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Miami FC remains undefeated with a 1-1 draw in Vancouver

June 23, 2008 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Fort Lauderdale Strikers News Release

Vancouver, June 22 2008 - Miami ended their shutout streak tonight in Vancouver as they drew 1-1 with the Whitecaps. The Miami FC Blues, resting various key starters for Tuesday's Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match against Atlanta, looked confident going forward and took the lead in the 19th minute with a Juan Pablo Galavis header. It was his second goal of the season. After the break, the Whitecaps leveled the score with Chris Pozniak.

Coach Zinho opted to rest several key players such as Avery John, Alex Afonso, Leo Inácio, Sean Cameron and Walter Ramirez for this match, with their mid-week Open Cup engagement coming up. This gave other player's a chance to shine. The team looked spot on in the opening minutes as they were holding their own against a tight knit Vancouver passing game.

In the 19th minute, in a swift counter attack, Willie Sims exploded down the left and floated a cross into the box which Juan Pablo Galavis smashed home with a powerful header. Instead of celebrating, Galavis grabbed the ball and tucked under his shirt to quickly resume a kickoff in the halfway line. Such antics, however, were not appreciated by the referee and the player earned a caution.

A minute later, Cristiano Dias was added to Miami's injury woes as the tall defender limped off the field to be replaced by Chris Williams.

Josh Saunder's deputy between the sticks, Sam Reynolds had a string of fine saves in the closing minutes of the 1st half, including a one-on-one encounter with Justin Moose. After the ensuing cross, Reynolds tipped the ball to safety after a goal-mouth scramble. Miami countered with a swift attack but Galavis couldn't reach Eric Vasquez's pass.

Whitecaps' coach Teitur Thordarson definitely motivated his squad because in the second half Miami dodged many bullets. Vancouver dominated possession and kept Miami at bay for lengthy periods of time. The Blues, however, did find ways to crack open gaps in the Whitecaps defense.

In the 50th minute, Eduardo Sebrango brilliantly chested down a pass to an open Chris Pozniak, and the defender made no mistake. He smashed the ball into the upper left corner, leaving Reynolds little to do.

Escaping the Vancouver siege, Galavis managed to split the defense with a pass to Vasquez, but his shot went straight to the keeper.

In the 73 minute, former MLS and Islanders player, Willie Sims missed a golden one-on-one chance. As he was charging towards the goal, he overstepped the ball, lost control, and then later shot high after regaining control.

Then it was Vancouver's turn to squander opportunities. Sebrango had an effort denied right in front of the goal line by Sean Fraser. Later Reynolds brilliantly saved his powerful header.

In the last danger moment of the match, Sebrango one-touched a neat thru pass, but his shot sailed high. Miami dodged another bullet and earned another valuable point on the road.

Whilst Miami lost their six game shutout, they still are undefeated in 7 games and Zinho can at least count on his second choice starters as they produced a valiant performance.

Miami's next match is at home in Tropical Park as they host the Atlanta Silverbacks in a 2nd round tie in the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup on June 24, 2008. Season tickets are currently on sale by visiting www.miamifc.com or by calling 305-728-2612. Single game tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-866-57-MIAMI. Watch all games live on USL Live!

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