By Alex Toledo/Staff Writer
After a dominant Spring Season and after advancing all the way to the US Open Cup quarterfinals in just their second year, Miami FC was eliminated from the tournament after going down 0-1 against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night at Riccardo Silva Stadium.
Despite taking one more shot, passing the ball almost 150 more times with better accuracy and holding possession of the ball about 15 percent longer, Miami FC was unable to capitalize against FC Cincinnati’s stout defense, which focused on collapsing against Miami FC’s scorers.
“Credit to them, they defended for their lives. They played the game of their lives,” said midfielder Michael Lahoud. “In the first half, they were effective at what they did. The second half, I felt like we were being too cute.”
Miami FC was unable to get anything going offensively in the first half, taking only three shots to Cincinnati’s six in the period. In the second half, both teams came out somewhat flat, each missing two goals in the first 20 minutes.
”A lot of teams are trying to make it a game about second balls, very direct,” said Lahoud. “We have to adapt.”
The difference, ultimately, was FCC striker Dijby Fall’s goal in the 67th minute after a series of creative passes from his teammates. From there, Miami FC let off seven missed attempts while Cincinnati took just one more shot.
“For me, after we won the spring season, the team is a little bit relaxed,” said head coach Alessandro Nesta. “We lost something.”
Around the same time Miami FC’s biggest game ever commenced, with 10,415 fans watching, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber told reporters during media availability that he is anticipating a Miami MLS announcement “perhaps by the end of the summer.”
Former soccer star David Beckham and partner Todd Boehly, who has his own private holdings company and who is a part-owner of the LA Dodgers, presented their expansion plan to the MLS Board of Governors earlier that Wednesday.
According to the team, on August 3rd, Miami FC and Kingston Stockade FC of the National Premiere Soccer League filed a claim with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to require the US Soccer Federation to adopt promotion and relegation across all divisions in US soccer.
The claim “simply asks the USSF, a FIFA member, to comply with FIFA’s rules,” according to the press release. “Kingston Stockade FC and The Miami FC strongly believe openness and meritocracy should be the foundation of US soccer. Both American teams believe that the disregard of a critical FIFA rule in the US is detrimental to the sport of soccer in the US.”
The team now gets back to the North American Soccer League Fall season, where the team will face North Carolina FC at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami on Saturday night.