MELBOURNE, Fla. (February 9, 2020) —
As the club continues to prepare for the upcoming season, its first as a member of the USL Championship, the Miami FC took on MLS side Minnesota United in a preseason friendly match this past Saturday at Titan Soccer Complex on the campus of Eastern Florida State College.
It wasn’t the best outing for the side from Miami as the Loons netted a pair of goals in the first half and three more in the second stanza, running out a 5-nil victory.
The scoring onslaught began in minute 11 when Minnesota’s newest signing, the Paraguayan Luis Amarilla, scored on a header at the far post that left Miami keeper Mark Pais without a chance. Thirteen minutes later, Minnesota doubled the score as midfielder Jan Gregus found himself close to the top of the box with plenty of space and scored, in the 24th minute.
For its part, Miami FC was able to create several scoring opportunities in the first half, but new Loons goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who played with LAFC last season, notched several saves to keep his team up two at the break.
New Miami forward Romario Williams came on to start the second half. With him in the lineup, Miami was able to link up their front three and create space. Miami’s clearest chance came in the 55th minute, when the club’s newest addition, Colombian midfielder Sebastian Velasquez, played a through ball to forward Prince Saydee into space. The Liberian was able to get a shot off, but it would be saved by Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, who had come on for Ty Miller.
The Loons went on to score in the 66th minute (Andrew Booth), with Mason Toye scoring a brace late in the second half.
But this is preseason, and the more important thing is the game time experience for the squad.
“Despite the result, these matches are great to test yourself against quality opposition,” said Miami FC head coach Nelson Vargas. “It’s a great barometer for us to see where we are at and what we all want to aspire to. We knew it was going to be difficult but there were several things as a staff that we were happy with.”
“Even with the lopsided result, one of the positives I mentioned was the creation of chances,” explained Vargas. “We had a clear chance very early in the match and if we capitalized on it we would have been up early on. The difference was they took advantage of their opportunities, but we need to look at this match more like a test to see where we are in our preseason. Again, there were plenty of positives to take from today’s performance.”
Despite moving the ball in the second half, Miami FC was unable to get on the score sheet, while Minnesota capitalized on their chances. The Loons went on to score in the 66th minute (Andrew Booth), with Mason Toye scoring a brace late in the second half.
“The most important thing is for us to focus on our style of play,” said Vargas. “The results are not what’s important to us right now. We care more about preparing the team for our first USL Championship match, when the results will matter.”
Next up on Miami FC’s preseason is a friendly against New York City FC on Thursday, February 13 on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. The match will be open to the public and will kick off at 12 p.m.
MIAMI FC Lineup (4-3-3)
|GK||Mark Pais||Brian Sylvestre (46’)|
|D||Bah Othello||Janos Löbe (61′)|
|M||Tomas Granitto||Lance Rozeboom (46′)|
|M||Harrison Heath||Lawrence Olum (61′)|
|F||Prince Saydee||Miguel Gonzalez (61′)|
|F||Mohamed Thiaw||Romario Williams (46′)|