Preview: The Miami FC Heads to Caribbean for Clash with Puerto Rico

May 5, 2017

MIAMI (May, 5, 2017) – The Miami FC is on the road this weekend taking on Puerto Rico FC for the first time in 2017. Match is set for Saturday, May 6 with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Tune into The CW South Florida or ESPN 3 to watch the action live.

The Spark
The Miami FC picked up its first win at home last week after a dominant 2-0 victory over FC Edmonton.

After two weeks of strong build up, but no goals, the Orange and Blue were finally able to convert on the chances created.

Reigning NASL Player of the Week Kwadwo Poku opened the scoring in the 35th minute. After receiving the ball at the top of the box, Poku turned towards goal, dribbled around two Edmonton defenders and buried the ball into the bottom corner for his second goal of the season.

The Miami FC’s attack was unrelenting, doubling its lead in the 64th minute. Forward Stéfano Pinho and midfielder Dylan Mares executed a perfect give-and-go to put Pinho 1v1 with the Eddies keeper. The Brazilian then fired a shot past the on-rushing keeper for his second goal of 2017.

FC Edmonton’s only true chance on goal came in the 78th minute when midfielder Sainey Nyassi got deep into the Miami FC box, but his shot would ping off the crossbar, as the Miami FC walked away with all three points.

Across the Pond
The Miami FC and Puerto Rico FC have faced off twice. Each team owns a victory in the series, with the road team winning out both times.

The last time the Orange and Blue traveled south to Puerto Rico, they walked away with an impressive 3-0 victory.

The victory kicked off a three-match winning streak, putting the Miami FC into the playoff hunt last season.

Puerto Rico would return the favor a few weeks later, taking down the Orange and Blue at Riccardo Silva Stadium.

Miami dominated the match, owning 62% of the possession and putting six shots on target. Puerto Rico would not even score the only goal of the match, as former Miami FC forward Pablo Campos would be credited with an own goal that handed the victors the win.

What About Us
Much has been made about the Miami FC’s offensive prowess this season, but the defense has seen a major turnaround as well.

Through five matches last season, Miami had allowed eight goals and only collected two points in the standings. One year later the Orange and Blue has allowed only four goals and sit second in the Spring Season Standings with eight points.

The easiest place to quantify the squads stout defending is the difference in workload for goalkeeper Daniel Vega. In 2016, Vega had made 15 saves after facing 24 shots on target. This year he has made nine saves after facing only 13 shots on target.

A major factor in the club’s strong defense has been the ability to control possession of the ball. The Miami FC is averaging 60% of the possession through the first five matches, while they only owned 51% in the same amount of matches last season.

Players to Watch
Poku continues to be a force to be reckoned with. Last Saturday, he created a team-high six scoring chance and bagged the first goal of a 1-0 victory. His stellar performance also earned him Player of the Week honors.

In five matches of action, Poku has scored two goals on six shots and created 14 scoring opportunities with an 82% pass completion rate.

Since Poku has joined the club, the Miami FC has scored 37 goals and amassed a record of 10-8-7. Without the powerful midfielder, the club scored eight goals and went 2-4-6.

Mason Trafford is at the heart of the Miami FC’s defense, playing every minute of the club’s first five matches.

He contributes both as a defender and as a creator. The Canadian center back has made 332 passes, good for second on the team, and a team-best 23 defensive clearances. His two-way capability has been indispensable to the teams rise up the standings, as evident by his performance last week.

Trafford was at the center of Miami’s second shutout of 2017. He won all three of his duels and picked up six key clearances, keeping shots away from Vega. He also contributed heavily in the Orange and Blue’s attack, completing 76 of his 80 passes. This performance earned Trafford his first Team of the Week honor.

Looking Ahead
The Miami FC is in Puerto Rico this weekend, but return home to host Indy Eleven on, Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. Get your ticket now at MiamiFC.com/Tickets!

Watch:

- The CW South Florida (Local-check your cable provider)

- ESPN 3

Listen:

- WQBA 1140 AM Univision Radio

Follow:

- Live Play-By-Play on Twitter at @TheMiamiFC

Live Stats