Up next in our breakdowns of Atlantic Division foes, we’re taking a look at The Miami FC. Miami are still in their USL Championship infancy after joining the league for the 2020 season. The vibrantly colored club previously competed in the North American Soccer League, National Premier Soccer League and National Independent Soccer Association, where they picked up a considerable amount of silverware along the way. The Battery welcomed Miami to the league with a set of four matches together in 2020.
The inaugural season for Miami was a mixed bag, one with high expectations but one that got off to a slow start and ultimately ended in a below-average result, finishing third in Group H with a 4-8-4 record. A high spot for the club was their first USL point, which came at the expense of the Tampa Bay Rowdies when Miami earned a draw in St. Petersburg against the eventual Eastern Conference Final-Winners. Miami ended their season on a two-game win streak which included a dramatic 4-3 win over the Battery. The result thwarted the Black and Yellow’s ambitions to overcome the Rowdies and win Group H.
Head-to-head, however, the Battery got the better end of the series, winning two matches to Miami’s one and one draw to split the spoils. Both of the Battery’s victories came at Patriots Point, 3-1 and 2-1. The lone draw came in Miami, where a late Miami goal from Miguel González nullified Stavros Zarokostas’ effort for the three points. Each match seemed to have playoff implications come with it, and 2021 will likely be no different.
It was a busy offseason for the South Florida side with several acquisitions indicating a win-now mentality. Among their most notable roster additions were midfielder Speedy Williams and defenders Paco Craig and Luca Antonelli. Williams and Craig previously won USL Championship Finals during their stints with Louisville City and have All-League selections to their names. Antonelli, a former Italian international, brings with him bags of experience as a Serie A journeyman, notably with Genoa and A.C. Milan, where he won the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana with the Rossoneri. Paul Daglish is back on the bench for Miami and he will look to gel his new pieces with his returning squad, who are without last year’s top scorers Romario Williams and Sebastián Velásquez.
For Charleston, correcting the spells of inconsistency against Miami last year will be key to securing victories over the Florida side. The dropped points on the road spoiled ambitions to win Group H and guarantee a playoff match at Patriots Point. The Black and Yellow were impressive against Miami at home and will look to keep that form throughout all four meetings, especially with a roster very familiar with the adversaries. On the defensive side, the team features an ensemble of key additions in Houston Dynamo loanee Erik McCue and former MLS SuperDraft pick Ben Di Rosa. The two will look to bolster the backline alongside returning defenders Jarad van Schaik, Leland Archer, Logan Gdula, AJ Paterson and Temi Adesodun.
Charleston and Miami will clash four times this season, twice in South Carolina and twice in Florida. The Battery will host Miami at Patriots Point on Friday, June 18, and again on Saturday, October 30, for the regular season finale. Tickets for the June fixture can be purchased here, and for the October fixture here.