Preview: The Miami FC Hits the Road to Take on NPSL Debutants Central Florida Panthers SC

May 17, 2019

MIAMI (May 17, 2019) - The Miami FC is set to culminate a four-match road stand with an away date against Central Florida Panthers SC on Saturday, May 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Showalter Stadium in Winter Park, Fla..

Close But No Cigar
While Miami currently sits in second place in the NPSL Sunshine Conference, Central Florida is two spots behind.

But the gap is wide and can widen even further on Saturday if Miami continues to score goals at its current rate.

The Orange and Blue has played two more matches than the Panthers, but it has already accumulated a plus-25 goal differential lead on the Central Florida squad.

In order for Central Florida to keep pace with the top three teams in the conference, they must gain their first-ever points against Miami. 

In Unrivaled Form
Over the past two NPSL matches, Miami has taken a total of 41 shots while its opponents have taken a measly five shots. 

Miami has outscored opponents 19-2 through four matches and 17-0 over the last two.

The next-closest team to Miami in the standings is Miami United FC, who trail the Orange and Blue by eight total goals and by a goal differential of nine.

While Naples United FC currently tops the table due to points per matches played, it has played just one match and can surely feel Miami breathing down its neck.

Players to Watch
Ariel Martínez is an offensive juggernaut, whether he's starting from the getgo or coming into the match as a substitute.

In last week's 7-0 demolition of Jacksonville Armada, Martínez came into the match in the 63rd minute and quickly put up five total shots, two of which were saved. 

Against Storm FC the previous week, Martínez played the first 45 minutes and got all three of his shots on target, burying one of them from the penalty spot.

A staple in Miami FC's systems since the very first match in club history, Martínez has started hot his fourth year with the Orange and Blue.

Mohamed Thiaw is in the form of his life at the moment, having tallied five goals over his last two matches.

Thiaw notched Miami's first hat-trick of the season last week against Jacksonville; the hat-trick was also Thiaw's first as a professional and he assisted on two other goals. 

The 6-2 striker came off the bench at halftime for Miami against Storm the week before and notched a brace, adding an assist as well.

Now Miami's leader in goals with five and total shots with 14, Thiaw is the trigger-man in front of goal that Miami was looking for. 

Looking Ahead
The Miami FC will finally return home to Buccaneer Field – following a one-week break from NPSL action – on Saturday, June 1 to host Storm FC. Miami previously beat Storm FC by a whopping 10 goals on the road.