Match Preview: Legion FC at Miami FC - Wednesday, September 16
Birmingham Legion FC at Miami FC
Wednesday, September 16 - 6:30PM CT Kickoff
Riccardo Silva Stadium - Miami, FL
Watch - My68, ESPN+
Legion FC travels to South Beach for its first ever meeting with Miami FC on Wednesday, September 16. The match comes after a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Charlotte Independence at home, so the Black and Gold will be looking to make a return to winning ways and take a step closer to clinching a spot in the postseason.
Miami collected just its second win of the season last Saturday against Atlanta United 2, claiming a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from forwards Romario Williams and Miguel Gonzales. The result brought Miami FC to nine points and sees them in a position to overtake Atlanta in third place in Group H.
Many touted Miami to be a favorite coming out of the East, with FiveThirtyEight projecting the South Florida-based side to finish first in the Eastern Conference back in March. Needless to say, Miami FC has not lived up to the expectations. Paul Dalglish's side is not eliminated from the playoffs yet, but its current odds of less than one percent (per FiveThirtyEight) do not bode well for the club's postseason hopes. Nevertheless, Miami will be looking past the percentages and take the field Wednesday gunning for all three points in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Romario Williams presents the biggest threat to the Birmingham backline, as the former Atlanta United FC and Columbus Crew SC forward leads his side in scoring with six goals on the year. In the middle of the park, Sebastian Velasquez and Harrison Heath are the key distributors for Dalglish. Heath is currently the joint leader for Miami FC in assists (2) and is joint third in chances created (9). Velasquez, on the other hand, is third in scoring (2) and has seven chances created on the year. In defense, outside-back Marco Franco leads the team in chances created (12), while fellow outside-back Brenton Griffiths and center-back Hassan Ndam lead the team in clearances (27) and interceptions (15), respectively.
Legion FC is in the midst of its worst run of form of the season, with Tom Soehn's side winless in its last three outings. The slide does not present a massive threat to the club's overall playoff hopes, but it does raise the question of whether or not BHM will enter the postseason as the winner of Group G. Birmingham's last outing was a 3-1 losing effort to the Charlotte Independence that saw its lead shrink to one point and its first place odds drop to 47% (per FiveThirtyEight).
Check out the USL Championship Postseason Structure HERE.
Only three games remain on Legion FC's regular season schedule, with wins in all three the goal for Coach Soehn's men. Forward Neco Brett added to his goal scoring total last Saturday, with his goal against Charlotte making him the leading goal scorer in the side with seven finishes on the season. Legion Nation will be counting on Brett, as well as midfielders Bruno Lapa and Prosper Kasim, to provide the goal scoring threat, but it is on the defensive end where fans will hope for improvement. Birmingham has allowed six goals in the past three matches, so shoring up any struggles at the back will be crucial for the Black and Gold heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
Midfielder Anderson Asiedu will be unavailable to do a red card expulsion received in the match with the Charlotte Independence, while defender Mathieu Laurent (ACL) and goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg (Groin) will be unavailable for the match, per the VIVA Health injury report.
Legion FC returns home to face North Carolina FC on Saturday, September 26, for the final home match of the regular season. Get your tickets at bhmlegion.com/tickets, by emailing [email protected], or by calling the Legion FC Ticket Office at 205-791-7145.
The last match of the regular season is scheduled for Saturday, October 3 vs. Memphis 901FC. For live match updates, follow @bhmlegion on Twitter, or tune in as the match will air live on My68 and ESPN+.
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