Preview: Miami FC Hosts FC Cincinnati in Pivotal U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal

Aug 1, 2017


MIAMI (August 1, 2017) - The Miami FC hosts FC Cincinnati for a crucial U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals match on Wednesday, August 2. The match will be a make-up of the postponed match from July 12. 

How They Got Here
The Miami FC's road to the quarterfinals has been a smooth ride for the most part. The Orange and Blue has beaten the South Florida Surf, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Orlando City SC and Atlanta United FC.

Despite needing a last-second goal from Poku to discard Atlanta United, Miami has accumulated a +6 goal differential through four U.S. Open Cup matches and has finished all of its matches in regulation time. 

FC Cincinnati has beaten AFC Cleveland, Louisville City FC, Columbus Crew SC and the Chicago Fire to reach the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals.

Its first three matches all ended 1-0, but its win over Chicago was a tense, nail-biting affair with a stunning finish. With the score 0-0 after 120 minutes, the teams were sprung into a penalty shootout.

With the quarterfinals on the line, FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt saved three Chicago penalties and catapulted his team into the next round. 

Season Full of Milestones
Miami FC's Spring Season resulted in the franchise's first-ever trophy. They clinched the title in outstanding fashion, beating the San Francisco Deltas 7-0.

The seven goals scored in that match marked a Miami FC record, as the previous record of four goals had been tied in the first half. Miami then shattered the record in the second half of a world class performance. 

Stéfano Pinho scored four goals in the match, a personal-best for the Brazilian and a franchise-high for a single player in one match for Miami.

Miami captured its first trophy just one year after finishing dead-last in the 2016 NASL Spring Season. 

Instinctive Passing
Miami sports the top offense in the NASL with 34 goals scored. The club’s offensive prowess can be attributed to its stellar passing.

Miami FC players occupy four of the top 10 spots for total passes in the NASL, including three in the top six. Defenders Hunter Freeman and Mason Trafford rank third and fourth in the NASL with 1,054 and 1,044 passes, respectively. Richie Ryan is sixth with 949 and Michael Lahoud is ninth with 858.

Through 17 matches, Miami FC players have created a staggering 192 scoring chances.

The Miami FC midfielders Dylan Mares and Kwadwo Poku have been at the forefront of this offensive explosion. The dynamic midfielders have created 61 combined scoring chances for the Orange and Blue.

Forward Vincenzo Rennella has also done well to not only score but also create for others. He currently leads the league with five assists to go along with 22 chances created.

Players to Watch
Stéfano Pinho simply can’t be contained by any opposing defense.

As if a hat-trick against Orlando City SC in mid-June wasn’t enough, Pinho one-upped himself by netting a personal-best and Miami FC record four goals against the San Francisco Deltas in a title-clinching win.

Pinho has now scored a preposterous 10 goals in his last seven matches, putting the ball into the back of the net whenever he receives a touch inside the box.

With goals in both of his U.S. Open Cup matches this season, Pinho will look to get on the scoresheet for the fifth time in three Open Cup matches on Wednesday night.

Dylan Mares provides an indispensable presence in midfield for the Orange and Blue. 

His consistent attacking prowess coupled with a high workrate when tracking back on defense allows Miami to transition from marking to attacking in an instant. 

Mares enjoyed a fantastic Spring Season and is currently tied for sixth in the NASL with five goals scored and third with three assists, and ranks third in chances created with 30. 

Looking Ahead
The Miami FC remains at home for its following two matches, taking on North Carolina FC and Indy Eleven at Riccardo Silva Stadium on August 5 and 12, respectively


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