Preview: The Miami FC 2 Hosts Duluth FC in NPSL National Semifinal

Jul 27, 2018

MATCH NOTES

MIAMI (July 27, 2018) - The Miami FC 2 continues its playoff campaign on Saturday, July 28, when it will host Duluth FC in the NPSL National Semifinals. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Bobcat Field, on the campus of St. Thomas University.

Miami En Fuego
The Orange and Blue is on an unprecedented tear at the moment, having won its last eight matches, including the Sunshine Conference Final, South Region Semifinal and South Region Final.

Over that span, Miami has dominated its opponents to the tune of a 22-3 combined scoreline.

Going back even further, the Orange and Blue has outscored opponents 35-4 over the past 12 matches, dropping just one match in the process.

Having truly hit its stride on both offense and defense over the second half of the season and in the playoffs, Miami is the top candidate to win the NPSL Championship. 

Balanced Offense, Suffocating Defense
Miami's offense has poured in goals during its eight-match win streak, tallying 22 goals for a 2.75 goals per match average and scoring multiple goals in all but one of those victories. 

While the offense will always grab the spotlight, Miami's backline has been nothing short of outstanding during the streak, and for much of the season.

The Orange and Blue has given up a measly seven goals in 15 NPSL matches during the 2018 season, which ranks in the top five in the league. 

Miami has also pitched a shutout in eight of its last 12 matches, as the defense begins to peak at the perfect time. 

Players to Watch
Dylan Mares is as good of an all-around player as there is in the entire NPSL.

With five goals scored and three assists provided, Mares' numbers speak for themselves, but it's Mares' dribbling and passing ability that allow him to pull the string for the entire Miami offense. 

Mares leads Miami in shots taken, and his frequency of creating scoring chances makes the offense tick when it most needs it.

Mares' stellar season earned him nods on the Sunshine Conference and South Region XIs, and the midfielder has been nominated for the National XI. 

Tomas Greco has become a spark plug off the bench for Coach Dalglish in his first year with Miami. 

The St. Thomas University product provided an assist on Miami's third and final goal in the South Region Final last week, after coming on as a substitute in the 64th minute. 

Despite starting in just one match, Greco has notched four assists in 11 appearances and owns the team's best shot on target per shot taken percentage. 

The diminutive Argentinian plays like so many of his compatriots: With a natural feel for passing and a relentless motor on both offense and defense.

Looking Ahead
If Miami FC 2 were to beat Duluth, Miami would play the winner of the FC Motown-FCM Portland Semifinal in the NPSL National Final. The Final will be played on Saturday, August 4. If Miami plays FC Motown, the latter would host. If FCM Portland is the opponent, the Orange and Blue would host the Final.