A Vital Three Points are On the Line as FC Tulsa Marches into Miami
TULSA – Wednesday night could prove to be the pivotal point of FC Tulsa’s 2022 campaign as the club hits the road to take on Miami FC in what would be fair to describe as one of, if not THE most important match of Tulsa’s season to this point. As interim head coach Donovan Ricketts said earlier this week, “This is the game that footballers and coaches dream about.”
Nine points currently separate the two sides, and with Miami one spot ahead of Tulsa in the standings and occupying the seventh and final playoff spot in the East, the gap would shrink down to six in just 90 minutes with a Tulsa victory. On the other hand, a loss would by no means eliminate FC Tulsa from the playoffs – both Miami and Tulsa have nine matches to play after Wednesday night, but the pendulum could take a thunderous swing in favor of FC Tulsa with a massive three-point outing.
When comparing the strengths of schedules of both clubs (based on the win percentage of their remaining opponents), Tulsa has the easier road to finish the season. Miami’s opponents clock in with a .358% win pct. whereas FC Tulsa’s opponents have posted a .336% win pct. through the first two thirds of the season. FC Tulsa also has one more home match remaining in 2022 than Miami FC does with six matches at ONEOK Field on the docket compared to Miami’s five remaining at FIU Stadium.
With four consecutive matches against opponents below it in the Eastern Conference standings, FC Tulsa should be able to make up for dropped points earlier in the season and close the gap between it and Miami, at least on paper. Meanwhile, both Louisville City FC and Birmingham Legion FC await Miami over its next four outings, two clubs that Miami has failed to beat in its three-year history in the USL Championship.
Wednesday night begins the final stretch of the 2022 season for FC Tulsa, and it could not get off to a more exciting start against a more important opponent.
Kickoff from FIU Stadium is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT.
SCOUTING MIAMI FC
Currently nine points ahead of FC Tulsa and occupying the final playoff spot in the East, Miami FC is the club FC Tulsa has been chasing for the better part of August. Unfortunately for Tulsa, Miami has gotten hot at just the right time. Miami has three wins and a draw over its last four outings and is coming off a 3-0 rout over New Mexico United on the road.
The defense has been top-notch for Miami all season long as the club is tied for the most clean sheets in the league with 11 and has conceded only 23 times in 23 matches. However, the offense has struggled at times for a club that has been shut out six times, including once by FC Tulsa in a 0-0 draw on June 4. Veterans Romeo Parkes and Kyle Murphy lead the blue and orange with five goals each while Florain Valot leads the Floridian faction in assists (six) and chances created (36).
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
1) June 22 Transfers
Wednesday night’s match will feature both players involved in the June 22 transactions that saw Sean McFarlane join FC Tulsa on loan and Joaquín Rivas traded to Miami FC in a corresponding move. In four appearances with Tulsa, McFarlane has two assists with 20 crosses whipped in as a right-back. Rivas has appeared for Miami seven times with one assist, nine shots, and 28 deliveries into the box.
Over his eight-year USL Championship career, Rivas has only ever faced off against Tulsa once back on August 9, 2020 as a member of Saint Louis FC, a match that FC Tulsa won 2-0. For McFarlane, the match will mark the first time he has ever lined up in opposition of Miami FC after spending three seasons with the club.
2) Last Time Out
The first matchup between these two sides resulted in a 0-0 draw at ONEOK Field on June 4, marking the second of four Tulsa clean sheets on the season. It was only Tulsa’s second match in the new 4-3-3 formation as the club looked to bolster its defense and move away from the 4-2-3-1 look. Goalkeeper Austin Wormell got his second start of 2022 in the contest as well and logged his first of three clean sheets as Tulsa’s main man between the posts.
3) Watch Party
There is no better way to watch FC Tulsa on the road than at the Official Watch Party of FC Tulsa! The Tulsan Bar will be hosting this week’s Watch Party, complete with giveaways and free ticket raffles. Get the The Tulsan early, stay late, and be loud while rooting on your club with the FC Tulsa faithful!
HOW TO WATCH
If you can’t make it to The Tulsan on Wednesday night, tune in locally to My41 Tulsa or stream all the action nationally on ESPN+. Be sure to follow @FCTulsa on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for match updates, highlights, polls, and more!