Soccer is perhaps the only sport where a title fight gets a rematch so quickly. Anthony Joshua would probably offer a king’s ransom to get the opportunity that Naples United have been afforded by the NPSL scheduling matrix. As you may recall, Naples got the early lead against the Miami FC last weekend. However, Miguel Gonzalez would have much to say before the match was over. Can Miami avoid disaster in a rematch?
Southwest Florida and the Magic City don’t have much in common. Beside the palm trees, fantastic seafood, and a passion to preserve one of the world’s natural wonders the two areas aren’t alike. Don’t tell the Magic City based football clubs that. Both the Miami FC and FC Surge felt right at home bringing back all of the points across Alligator Alley.
Saturday’s match up is one of the rarer fixtures that come in the National Premier Soccer League. The league has 91 teams and the sunshine conference is home of the second and fifth team in the league’s power rankings (points per game). Naples United has been perfect so far on the year amassing wins in their five matches. For Miami FC, despite some disappointment their recent form has been outstanding.
On this episode of the Magic City Soccer podcast, Matt and Omar discuss the open of the WPSL season, with local entry FC Surge getting off to a great start. Then, they discuss Women’s World Cup, NPSL, international friendlies and Inter Miami CF. Join us, won’t you?
After playing six matches in the 305 it was finally time to hit the road and see what the rest of the Sunshine Conference had to offer. First up was a drive north to Palm Beach Gardens to take on Palm Beach United. Obviously when you play in a national league away trips are hard because the USA is massive. So being able to drive for an hour or so to a road game was pretty fantastic. A stop was planned at Funky Buddha Brewing on the way to catch the Champions League final. Everything looked pretty perfect but as usual the day was ruined by the weather. An absolute monsoon blew through South Florida that day and while that made the drive up the I-95 a bit hairy. It also made the conditions less than ideal for soccer.
Miami put their best foot forward Tuesday night and the fireworks came early for the Miami faithful. Despite allowing a first-half goal, Naples did their best to keep themselves on pace with Jacksonville. At the end, Miami’s fitness and professional experience was just too much for the boys from the west coast to handle on the overcast and humid night.
Miami FC was given a gift on Saturday by Naples United when they took down Jacksonville at home. While the Miami faithful look at the result as a gift from the retirement community crew, Naples is out to make this story about themselves, and they technically control their own fate. The NPSL Sunshine Conference has proven to be full of surprises. Miami FC can’t afford any surprises in the final two matches of the season.
It’s amazing to think that we are over two months into the soccer season and yet just weeks away from its end here in the Magic City. Without a pro division club in South Florida, all of Miami’s prominent teams will wrap up their season in the month of July (except APSL/college). Thankfully we have a playoff race to discuss to keep our minds off the long off-season ahead with regards to the professional game in town.
Miami United have benefited from good fortune so far in the 2018 season. In fairness to the club, the fortune seems to be a direct correlation to their approach in the matches. United will head west on Interstate-75 today to do battle with Naples United FC, in a match that carries a similar “tune-up” mentality to the victory over Storm FC prior to their 3rd round cup fixture.
Miami United FC found itself atop the Sunshine Conference table Sunday night, after handling visiting Naples United 3-0.
It was an unsurprising result, as Miami United had control of the match. Naples United is still searching for its first win against a team from Miami-Dade County.