Lee Ifans
Lee Ifans

Lee Ifans is a former amateur player and expert in the game of football. Originally from Wales, fate has brought Lee to the Magic City. You can contact Lee at ifans.mcs@gmail.com.

Knockout Performance By Miami United

Nicolas Micoli celebrates his goal. Pic courtesy Miami United instagram.

Miami United cruised into the 2020 US Open Cup with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Delray Beach’s Hurricane FC in the Open Cup 3rd qualifying round.

The tone for the evening was set early on when United broke the deadlock with the game’s first meaningful effort on goal. A great free kick looped in from deep in the Hurricane half by Juan Fuenmayor found Bautista Dominguez in the penalty area. Dominguez beat Hurricane keeper Bruno to the ball and powered a header into the net.

Hurricane could have equalized with a long range effort by Jeremy Garcia Villatoro that caught Soto in the Miami United goal off-guard. Fortunately the crossbar came to his rescue. After that it was one way traffic and United piled on three more goals with Darryl Gordon, Nicolas Micoli and William Stamatis all getting on the scoresheet. United’s goals all coming from different scorers really highlights the quality throughout head coach Ferdinando De Matthaeis’s team.

The difference between the two teams came down to the experience on the Miami United side. Captain Ezequiel Tejera gave a masterclass in midfield, effortlessly controlling the tempo of the game. Winning the ball when needed and moving the ball round wonderfully in possession. Although with a 4-0 win it might be easier to look at the attacking players, it was defender Juan Fuenmayor who turned in a man of the match performance. In addition to his assist for the first goal and helping his side to a clean sheet he also cleared a Hurricane effort of the line towards the end of the first half.

Vice City 1896 supporting Miami United. Pic courtesy Vice City 1896 instagram.

The second 45 didn’t live up to the exciting first stanza. Hurricane were unable to create meaningful chances. They almost got one back through a goalmouth scramble but #9 Elizor was unable to force the ball into the net. United went more defensive and were happy to manage the game to it’s conclusion. As the half wore on and Hurricane pressed forward they were unable to solve Bruno for a fifth goal on the break. The Hurricane keeper denying United on a few key occasions. The game ended 4-0 with Miami United able to soak up the noisy support from the sidelines, led by local supporter’s group Vice City 1896, and bask in the glory of a return to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The first round of the 2020 tournament is scheduled for March next year.

Ever Ready?

Another tease on squad building from IMCF HQ. A late night meeting to pitch to another player, the kind of effort which can probably only mean it’s another potential Designated Player target. But does this contain a clue big enough to connect the dots back to the possible target?

I am an empanada enthusiast and who isn’t? And who doesn’t love Graziano’s? Product placement or a hint to the player’s nationality? Let’s assume the latter. An Argentine DP for IMCF makes a massive amount of sense. Anyone who gets out to games in Miami knows that Argentineans show up for soccer and they love being in a stadium watching the game live. South Florida may not have the big numbers of Argentineans as it does Cubans, Colombians or Venezuelans but you can’t go to a game without seeing a River or Boca jersey or maybe someone chilling with their maté. A lot of names have been touted as striking options but if you are IMCF you would absolutely be looking at filling your #10 jersey with a DP. The #10 jersey is always a great thing to see on the back of an Argentine player. Maradona… Messi…

Is Cavani “Edin” for Miami?

Cavani considering his options as his career continues. Could Miami be a destination? Photo: cavaniofficial21 - Instagram

Edinson Cavani is one of my favorite players. In the modern game reliable goalscoring centre forwards are hard to find, especially at the top level. It’s a simple joy for a football fan to watch a player who just loves to score goals. And score good goals too. We’ve all had that player we wanted to emulate when we were a kid. For me it was the great Mark Hughes. For Cavani himself it was the phenom Gabriel Batistuta. Could kids in the 305 begin idolizing the Uruguayan marksman? It all stems from this, A follow on twitter.

April 2019 Magic Six

What a month of soccer we’ve had in this part of the world. Who caught the eye in April’s Magic Six?

Bryant Martin – GK – Florida Soccer Soldiers

OK I was going to put Bryant in before his heroics in the Open Cup. What an absolutely fantastic display that was but if you’d been watching our streams you’d already have known all about him. A fantastic keeper who is an incredible shot stopper and great at one-on-ones as we saw in the game vs Red Force.

