Miami Demolishes Deltas to Claim Spring Title

miami celebration goal

By JAKE NUTTING

Miami FC logoThere is no doubting Miami FC’s (10-2-3, 33 points) supremacy over the rest of the North American Soccer League after Saturday’s 7-0 trouncing of the San Francisco Deltas (7-3-5). With the lopsided result, Miami locked up the league Spring Season championship and a postseason berth.

The Deltas entered the weekend as the biggest potential threat to the league leaders securing the spring title. Miami made quick work of the Deltas, though, burying the visitors at Riccardo Silva Stadium with four tallies in the first half and another three in the closing half. San Francisco had conceded just 10 goals through its previous 14 matches.

Miami got to work early. Five minutes into the match, Vincenzo Rennella beat San Francisco’s offside trap to earn a free run into the box. As keeper Romuald Peiser came out to close down Rennella, the attacker slipped a pass in front of goal for Dylan Mares to smash across the line.

There was no stopping Miami after Mares’ opening tally. San Francisco’s back line was caught flat-footed again in the 10th minute, freeing Stefano Pinho to latch on to a through ball from Mares and fire a shot past Peiser. Pinho’s found the back of the net again four minutes later with ease as Blake Smith’s cross from the left flank found him unchecked in the center of the box.

If the first three goals weren’t enough to seal the victory for Miami, the Deltas were put to bed as they were reduced to 10 men in the 35th minute. Center back Reiner Ferreira was shown a straight red for an altercation when play was stopped, killing any chance of San Francisco mounting a comeback.

Just before the break, Mares matched Pinho with an opportunistic goal after Peiser gave up a rebound at the top of the box.

Miami did not slow down in the second half, pounding the Deltas for three more goals. In the 53rd minute, Cuban Ariel Martínez curled a shot into the top corner as a crowd of deflated San Francisco defenders looked on around him, uninterested in applying an pressure. Pinho then completed his hat trick with an assist from Jaime Chaves in the 75th minute and then twisted the knife into San Francisco with his fourth off a set up from Michael Lahoud.

Miami is the fifth team to capture the spring championship. Since the NASL adopted the split-season format in 2013, no team has repeated as spring champion.

Coach Alessandro Nesta‘s squad will immediately turn its focus to Wednesday huge game in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against the United Soccer League’s FC Cincinnati at home. A win over Cincinnati would send Miami to the semifinals.