RECAP: The Miami FC Falls to Florida Soccer Soldiers in Open Cup

May 8, 2019

MIAMI (May 8, 2019) - The Miami FC played its first match of the 2019 U.S. Open Cup campaign and suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Florida Soccer Soldiers at Buccaneer Field at Barry University.

The Orange and Blue piggybacked off of last week’s 10-0 victory and found the net early against the Soccer Soldiers. In the sixth minute, midfielder Dylan Mares played a brilliant chipped ball over the defense, which forward Ariel Martínez squared up and knocked the ball past Soccer Soldiers goalkeeper Bryant Gammeiro with his weak foot.

In the 15th minute, a clever give-and-go between forward Darío Suárez and left back John Neeskens nearly resulted in a second tally. Suárez played the ball out to Neeskens on the wing and made a run towards goal, which Neeskens quickly spotted and was smart to play a low-cross to the near post. The ball found Suárez, but Suárez pushed it just wide of the post.

In the 34th minute, Martínez and Mares combined for a lovely bit of interplay that should’ve brought Miami its second goal of the match. Martínez laid the ball off to Mares outside of the box and Mares let rip with his left foot. His shot was well-struck with power, but he slightly overhit it and the ball crashed off the crossbar.

One minute before the end of the half, Miami earned a free kick a few yards outside of the box. Martínez took charge and lifted a shot beautifully over the wall that dipped and was sneaking into the goal, but Gammeiro extended himself and somehow kept the ball out of the net.

Miami pelted the opposition’s goal in the first half, taking 11 shots and getting five on frame, and were unlucky to not go into halftime with more than a one-goal advantage.

The second half featured a series of unfortunate circumstances for Miami FC.

Two minutes into the second half, William Stamatis equalized with a ball that ricocheted off his leg and somehow found the corner of the goal from the edge of the box.

Miami conceded a penalty in the 68th minute, but goalkeeper Mark Pais came up with a massive stop on the ensuing penalty kick that kept the match tied. 

But a mere three minutes before the clock struck 90, Carlos Meneses Freire fired the Soccer Soldiers into the lead following a miscommunication in Miami’s own third.

The Miami FC pushed its center backs forward and committed plenty of numbers in search for a late equalizer, but it wasn’t meant to be for the Orange and Blue on Wednesday night.

Miami will now return to NPSL action by traveling to Jacksonville to take on the Armada U-23 squad on Saturday, May 11.

Starting XI
GK: Pais
DEF: Franco, Chapman-Page, Neeskens, Griffiths
MID: Heath, Rozeboom, Granitto (79' - Sam), Mares
FWD: Martínez (66' - González), Suárez (66' - Thiaw)

6' - Martínez (MFC) | Assist by Mares
47' - Stamatis (FSS)
87' - Meneses Freire (FSS)

53' - Franco (MFC)
68' - Pais (MFC)
73' - Gonzalez Gutierrez (FSS)
85' - Chapman-Page (MFC)