Apr 28, 2016

Another Close Call
The Miami FC hosted Rayo OKC, last week, in a battle that saw two expansion sides searching for their first victory. Both teams would play at a break-neck pace, with Rayo coming out on top 3-2.

After a few near misses by the Miami FC, OKC would score two goals in the space of 10 minutes.

Just before halftime, Ariel Martinez cut into the Rayo advantage with a great strike from distance, making the game 2-1.

The Miami FC continued to pressure Rayo on offense, searching for an equalizer. It would come in the 65th minute, after Brad Rusin headed home his first goal for the club.

With a chance to take home three points the Miami FC kept up the pressure, but once again a late penalty call would keep the team from registering its first win.

Tough Luck
Penalties have been a major story line in the league thus far, with Miami FC at the center of it. There have been seven penalty shoots converted this season against NASL team, with three coming against Miami FC.

The teams are a combined 1-3-2 when allowing a penalty shot in 2016. The Miami FC have been held to two draws and a loss thanks to penalty shots, with two questionable calls coming near the top of the box.

A New Look
The Miami FC were a different team last week against Rayo OKC.

Before last week’s offensive explosion, the Miami FC had been outshot in all three games and out-possessed in two.

The team flipped those stats on their head against Rayo OKC. Miami FC owned 60% of the possession and outshot Rayo 15 to 4. The new offensive focus led to the team’s best offensive output, with two goals in one game.

The Miami FC will look to build off the impressive offensive performance and hope to avoid any more late-game penalties.

Players to Watch
Ariel Martinez has been the main cog in the Miami FC attack all season long. After three matches of great play, Martinez finally opened his Miami FC account with a stunner from outside the box.

Through four matches, Martinez has passed the ball a team-high 191 times, creating five scoring chances and has had his fingerprints on almost every Miami FC goal.

He has also been aggressive as an attacker, keeping keepers on their toes and sending backlines scrabbling. Martinez has fired a squad-best nine shots this season and drawn 10 fouls.

Martinez has also been strong in defense for Miami FC, winning 31 duels in the midfield, while also registering nine interceptions.

Mason Trafford has been a picture of consistency for Miami FC from the center back position. In three starts, Trafford has posted 15 clearances, blocked three shots and won 10 of 18 duels.

Trafford has also been key to the Miami FC offense, building from the back. He has completed 112 of his 128 in 270 minutes of action. He has also avoided killing offensive momentum with his passing, having never sent the ball backwards.

Trafford spent three successful seasons in Canada and will be looked upon to help lead the team in its first trip across the border. In one season with the, then USL side, Vancouver Whitecaps, he made 37 appearances as the team would take home the 2008 USL Championship.

Trafford also spent two season with the Ottawa Fury. He led the team in minutes in 2014 and was twice voted the Fans Player of the Year. In 2015, the Fury registered only one loss and came within a goal of a Soccer Bowl championship under his leadership.

Miami FC is away at Ottawa this weekend but return home for a clash against the historic New York Cosmos on May 7th at Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium.

Click HERE for tickets.