draws confirmed against The Miami FC 2. In the first, it was a rather dominant performance spearheaded by a Victor Pelae goal that perhaps should have earned the side a full three points at home.
In the second, it was a much tighter affair, with the added benefit of Miami FC being down a player for almost 60 minutes.
Miami United have long been the class of the Sunshine Conference, before the arrival of the NASL exiles Miami FC 2 and Jacksonville United. However, with its first two games, its clearly showing it intends to compete with all comers.
Red card consequences
Miami United FC will be without two starters from last week, goalie Bryan Martin and defender Elusma Pierre. Both received red cards in extra time in the team’s second game against Miami FC 2 after a scuffle between the teams. It’s possible that Darryl Gordon, who started for Miami United in its season opener but was replaced by Max Rodriguez for Game 2, could slide back into the back line. The other replacement is much easier, as Haiti’s Occenat Peterson is the only other goalkeeper listed on the Miami United roster.
With Miami FC 2 on three points after three games and Jacksonville United with only its season-opening draw, Miami United should rightly see this as an opportunity to assert itself atop the conference and atop two teams most people figured it would fall behind this season.