The Miami FC 2's Road to the NPSL National Final

Aug 2, 2018

After finishing first in the NPSL Sunshine Conference with an 8-1-3 record, the Miami FC 2 has rampaged through the playoffs en route to the NPSL National Final. Outscoring its opponents 11-2 over four postseason matches, the Orange and Blue has breezed through to the championship match, where it will take on FC Motown.

Let's relive how Miami got to the final by going back through all four of its playoff victories.

Sunshine Conference Final vs. Jacksonville Armada FC

The Orange and Blue earned a bye in the Sunshine Conference Semifinals by finishing at the top of the regular season conference standings. By doing so, Miami also earned the right to host the Final. 

Miami went ahead early in the match, getting a goal by Kris Tyrpak on a play where Jacksonville goalkeeper Brian Holt came off his line in ill-advised fashion and couldn't beat Tyrpak to a jump ball. Jacksonville retaliated 20 minutes later, taking advantage of a Miami turnover and equalizing through Ciaran Kilduff.

With the home field advantage for a rivalry match with high stakes, Miami responded in just five minutes, getting back to a one-goal advantage with an emphatic volley by Darío Suárez. In the second half, the Orange and Blue put the match away with another Tyrpak goal, which came on a stellar counter attack spearheaded by Ariel Martínez.

Result: W 3-1
Goals: 8' - Kris Tyrpak (MIA); 28' - Kilduff (JAX); 33' - Suárez (MIA); 53' - Tyrpak (MIA)

South Region Semifinal vs. Atlanta Silverbacks FC

A quick three-day turnaround had Miami without much rest, but the Orange and Blue's superior points per match played average meant another home playoff match for Coach Dalglish and his squad.

Miami opened its account in style when Ariel Martínez lofted a ball across the box that Sean McFarlane one-timed perfectly with his off foot and guided with precision to the goalkeeper's far post.

Just like in the Conference Final, Miami gave up an equalizer to surrender a 1-0 lead. Thierry Jules, an uber-tall and quick forward who had come on as a substitute just one minute prior, gave Atlanta life in the 35th minute, bringing down a long ball and catapulting his finish past Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega.

A tough, hard-fought match was broken open in the 78th minute when Atlanta's David Koloko wiped out McFarlane and was handed a red card. On the ensuing free kick, Tomas Greco whipped in a free kick that Kris Tyrpak finished off to put Miami ahead for good. 

Result: W 2-1
Goals: 21' - McFarlane (MIA); 35' - Jules (ATL); 80' - Tyrpak (MIA)

South Region Final vs. Little Rock Rangers

With Little Rock taking out top-seeded Laredo Heat SC, Miami would end up hosting yet another playoff match, this time the Sout Region Final. 

Despite a valiant effort from Little Rock's fantastic goalkeeper, Walid Birrou Essafi, who made 12 saves, Miami rolled past the Rangers with a three-goal shutout. 

A header by Jaime Chávez, a chip by Dylan Mares and a cool finish by Darío Suárez were enough to dispatch of Little Rock and slingshot Miami into the National Playoffs. 

Result: W 3-0
Goals: 21' - Chávez (MIA); 41' - Mares (MIA); 84' - Suárez (MIA)

National Semifinal vs. Duluth FC

Having not played more than 90 minutes in any playoff match, Miami was at a distinct advantage over Duluth, who went 120 minutes–and twice to penalties–in all of its previous playoff matches. 

Like in the previous match, Miami beat its opponent by three goals and earned a shutout, with the opposing team's goalkeeper (Jan Hoffelner in this one) coming up with a tour de force between the posts. But Hoffelner's immense effort wasn't enough to keep Miami's quality from finding the back of the net multiple times. 

A penalty kick from Ariel Martínez, a header on a corner kick by Sean McFarlane and a close-range tally by Jeff Michaud catapulted the Orange and Blue to the National Final, to take on FC Motown for the coveted trophy.

Result: W 3-0
Goals: 36' - Martínez (MIA); 75' - McFarlane (MIA); 90' - Michaud (MIA)