Billy Forbes shines as Miami FC extend home winning streak versus Hartford Athletic

Isaac Gomez, Miami, FL – The Miami FC continued their home win streak this season with a dominating performance against Hartford Athletic on Sunday night. Forward Billy Forbes blasted two goals past Athletic’s keeper, Jeff Caldwell who leads the USL with a total of 74 saves this season. Miami went into the game with a chip on their shoulder as they would be missing their starting goalkeeper Connor Sparrow and forward Cristiano Francois due to red cards they were issued in a 1-1 draw against Austin on August 14th. Sparrow, who holds the sixth spot in the league in saves, was replaced by Brian Sylvestre who earned his first clean sheet of the season.

Miami FC Head Coach had high praise for his players after the win.

“We’ve been in a really good spot mentally for a while right now. If you look at our performances. Not just performances but the way we’ve done them. This team does not lack confidence or experience or hunger. I’d say it’s something I admire so much about them.” said Dalglish. 

In the 38th minute, Miami suffered a scary moment when their star forward Ariel Martinez went down with an apparent hamstring injury and was replaced by Adonijah Reid who would later bolster their attack in the second half. Dalglish said the injury might have been to his hamstring, however, he had heard no official word yet from the medical staff. 

“I think he felt something in his hamstring. We’ll find out what it is within the next few days. Said Dalglish.

In a battle of the keepers, Caldwell shined, with a minute before halftime for Hartford, stopping a penalty shot from Miami FC’s Devon “Speedy” Williams. Speedy looked to strike towards the bottom left corner of the net but Caldwell leaped just in time and blocked the shot in its tracks where it was later cleared out by a Hartford defender. 

Dalglish, started the second half making a key substitution, replacing János Löbe with eventual match-winner Billy Forbes. He said getting his name called up at the half boosted his confidence.

“For me as a player, it’s always good to come off the bench and get goals. That boosted my confidence as a player. But the team needed it. Coach realized we needed a true winger and we made the change at halftime.” said Forbes. 

Dalglish said the win was personal. 

 “It was personal for us. We wanted to make sure that we beat them at home tonight. They’re a good team, I have a lot of respect for them. We don’t have a big squad but we have depth. And every single player that gets the opportunity is performing and that’s what you need for competition.” said Dalglish.

With their first win against Hartford Athletic, Miami remains second in the Atlantic Division. Miami had previously dropped their first two meetings against the sixth-placed club and stole a point at Hartford on Aug 4. Miami FC will next host the New York Red Bulls II at Ricardo Silva Stadium at 6:30 pm on August 29th.

Photo | Nick Nuñez

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