Pundits usually argue whether an important match coming on the heels of a tournament loss is a good situation or a bad one. Whichever side of the coin you fall on, it doesn’t make Miami United’s match and against Boca Raton FC any less stressful. Miami United will host Boca Raton FC tonight in NPSL action coming off the loss to Orlando City in the 2018 US Open Cup. This match has consequences for both sides when it comes to the table.
For Miami United, it’s unclear as to whether they will be without the services of striker David Ochoa. Ochoa left the Open Cup clash in the first half with a lower body injury after colliding with an Orlando defender. Ochoa has been a lightning bolt for United this season tallying six goals in all competitions. With Victor Pelae still presumably injured as well, this will leave a hole in the United attack that will need to be filled.
Boca Raton come into the match after dropping their bout last weekend against Miami FC 2. Boca was unable to get anything going at Atlantic High school and conceded a season high five goals against the other Magic City club. BRFC will need their defensive group to play a much better game and be smart on the ball against United’s high pressing-high speed tactics. Jim Rooney’s group will be out for revenge from their opening match in the season where Boca was routed 4-0 by United.
Keys for a United Victory:
The key to this match will be how quickly can United put the open cup loss behind them. If the players and staff are still licking their wounds from Wednesday’s contest, this match could put the whole sunshine conference table in disarray. Filling the void that may be left by Ochoa’s absence, Gabrielle Privitera or Nicolas Gorobsov will find themselves up top with Nicolas Micoli.
Secondly, United must continue to play the style of football that got them to this point in the season. If frustration begins to boil over and they lose sight of Boca Raton’s Matheus Ayrolla, this could begin a downward spiral for a club that cannot afford to drop anymore points. Using aerial balls into space worked well for Miami FC last weekend against Boca; United would be wise to deploy similar tactics.
As mentioned previously, this fixture will really shape the way the NPSL Sunshine Conference Table will look moving forward. If Boca manage to escape Hialeah with points of any kind, the door will be open for Miami FC to steal the second spot in the table with two remaining fixtures between United and the Armada. I believe United’s strength in the midfield will just be too difficult to handle for the youth of Boca Raton.
Miami United FC 3 – 1 Boca Raton FC
Tickets for this match are still available at the box office located on the grounds Ted Hendricks Stadium at Milander Park. To watch United’s live stream of tonight’s game please click here.