Few would equate the dynamics of college football with soccer. Somehow, the Magic City Clasico and the NPSL on a shortened schedule shares the chaos, uncertainty, and euphoria of NCAA football. Every game is a must win and the lack of an official “pre-season” means clubs are often thrown straight into the deep end. The University of Miami often had to deal with their season hanging in the balance with Florida State University being their first opponent throughout the 2000’s. For the winner, the path has been cleared for the rest of the campaign. For the loser, panic attacks and prayers hoping to salvage a damaged season. This is what the Magic City Clasico has become.
We can’t quite wrap our heads around why the NPSL would seek to pin the two juggernauts of the Sunshine Conference against each other in the first two weeks. Why not keep the allure of crowning a conference champion late in the season, instead of being able to call the race at the quarter mile pole? Alas that is not a decision that involves us or the fans. Miami FC and Miami United already know, you have to beat whomever is put in front of you, wherever you’re mandated to go.
Keys To A Miami FC Victory
Magic City Soccer brought to you live an absolute thrashing of FC Miami City (USL League Two) at the hands of Miami FC just a week ago. With a huge turnover in the roster, Miami FC has not missed a beat finding their form from the national championship run of a year ago. Only four carryovers and a familiar face remain from the 2017 and 2018 seasons and Paul Dalglish officially has a roster built, primarily, of his own construction. Expect the fast paced and high-flying action to continue as Miami FC look to bury their chances early and often.
The orange and blues have a ton of professional experience at their disposal. With MLS caps up and down the roster there is no doubt that, on paper, Miami FC has the upper hand in skill and composure. Expect Lloyd Sam to play a huge role for the OB’s in the 2019 season either working from the front line or quarterbacking the attack from the holding midfield position. Dario Suarez and Ariel Martinez are poised for big years as attacking wingers that can cause havoc with outside-inside runs around the area. We saw Robert Baggio Kcira and Dylan Mares pick up right where they left off in 2017, last week. If Mares is allowed time and space, he will dissect United’s defense like a crafty surgeon.
Keys To A Miami United Victory
Much like the three contests between the two clubs last year, Miami United cannot fear the names on the lineup from their opponents. United was the better team in the 2018 campaign, however, their most important players have departed around the globe. Recent additions, importantly, Christopher Nurse will be pivotal in transitioning United from defense to attack. Counter attacks will be United’s best friend in this match as they look to catch Miami FC in mistakes as they did in the 2nd round of the 2018 US Open Cup.
Bryan Perea, Shamar Shelton, and Nicolas Micoli need to fill the void left by Pelae, Gorobsov, and Privitera. The pink and black dominated Miami FC with speed down the wings and they’ll need to do the same in order to earn a result on Saturday night. The backline must be able to find passing lanes in transition to catch Miami off guard while not allowing the opposing attack to put them on skates. This is a tall order for Miami United, yet, they’re the club most likely to provide an upset of this magnitude.
Magic City Clasico Prediction
Miami United has looked impressive in their international preseason friendlies. Not only have they been able to keep up with the likes of Penarol, Motagua, and the Puerto Rican national team but at times actually look like the better squad. The question truly lies if United and have prepared for a team with the style of play of Miami FC? It’s never fun to make a prediction where results on both end of the spectrum are plausible. That said, I do believe that Paul Dalglish has something to prove as Miami United are the only outfit that he did not beat last season.
I strongly believe that the OB’s will gain the majority of their chances by building links in play from just outside the technical area. With the quality in vision and passing from the likes of Mares, Sam, and Lance Rozeboom, it will take a heroic effort from United to keep Miami off the score sheet.
Miami FC 3 – 1 Miami United
We will be broadcasting tomorrow’s match live on MyCujoo! Tickets are limited but still available.