Miami Sports Day

PREVIEW: Miami FC Looks To Bounce Back Against OKC

The Miami FC hit the road for two matches in five days, beginning on Saturday, August 20th against Rayo OKC. Kickoff from Miller stadium is set for 9 p.m. ET.

Sour Taste
The Miami FC hosted the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last week in the FL Clásico finale. Things did not go according to plan as a three-hour weather delay affected both teams. The Miami FC played well in the first half, dominating possession and creating multiple scoring opportunities.

Dario Cvitanich was active early on, firing off three shots and two free kicks in the first half hour of action. Blake Smith had the Miami FC’s best chance in the 36th minute. After having his initial shot blocked, Smith hit the rebound with a bicycle kick but the shot was just wide right.

The second half would see much of the same, but the Strikers were able to score twice, eventually winning the match 2-0.

Goals Galore
The Miami FC and Rayo OKC last met on April 22nd in a match that saw five total goals, with OKC coming out on top 3-2, under questionable terms.

It would be Rayo to come out firing, netting two goals in the span of 10 minutes early in the first half. Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Miami FC responded by picking up a goal before half time. Ariel Martinez took a ball off the chest in the 36th minute, hitting a rocket on the volley and beating the keeper far post.

The second half was just as exciting seeing two more goals. The Miami FC would find an equalizer in the 75th. A long corner found Aaron Dennis and he put the ball back on frame with a header. The ball then found the head of Brad Rusin who finished the chance to tie the match at 2-2.

As time ticked down Rayo’s Billy Forbes drew a foul at the top of the box. The fouls were close to the line, but the referee decided that the foul was in the box, awarding OKC a penalty in the 86th minute. Rayo converted the chance and held on to win 3-2.

Bouncing Back
The last time the Miami FC took a loss they bounced back with a vengeance. The Miami FC dropped a heartbreaking match to the Cosmos last month, seeing a fluke goal sneak into the net deep into extra time.

The next week the Miami FC would kick off a four-match unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory over Jacksonville and capping it off with a resounding 4-0 win over Minnesota United.

The streak saw three victories, launching the Miami FC up to fifth in the Fall Season table. The Miami FC would net 10 goals in those four matches, while allowing only four goals against.

A win against Rayo OKC this week would put the Miami FC into fourth place. With two games in hand and a win on the current league leaders, Indy Eleven, a playoff run becomes a reality.

Players to Watch
Mason Trafford has been a rock in the middle of the Miami FC defense and a key cog in the offenses turnaround. Trafford has started all but one match for the Miami FC this season. In 16 matches, the versatile defender has made 59 clearances and collected 37 interceptions.

The Miami FC offense relies heavily on the distribution from the backline and Trafford has been great in this role. He is completing his passes at a 90% clip this season, providing a reliable outlet for midfielders and the keeper.

Blake Smith brings great pace and determination, regardless if he is in the starting Xl or as a sub. Smith has sent in 43 crosses from his post down the left flank and has created eight scoring chances for the Miami FC. Smith has two assists in the season, with the most recent coming in a victory over Jacksonville. He played a perfect cross-pitch ball to Martinez who would score the match-winning goal.

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