The Miami FC fall short of their U.S. Open Cup aspirations | May 16th, 2018

Miami, FL – Not every story has a happy ending, and not every tale of persistence and hard work ends in victory. The Miami FC was put together to challenge the current status quo of the U.S. Soccer system. Riccardo Silva wanted to prove that a lower division team could rise up and compete with MLS teams, and be successful in doing so. Without a structure of promotion and relegation, the only way to prove that is in the U.S. Open Cup.

We all remember how the OB’s fell short of their goal (no pun intended, maybe) last season. Follow that up with the Miami FC having to drop from 2nd division, due to the collapse of NASL, to the 4th division NPSL. Also, through all this, FC had to replace their coach and numerous players from last season. Fast forward to the beginning of the 2018 NPSL season. The Miami FC and Miami United FC would open up the season, and the rivalry would be coined the Magic City Clasico.

Their first match would end in a draw. Victor Pelae tapped-in the rivalry’s first ever goal, and Jamie Chavez would equalize “at the death”, as Bruce Silverman would say. In their 2nd go-around, the clubs would once again draw, but this time Miami FC would strike first, way of Jeff Michaud, early on in 9’. Tyler Ruthven then received two straight yellow cards, and was sent off in 33’. United equalized in 3’ of extra time in the 1st half. The match would end in a draw, but in total there were 10 bookings – seven yellows and three reds. Winless, yet undefeated, both teams would then begin preparations for their U.S. Open Cup campaigns. FC won their play-in game vs. FC Miami City, and then came out victorious in the 1st round vs. Red Force FC. Meanwhile, United defeated FC Kendall in the 1st round, setting up a 3rd Magic City Clasico in the 2nd round Lamar Hunt’s chalice.

This time, there would be, could be no draw. Penalties would decide a winner if necessary. In today’s match, Miami FC would once again strike 1st. In the 17th minute, Dylan Mares received a cross from Ariel Martinez and sent it to the back of the net. However, right before the half ended, Kris Tyrpak would earn himself a straight red card, losing his cool, and stomping on an opposing United player. Now down to 10 men, all FC had to do was take a page out of José Mourinho’s book of public transportation and park the bus, but David Ochoa was probably watching Speed to get ready for the match. Is he Keanu Reeves or Sandra Bullock? Either way, FC’s defense looked lost. Ochoa scored two goals – one in 49’ and another in 52’. The OB’s now had to pressure up top in order to get back in the match. United would take advantage of FC’s lack of bodies on D, creating many opportunities, but Daniel Vega kept FC within striking distance. Martinez and Chavez would go on to create various scoring opportunities but were not able to capitalize. In the 3rd minute of extra time in the 2nd half, Victor Pelae sent a dagger into the hopes of the Miami FC faithful by scoring a goal that killed any notion of a comeback. The first Magic City Clasico win goes to Miami United FC.

The Promise from St. Thomas was broken. The OB’s are eliminated from U.S. Open Cup contention, losing 1-3 to a worthy Miami United FC opponent. No one knows what the future will bring for FC. The whole purpose was to compete with the upper echelon of U.S. soccer, and that’s down the drain after today’s loss. Next up, the Miami FC will switch their focus to their NPSL campaign. They go on the road to play Palm Beach United on Saturday, May 26.

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