Vs. Birmingham Legion FC at Protective Stadium
Wednesday, May 4
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Birmingham, Ala. (Tuesday, May 3) – The Miami Football Club looks to return to South Florida with six out of nine points from its three-match away skid. In order to do so, the Orange and Blue have to defeat Birmingham Legion at Protective Stadium on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.
Miami and Birmingham arrive at the midweek matchup after wins against Memphis 901 FC and Charleston Battery, respectively. The two sides look for another triumph to cement their status as Eastern Conference playoffs contenders early in the season.
“We want to try and build off the momentum from the positive result on Saturday at Memphis,” said head coach Anthony Pulis. “We know it is going to be a difficult game. Birmingham has picked up recently.”
Last time out against Memphis 901 FC
Miami FC avenged a 2-1 away loss at the hands of Phoenix Rising with a 2-1 victory against Memphis 901 FC at AutoZone Park on Saturday. Former Memphis forwards Kyle Murphy and Pierre da Silva made the difference on the night, scoring Miami’s two goals early in the outing.
After just seven minutes of play, Murphy and attacking midfielder Florian Valot combined for the first goal on the night. The Frenchman intercepted a throw-in in front of the Memphis 901 bench and strung pass into the path of Murphy’s inside run. The 29-year-old pushed the ball past goalkeeper Trey Muse with his left foot to give Miami an early lead.
It did not take long for Miami FC to double its lead, with Da Silva scoring his second goal of the campaign in the 11th minute. In a similar fashion to MFC’a goal against Tampa Bay Rowdies, winger Josh Pérez forced a rebound from the keeper, and Da Silva knocked it into the back of the net. Da Silva leads Miami in game-winning goals (2) this season.
Miami FC held onto its two-goal lead until the 76th minute. Subsequently, Memphis midfielder Laurent Kissiedou unleashed a right-footed shot from the top of the 18-yard-box, beating goalkeeper Connor Sparrow to the bottom-right corner of his goal.
The two early goals, along with a sturdy defensive performance from Sparrow and the backline, resulted in three points for Miami FC on the road. The Orange and Blue are currently 4W-1D-3L on the season, sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference table with 13 points.
Miami FC duo returns to Birmingham
Former Legion FC midfielder Bolu Akinyode and center-back Ben Ofeimu return to Birmingham to compete against their old side. The two current Miami FC players last played for Legion FC in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Akinyode appeared on 15 occasions for Birmingham Legion FC in 2020 before joining Miami FC in its inaugural USL Championship season. Ofeimu, on the other hand, also made 15 appearances for Legion FC in 2021 before joining MFC ahead of the 2022 season.
“I think every game is a big game, but this is a little bit different because this is my old club,” said Akinyode after being asked what it felt like to face his former team. “I have old friends, old teammates in the club, so it is definitely a big one.”
About Birmingham Legion FC
Birmingham Legion FC sits just outside of the playoff zone in eighth place with 11 points. Moreover, Legion FC is enjoying a run of form this season, coming into the game with back-to-back victories against Loudon United and Charleston Battery.
It was not always pretty for Birmingham, who started the season 0W-2D-2L. However, draws against Tampa Bay Rowdies and Louisville City showed that the Alabama side was not a pushover. A 2-1 victory over Hartford Athletic on April 10 showed that winning was possible. Despite losing against Detroit City the following game, Legion FC responded with consecutive 2-1 triumphs over Loudoun and Charleston.
Head coach Tom Soehn’s side has proven to be a tough team to break down at Protective Stadium, posting a 2-2-1 home record.
Up next for Miami FC
Miami FC returns to South Florida to host Western Conference heavyweights San Antonio FC at FIU Stadium on Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. ET.
San Antonio is flying in the West, sitting in second place with 21 points after eight fixtures. The Texan side demolished Western Conference bottom dwellers Monterrey Bay 6-0 on Saturday and is preparing for a U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 showdown against Houston Dynamo.
Fans can buy tickets for the game here.