Ferdinando De Matthaeis – COACH – Miami United

In the NPSL Sunshine season opener the result went with the form book and Miami FC won 2-0. Many expected a similar result in the second half of the Magic City Clasico. They were wrong. United scored two goals of their own and kept it tight at the back and the main man is who they have to thank. Ferdy got his tactics 100% spot on at North Miami Athletic Stadium. The tactical tweaks of playing in behind FC’s backline and utilizing his side’s strengths by playing a lightning fast counter attack game was top quality coaching.

Marc Duroscar – MF – Palm Beach Spartans

In the top of the table clash between PSL United SC and the Spartans the Spartan Army found themselves trailing 2-0 and staring at a defeat. That is until coach Cheddi Johnson introduced Marc Duroscar. He came on and changed the game with a goal and assist, rescuing a point for his team mates.

Rian Jamai – FW – Port St. Lucie United SC

If you were ever lucky enough to watch Ryan Giggs play then that is exactly what you get with Rian Jamai. Everything down to wearing the #11 jersey. A classy player that glides along the pitch, creates chances and scores great goals too. One to watch for the future. He’s just 18 years old!

Hialeah City FC

Going to put the whole team in for the fifth pick. After a shaky start to the season, the Blue Fury went on a 5 game unbeaten run which is no easy feat in the UPSL Dade Division. It looks like they are really gelling into a good side now. Lots of attacking weapons on the lineup and they are much more disciplined at the back.

Pwayko Skybank – FW – Breakers AFC

Not been an easy season so far for the Dudes but they finally got a win in April thanks in part to a brace from the spectacularly named Skybank in their matchup with Palm Beach Flames. The Breakers need to keep scoring to sneak into the playoffs and have a decent looking run of games to round out the regular season. Pwayko will need to keep his shooting boots on.

Miami FC v Florida Soccer Soldiers: Previewing The Open Cup Match

The matchup that fans of the lower leagues in South Florida have been wanting for the last year is finally here. Today is the day two of the finest teams in the state go toe-to-toe in a competitive game. A US Open Cup first round encounter that sees NPSL champions Miami FC against UPSL national finalists Florida Soccer Soldiers.

March 2019 Magic Six

Soccer is back! March saw the return of the UPSL with the 2019 spring season getting under way from Port St. Lucie to Kendall. These Magic Six caught the eye in the opening couple of weeks…

Franco Guglielmucci – FW – PSL United SC

Franco writes his own scripts. When Boca and Chad Johnson came to town, Franco turned in a man of the match performance and created the winning goal in PSL’s first UPSL game breaking the hearts of the Rat Pack and Ochocinco.

Jean Paul Garcia – GK – Atletico Miami CF

Having lost their opening two games in the UPSL, Atletico Miami put themselves in the driving seat in their third game against Miami AC with two early goals. Then they gave AC a lifeline – a penalty. Garcia saved low to his right and kept it out. Atletico went on to win 3-2 but they can thank Jean Paul for getting 3 points instead of 1.

Djamslie Milorel aka ‘James’ – FW – Himmarshee FC

Just watch the goal.

Don de Locker – DF – Palm Beach Spartans

Much is made of Spartans fearsome attack, holding things down at the other end of the pitch is Don de Locker. A reliable central defender who is also good with the ball at his feet. Spartans got two wins out of three in March thanks to his leadership at the back.

David Holguin – FW – Red Force FC

The Miami soccer legend, who we have affectionately dubbed Gordinho, inspired Red Force to a win in their first UPSL game with two goals. An absolute joy to watch this man play soccer.

Wikemlove – AMC – Boca Raton FC

Boca were 2-1 down at the half against the Spartans and made changes. One of them was bringing on tricky attacking midfielder Wikemlove. A goal and an assist later Boca were 3-2 up and in control. Gamechanger.

Gordon Banks: Former Fort Lauderdale Strikers and England keeper dies at 81

Gordon Banks (left) passed away at 81.

One of soccer’s greatest goalkeepers, Gordon Banks, passed peacefully in his sleep last night at the age of 81. Banks was a World Cup winner with England in 1966 and part of the original NASL revolution in the 1970s. Banks was the goalkeeper for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in their infancy playing on the NASL roster alongside a whole load of greats including Gerd Müller, Teófilo Cubillas, Elías Figueroa and George Best.