Preview: The Miami FC Takes On New York Cosmos in NPSL National Championship

Aug 2, 2019

MIAMI (August 2, 2019) - The Miami FC travels north to face the New York Cosmos in the NPSL National Championship on Saturday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, New York.

A Storied History
The Miami FC and the Cosmos have known each other since Miami's inception as a football club. 

Both teams were part of the North American Soccer League during Miami's first and second seasons, in 2016 and 2017. When the NASL disbanded, Miami and New York joined the National Premier Soccer League for the 2018 season.

During their NASL days, Miami and New York faced off nine times in two seasons. New York owns a three-win advantage over Miami, but the Orange and Blue bounced back from an initial three-match skid against New York by winning two and drawing two of the past six matches against the Cosmos.

Top Two and No Close Third
Miami and New York were the two best teams in the 91-team NPSL in 2019, and it's no surprise they will be meeting in the final match of the year.

The Cosmos topped the regular season power rankings with an absurd 2.86 points per matches played, a number that has only grown in the playoffs as the New York squad is still yet to lose a match all season.

The Orange and Blue finished behind the Cosmos in the power rankings at 2.7 points per matches played, but Miami ended with the same goal differential as New York despite playing four less matches. 

Having played two more matches than the Cosmos in the playoffs, Miami has closed the points per matches played gap to just a 0.08 difference. 

Caliente En Miami
As the temperatures have risen throughout the summer, the Orange and Blue has caught fire.

Miami has won 13 straight matches and dominated throughout five playoff matches.

The Orange and Blue has scored 17 goals in five playoff matches, while only giving up four. 

During this 13-match winning streak, Miami has scored an earth-shattering 63 goals and conceded just seven.

Players to Watch
Ariel Martínez is on an absolute tear in the playoffs and has helped catapult Miami to the National Championship for the second season in a row.

In five playoff matches, Martínez has scored seven goals – including three penalty kicks and a goal in every single match – and dished out two assists.

The electric playmaker has been used in a more forward position at times throughout these playoffs and it has translated into a flurry of goals for the 33-year-old forward.

A member of the Miami FC team that fell to the Cosmos in the NASL Semifinals two years ago, Martínez is hoping this recent form will help him get revenge on New York.

Mark Pais' outstanding debut season with Miami earned him a spot on the Sunshine Conference and South Region Best XIs. 

In 15 matches played this season, Pais has allowed just 11 goals, kept seven clean sheets and kept out 36 shots.

Throughout the playoffs, Pais has turned it on even more, notching two clean sheets and making 12 saves.

Assertive in the air and equipped with stellar reflexes, Pais is a force behind Miami's back line and will be counted on to keep the Cosmos' dynamic offense at bay.