Preview: Top Seed The Miami FC Hosts Jacksonville in Sunshine Conference Semifinal

Jul 9, 2019

MIAMI (July 9, 2019) - After earning the top seed in its conference, The Miami FC begins its NPSL Playoffs campaign with a date against Jacksonville Armada FC U-23 in the Sunshine Conference Semifinals. The match will be held at Buccaneer Field at Barry University and begin at 7:00 p.m.

Head to Head
Miami and Jacksonville have met a total of 13 times since 2016, with Miami owning the series lead with nine victories. Jacksonville has won three matches against the Orange and Blue, and the only draw came during the third week of the 2018 NPSL Regular Season.

Jacksonville has scored just nine goals in those 13 meetings, as Miami has kept a clean sheet seven times against the Armada. 

While Miami has played extremly solid defense against Jacksonville over the years, the offense has complemented it with 29 goals scored against their rival.

In last week's regular season finale, Miami dominated Jacksonville on its way to a 4-1 victory and the clinching of the top seed in the conference.

Widening Gap
While Miami ended the regular season as the NPSL's second-best team (of 91) in terms of points per matches played, Jacksonville finished the year as the 61st-best team in the league.

The Orange and Blue ranks in the top two in goals scored, goals allowed and goal differential.

Jacksonville is in the middle of the pack in those categories and hasn't been able to match Miami's elite status and production. 

En Fuego
Miami is arguably the hottest team in the NPSL, riding an eight-match winning streak into the playoffs. 

During that dominant span, the Orange and Blue has poured in 46 goals and given up a meager three goals.

That period of superiority has seen Miami accumulate the second-most goals of any team in the NPSL, with the only team in front having played double the amount of matches Miami has.

To balance out the offense, the Orange and Blue’s defense has been just as impressive, allowing the second-fewest goals of any team in the NPSL.

Players to Watch
Miguel González has enjoyed a breakthrough season in his first year in Miami and has turned into the Orange and Blue's most dangerous attacker.

González has converted 14 of his 25 shots into goals, with those 14 goals ranking third in the entire NPSL and first in the South Region.

The versatile forward, who has played all along Miami's front line, has also contributed five assists.

González' clever and instinctual runs, paired with his clinical finishing, make him a nightmare to defend.

González's main partner in crime this season, Mohamed Thiaw has also had a career year in his first season with Miami.

Thiaw's eight goals rank third in the South Region, and his nine assists dished out already have him in the top five of Miami's all-time club leaders in assists.

Capable of playing with his back to goal or roaming near the wings, Thiaw is the perfect striker for Miami's multifaceted offensive system.

Looking Ahead
With a win against Jacksonville, MIami would then host the Sunshine Conference Final at Buccaneer Field. The opponent would be the winner of the Naples United FC vs. Miami United FC Semifinal.