Ranger Stadium at Drew University would be the sight of one of the biggest sporting events in Morris County History, as FC Motown Hosted Miami FC in the NPSL National Playoffs.
Madison, New Jersey- With the rain having stopped, it was time for one of the most anticipated matchups in recent NPSL history. Motown and Miami FC, two sides that were very evenly matched, boasted rosters featuring many former MLS and international players. Each team posted a 9-1-0 record during the regular seasons. Miami FC, a fully professional team which was a part of the NASL last season, boasting a large player budget, had been cruising through the playoffs, dismantling opponents. FC Motown would look to change that in last night’s match.
The visitors found the back of the net first off a strike by midfielder Johnny Steele in the 33rd minute. It was a perfect strike that hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced right back down over the goal line. Motown keeper Abdoukarim Danso had no shot at making the save. But not even five minutes later, Motown would get the goal back off a brilliant strike by midfielder Dilly Duka. Just like he has done all season, Duka came up big when Motown needed a goal. The rest of the half featured even play. Neither side were able to get another goal before the half, so the score remained 1-1 heading into the break.
The second half picked opened up with Motown controlling play. However, it would be an unfortunate double yellow red card, against stalwart defender Chris Riordan, that would turn the tide against Motown. Off the free kick from the send off, midfielder Dylan Mares would curl a ball around the wall into the bottom right corner of the net, giving Miami FC a 2-1 lead. FC Motown pushed forward for the equalizer despite playing a man down and came very close to tying the game. Lucas Terci would miss a glorious chance after the ball popped out to him in front of the Miami net. Motown would get another chance, this time as Julius James was unable to get a head on a cross that would have been a sure equalizer. In the 82nd minute, with Motown pressing while playing down a man, Miami FC would get their insurance goal off a transition goal by midfielder Jeff Michaud. The final whistle blew with Miami FC winning by a score of 3-1 over FC Motown in the NPSL National Finals.
FC Motown have their heads held high despite not getting the result they or the 2,149 (A new FC Motown Record) fans were hoping for. They went up against a professional team in Miami FC with a much larger budget, and pushed them to their limits, controlling much of the play before the sending off that would change the makeup of the game. Recording their biggest attendance in Franchise history, FC Motown’s future is bright. There is something special brewing for FC Motown at Ranger Stadium. The crowd was absolutely electric last night. One thing is for sure. FC Motown is on the map not only in Madison/Morristown, or Morris County, or the State of New Jersey, but Nationally now, if they were not already. This is only the beginning and the sky is the limit for this young club.