Atlanta, GA ( July 16th, 2018 ) – The Atlanta Silverbacks Football Club continues their postseason run as they take on Miami FC 2 Tuesday night in the NPSL South Region Semifinal at 7:00 PM. Both teams are coming off of conference championship wins Saturday night in the Southeast and Sunshine Conferences, respectively.
Miami FC 2
The South Beach side claimed the NPSL Sunshine Conference Saturday night after defeating Jacksonville Armada 3-1 at St. Thomas University. Forward Kristopher Tyrpak led the way for Miami, earning a brace on the night. Miami’s three-headed scoring monster of Tyrpak, Dario Suarez, and Jaime Chavez was short-handed Saturday night as Chavez was serving a suspension following a red card ejection on July 7th against Boca Raton FC.
Jaime Chavez led the Sunshine Conference champs in scoring on the year with 9 goals scored. Dario Suarez (7) and Kristopher Tyrpak (5) were not far behind and helped lift the team to a win Saturday night in Chavez’s absence. Miami scored 30 goals in the regular season (2.5 goals per game) and continued that form against Jacksonville.
Even more important than their goal scoring prowess, Miami FC has been one of the best defensive teams in the NPSL in 2018. They allowed just five goals on the entire regular season, tied for third lowest allowed (FC Motown) in the entire league. Miami’s captain Daniel Vega has been the foundation of this iron-clad back line as the starting goalkeeper.
Miami FC 2 is one of the hottest teams in the league right now and are coming off of a comfortable, championship-clinching win. They will be ready when the ‘Backs get to South Beach Tuesday night.
This matchup is a dichotomy of conference champions and how they arrived to this NPSL South Region Semifinal. Miami FC began the season with three draws all the way back in April. Since, Miami won eight of nine matches and allowed just two goals over that span. Meanwhile, Atlanta has seen waves of positive and negative momentum. The ‘Backs were swept by Asheville City in May before going five matches unbeaten. Atlanta then dropped back to back matches before going on their current six-match unbeaten streak. The Silverbacks are peaking at the right time while Miami has been peaking consistently since May.
The first crucial matchup will be between the Atlanta back line and Miami attack. The Silverbacks defense is coming off of a professional, 120-minute effort in a shutout of Chattanooga FC. Center backs Abdul Bangura and Mo Issahaku have been the nucleus of a deep defensive unit. Left back Manuel Moreno and right back Ryan Marcano have provided speedy defensive pressure while supporting the attack. The challenge of facing Dario Suarez, Kristopher Tyrpak, and the returning Jaime Chavez may be the tallest task this back line has faced. Atlanta’s ability to disrupt passing lanes and physically challenge Miami’s top scorers may be the difference in front of Bryce Billington or Theo Blachon.
Despite their current positive run, Atlanta’s offense has become stagnant in the postseason. The Silverbacks have scored just one goal in the run of play in the 210 minutes of postseason play (Jabang v. Asheville City). While Atlanta prodded a stellar CFC defense Saturday night, the lack of penetration into the box was evident. Veterans like Aaron Walker, Joao Johanning, and Abraham Lansana will need to analyze and dissect the tough Miami defense to create chances for their skilled attackers.
The elements are the final factor in this South Region Semifinal. Atlanta is used to heat, but South Florida heat and humidity is a different animal entirely. Atlanta will certainly have the tougher set of circumstances Tuesday, having travelled to Chattanooga, won a nearly three hour affair, and prepping to travel to South Beach Tuesday. Compare those factors to Miami’s postseason run: one comfortable, 90-minute home match Saturday night against Jacksonville. Does Atlanta have the energy to continue their Cinderella run through the NPSL South Region playoffs?
You don’t need advice from me on how to enjoy Miami. Food, music, culture, the beach, and cold beverages. Combine those together and you are bound to enjoy your time!
If you want to go into Miami proper, downtown has plenty of festive options to choose from. Also swing out to Miami Beach along Lummus Park to enjoy the beach and the nightlife.
If you cannot make the trip, stay tuned to all Silverbacks social media platforms for match updates. Live stream information will be shared as it becomes available.