It’s hard to imagine the first half of Miami FC’s match against Rio Grande Valley FC last weekend going any better. Unfortunately, it’s also hard to imagine the second half going much worse.
The USL Championship added a fun little wrinkle to the 2021 season with the introduction of interconference play. For the first time, Miami FC will get a taste of Western Conference competition when they host Rio Grande Valley FC at Riccardo Silva Stadium on Sunday night.
Despite a respectable showing, The Miami FC left Tampa Bay last weekend empty handed. Now the club returns home for a date with the Charlotte Independence, hoping to bounce back within the friendly confines of Riccardo Silva Stadium.
But Charlotte is coming into South Florida with some momentum. And if Miami FC wants to avoid another disappointing result they will need to find a way to finish and find the back of the net.
This is the one we’ve all been waiting for. The Miami FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies will square off for the first time this season, continuing an in-state rivalry that began back in 2016. Both teams will be jockeying for position atop the Atlantic Division standings in the early stages of the season.
It’s hard to imagine the first 14 minutes of Miami FC’s season opener against visiting Loudoun United going any better.
Six minutes into the match, Ariel Martinez delivered a beautiful cross to newcomer Gigi Craig, who expertly headed the ball into the back of the net. A minute later, a defensive mishap from Loudoun United (and some pressure from forward Pierre da Silva) led to an own goal. And just like that, the Orange and Blue had a 2-0 lead.
After a disappointing 2020 season, no one can blame The Miami FC for wanting to put last year behind them as quickly as possible.
Miami has a chance to do that Sunday night when they kick off their 2021 campaign against Loudoun United. It will be the first meeting between the two teams. They will get to see each other three more times later this season as Atlantic Division rivals.