Miami Sports Day

NASL: Surging Miami FC Faces Jacksonville Armada FC on the Road

MIAMI  – The Miami FC remains on the road for a second consecutive match, taking on Jacksonville Armada FC on Sunday, August 20.

Close Encounters
Miami and Jacksonville have played each other four times before, with Miami owning a 3-2 all-time series lead over their upstate rivals.

Aside from a 4-0 lopsided Miami victory in their last meeting, each match has been decided by just one goal.

Jacksonville took two of the first three encounters with 2-1 and 3-2 victories, but Miami has won three of the last four with two 1-0 wins and the 4-0 thumping.

Considering this upcoming match is on the road, another tightly contested affair should be expected.

Contrasting Forms
After a strong spring, Jacksonville has faltered out of the gate in the fall.

Jacksonville has drawn two matches and lost its other two, both to Puerto Rico FC, through the first four matches of the fall. This builds off a rough end to the Spring Season that has Jacksonville on a seven-match winless streak. Armada FC currently sits in last place in the Fall Season standings.

Miami has won its last two matches in convincing fashion, taking down Indy Eleven in a 3-1 drubbing and North Carolina FC in a 1-0 road victory in which Miami dominated possession and the pace of play.

Two straight losses by Miami a couple of weeks ago were just a slight bump in the road, and the Orange and Blue looks primed to recapture their Spring form.

Both Sides of the Ball
The Miami FC continues to run rampant through the NASL with help from its league-best offense and defense.

With 40 goals scored and only 18 allowed, the Orange and Blue sports the best mark in the league in both categories.

It’s not even close either, as Miami has 13 more goals than the next-best offense and has allowed four less goals than the next-best defense.

Though they’ve given up seven goals through four matches in the fall, Miami has also scored a league-high seven goals during the second half of the season.

Players to Watch
Jaime Chávez has jumped into the starting lineup over the last four matches due to injuries to Miami’s two main strikers, and he has made an impact in every match.

In Miami’s last two matches, both of which were victories, Chávez notched two assists against Indy and scored the decisive goal against North Carolina.

Used as a super-sub for much of this season, Chávez has made a seamless transition to the starting lineup. He has netted two goals and tallied two assists in 926 minutes of NASL action, and he added two goals during the Miami FC’s run in the U.S. Open Cup.

With Miami sporting the top offense in the league, look for the veteran to find the back of the net for a second consecutive week.

Tyler Ruthven has made four starts at center back while Mason Trafford is nursing an injury, and has given four solid performances.

His third match was against North Carolina FC at home. His strong performance earned him Man of the Match honors from head coach Alessandro Nesta.

During his four starts, Ruthven has made 16 clearances, won 11 aerial duels and completed 302 of 328 passes for an impressive 92% completion rate.

Trafford’s absence is irreplaceable, but Ruthven has done a more-than-admirable job filling in.

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