Our History: A Roller Coaster Debut

Aug 17, 2018

The Miami FC was founded on May 20, 2015 by current owner and president Riccardo Silva. Less than a year later, Miami was competing in the North American Soccer League along with the likes of the New York Cosmos and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. 

In its first year of play, the start to the season had some tough sledding, but the team rebounded well and charged towards the playoffs over the final half of the season. 

Growing Pains

The Orange and Blue began the season on the road at Lockhart Stadium, where it battled to a 1-1 draw with its interstate rivals, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Striker Darío Cvitanich scored Miami's first-ever goal in the match from the penalty spot. Another 1-1 draw followed against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, in the first home match of Miami FC's history where over 10,000 fans packed Riccardo Silva Stadium, then called FIU Stadium. 

After the match against the Rowdies, the wheels started to come off the Miami FC train. Four-consecutive losses and a 0-0 draw against North Carolina FC had Miami on the ropes. But on May 28, history was made, as Miami earned the first-ever victory in a 1-0 home win over FC Edmonton, with a goal by midfielder Ariel Martínez. 

The inaugural victory was a memory to be cherished forever, but it didn't keep the hardships from proceeding. A 1-2 loss to the Wilmington Hammerheads in a home U.S. Open Cup match, followed by two draws and a loss led to a home match against the New York Cosmos which changed the course of Miami's history. A back and forth affair left Miami tied 2-2 with the league-leading Cosmos, but a stroke of cruel misfortune saw the Cosmos take the lead in the 92nd minute of the match. 

New Reinforcements, New Hope

The brutal loss against the Cosmos motivated the team, as Miami won three out of its next four matches by six goals and drew 3-3 on North Carolina FC's turf. A hiccup against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers after a lengthy lightning delay didn't keep Miami from rolling, as it went on a six-match unbeaten streak following the loss, picking up 14 out of a possible 18 points and entered the playoff conversation despite being effectively counted out during the first half of the season.

Midseason signings Kwadwo Poku, Michael Lahoud, Richie Ryan, Jonny Steele and Vincenzo Rennella played massive roles in the team's turnaround and became staples in the team's starting eleven as Miami geared itself for a playoff run. Going into a September 17 road match against Indy Eleven, Miami was second in the NASL Fall Season standings and fifth in the Combined Standings, just four points out of the fourth and final playoff spot. Two straight losses were followed by a crucial win and a draw against Ottawa Fury FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, respectively.

Just one point out of the fourth playoff seed, Miami was in a great position with five matches left to play in the season. Unfortunately, a string of tough results over the next four matches saw Miami slip in the playoff hunt. A convincing 1-0 victory over FC Edmonton in the season finale gave hope for the future.