April 2, 2016 was the day the Miami FC dream came to fruition. The new club took the field for its first official match on that historic day, taking on local rivals, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The first-ever Starting Xl featured mainstays like Daniel Vega, Rhett Bernstein, Ariel Martinez and Dario Cvitanich.
This Inaugural match between the South Florida sides would waste no time setting the tone for the rivalry, with physical play ever present – from opening kick to final whistle.
The Orange and Blue came out fast in the first half, firing off three dangerous shots in the first nine minutes of action.
Minute 10 would see the Miami FC find a breakthrough. Cvitanich and Martinez connected well with some combination play, creating space for Martinez in the Strikers penalty area. A Strikers defender would take Martinez down in the area to give the Miami FC a penalty, and a chance to score the Club’s first–ever goal.
Cvitanich stepped up to the spot, eager to make Miami FC history. The veteran striker easily slotted the ball between the left post and the outstretched hand of the Strikers keeper to give the Club its first-ever lead with the Club’s first-ever goal.
The physicality continued as the first half produced four yellow cards and a red card, and the Miami FC were reduced to 10 men just before halftime.
Despite the disadvantage, the Miami FC put up a valiant defensive effort, fending off a relentless Strikers attack for over 45 minutes. Deep into extra time the Strikers were awarded a penalty shot which they converted, as the match would end 1-1.
Though the Miami FC walked away with only one point, the gritty performance was a great introduction of professional soccer in the heart of Miami, and would set the tone for hard-fought victories throughout the season.
|2||New York Cosmos||10||18|
|4||Minnesota United FC||8||15|
|5||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||10||15|
|6||North Carolina FC||10||14|
|8||Tampa Bay Rowdies||8||10|
|9||Ottawa Fury FC||8||8|
|10||Jacksonville Armada FC||10||7|
|1||New York Cosmos||22||47|
|6||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||22||26|
|7||North Carolina FC||22||26|
|8||Puerto Rico FC||22||24|
|9||Jacksonville Armada FC||22||23|
|10||Tampa Bay Rowdies||18||21|
|11||Minnesota United FC||18||21|
|12||Ottawa Fury FC||18||12|
|1||New York Cosmos||32||65|
|5||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||32||41|
|7||North Carolina FC||32||40|
|8||Minnesota United FC||26||36|
|9||Tampa Bay Rowdies||26||31|
|10||Jacksonville Armada FC||32||30|
|11||Puerto Rico FC||22||24|
|12||Ottawa Fury FC||26||20|