Preview: The Miami FC Hosts Cleveland SC in NPSL National Semifinal

Jul 26, 2019

MIAMI (July 26, 2019) - Following Conference and Region titles, The Miami FC has moved on to the NPSL National Semifinals and will host Cleveland SC for a chance to reach the National Final for a second-consecutive year. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 27. The match will be played at FIU Soccer Stadium.

Top 5, Top 5, Top 5
Miami FC and Cleveland SC ended the regular season ranked within the top 5 teams in the 91-team NPSL.

With 2.7 points per matches played, Miami finished as the second-best overall team in the league, while Cleveland's 2.4 points per matches played helped it finish fifth overall. 

Since the two teams that finished ahead of Cleveland in the rankings went down early in their respective playoff brackets, a Miami-Cleveland matchup seemed destined to come to fruition.

Both teams are on a roll, as Miami has won 12 straight matches and Cleveland is unbeaten in its last eight matches. Those forms make this a salivating matchup for soccer fans.

Born to Win
The Orange and Blue has won all but one match this entire season, including 12-consecutive victories since May rolled around.

Miami has outscored its opponents by a shocking 53 goals during that winning streak, giving up just six goals and earning seven clean sheets in the process.

In four playoff matches, Miami has outscored its opponents 13-3, continuing a trend of dominance that was prevalent in the regular season.

Seventh Heaven
Miami's victory over Tulsa Athletic in the South Region Final secured the seventh overall trophy in Miami FC's illustrious history.

While the Orange and Blue failed to capture a trophy in its first year of existence in 2016, it has done nothing but earn accolades since then.

Miami captured the NASL Spring and Fall titles in 2017, followed that up with NPSL Sunshine Conference, South Region and National Final titles in 2018, and has already secured the Sunshine Conference and South Region trophies this season.

Players to Watch
Lance Rozeboom has been Miami's iron man and a versatile component for head coach Paul Dalglish's ever-changing team.

Rozeboom has participated in all 15 of Miami's matches across all competitions and played 1,202 minutes, the most of any Miami FC outfield player and just 30 minutes behind goalkeeper Mark Pais for the team lead.

A prototypical holding midfielder, Rozeboom has played that role to perfection and has filled in as Miami's right back consistently throughout the playoffs as the team has dealt with various injuries.

Able to dictate the tempo of the match from anywhere on the field with his ball control and passing, Rozeboom will be counted on to slow down a Cleveland team that's on a roll.

Ariel Martínez is red-hot in the playoffs and has carried Miami's offense when it has most needed it.

In four playoff matches, Martínez has scored six goals, including goals from the penalty spot in each of the past three matches.

The mercurial attacking midfielder scored the crucial equalizer in the Sunshine Conference Final, an important insurance goal in the South Region Semifinals and Miami's two final goals to put away Tulsa Athletic in the South Region Final.

Martínez also assisted on Miami's match-winning goal against Miami United FC in the Sunshine Conference Final, showcasing how dangerous and indispensable he has been during Miami's playoff run.

Looking Ahead
If Miami beats Cleveland, it would advance to the NPSL National Final for the second season in a row. The match will be played on Saturday, August 3.

If the New York Cosmos beat ASC San Diego, the Northeast squad would host the Final. If the Cosmos fall to San Diego, Miami would host the Final.