The Jacksonville Armada return a youth side to the NPSL after having a professional roster take the pitch in 2018. Robert Palmer is seeming to keep his options open as to where to take the first team next, and the U-23 side will likely be comprised of the local college talent and high school standouts. Miami United arguably have enough in the tank to avenge their Sunshine Conference playoff loss to the main team a year ago. The Armada will open their 2019 season against the winners of the most recent #MagicCityClasico.
Miami United looked like a new look side against The Miami FC last week during their home opener at Ronald L Book Stadium. United avenged their loss by beating Miami by the identical scoreline with equal amount of first half goals. Using Montano down the flank exposed Miami FC’s weakness at fullback and their defensive tactics stifled the FC’s powerful attacking corps. Jacksonville’s attacking talent should be a considerable step down from FC’s and if so, United fans should expect nothing less than a clean sheet.
Keys To A Miami United Victory
It’s rather simple, don’t under estimate the talent that the Jax Armada U-23 may possess. While Zach Steinberger, Yuma, and JC Blake have departed for a professional outfit, local collegiate talent has filled out the roster for the academy side. The youth of the Armada know that United is a big fish in a small pond, and being able to hook a big fish will shake the Sunshine Conference to it’s core. United must maintain the same defensive awareness that it displayed against Miami FC in the first two fixtures of the season.
This Armada side will be difficult to prepare for as their tactics could be rather unorthodox as they look to do whatever they can to steal a point from their first trip to Miami. Using Montano down the flank and involving Nicolas Micoli will be key to setting up the United attack. United gaffer, Ferdinando De Matthaeis, can’t allow his squad to get frustrated or resort to seeking desperate tactics to find themselves on the board if the Armada manage to stifle the first few waves of United attacks forward.
It’s a two-horse race in the 2019 NPSL Sunshine Conference and neither Miami club will look to face each other in the semi-final round. Avoiding a slip of any kind is key to United’s chances in making a deep run in the NPSL post-season. I fully expect the United defense led by Elusma Pierre, Darryl Gordon, and Max Schenfeld to be the key to a victory for United in this fixture. Don’t expect the Armada to end up on the score sheet unless the referee is involved.
Miami United FC 3 – 0 Jacksonville Armada U-23