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The Miami FC 2022 Season Preview

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 03/03/22, 5:00PM EST


2022 Outlook

There has never been a reticence to swing hard in free agency for Miami FC. After last season brought in key new pieces in Championship All-League selection Paco Craig and Jamaican internationals Speedy Williams and Lamar Walker to fuel a first trip to the postseason, the South Florida side went big again over the past offseason in an effort to continue its progression up the Eastern Conference’s pecking order.

Among the new arrivals are former Championship title winner Florian Valot – most recently with FC Cincinnati after making the step up to Major League Soccer with the New York Red Bulls – and the Championship All-League duo of forward Kyle Murphy and defender Mark Segbers, both most recently at Memphis 901 FC. Murphy’s 20-goal campaign was a single-season best for the New York native, and Miami will be hoping the 29-year-old can produce somewhere close to that again to lead the side’s attack.

The final third was arguably where Miami had the most work to do this offseason in terms of upgrades as Anthony Pulis arrived as the club’s new Head Coach, with the defense led by Craig and Callum Chapman-Page and goalkeeper Connor Sparrow proving solid a season ago. While 2021 leading scorer Christiano Francois has departed for El Paso Locomotive FC and Ariel Martinez announced his retirement, Murphy will get backing from other new arrivals Christian Sorto and Romeo Parkes as well as returning strikers Pierre da Silva, Adonijah Reid and Josh Perez as Miami pushes for title contention.

Notable Arrivals

Kyle Murphy – 2021 Championship All-League selection bagged a career-best 20 goals last regular season

Mark Segbers – Defender earned first Championship All-League selection while leading Memphis to playoffs

Florian Valot – Former Championship title-winner makes move to Miami after four seasons in MLS

Aedan Stanley – Young defender has experience in MLS, USL Championship after move from Inter Miami

Notable Departures

Christiano Francois – Haitian international was leading scorer a season ago, now at El Paso Locomotive FC

Ariel Martinez – Veteran Cuban forward moved on after returning for 2021 season

Janos Loebe – Defender made 29 appearances in regular season before offseason departure

Two To Watch

Kyle Murphy

Kyle Murphy 

After delivering a career year at Memphis 901 FC with 20 regular-season goals and his first Championship All-League selection, Kyle Murphy heads to South Florida this season looking to come close to a second act for a Miami FC that has again looked to load up in attack for the new campaign. Murphy’s scoring output could be reasonably replicable – his Expected Goals mark for the season was 15.2xG, a sign of the positive positions he put himself consistently in for Memphis – and with players such as fellow new arrival Florian Valot and the returning Pierre Da Silva and Lamar Walker set to provide the service, there shouldn’t be any shortage of opportunity. If Murphy can be the main man, Miami could take the next step toward title contention. 

Paco Craig

Paco Craig 

After a year away in his home country, English defender Paco Craig returned to the USL Championship in Miami a season ago and quickly reestablished his credentials as one of the best central defenders in the league. The two-time Championship Final winner at Louisville City FC earned his fourth All-League selection overall and third to the First Team while posting a team-best +7.62 Goals Added mark as Miami advanced to the postseason for the first time in the Championship. Craig’s continued presence in the back line for Miami should help maintain the solid defensive foundation the side put in place last season with Connor Sparrow and Callum Chapman-Page also set to return. That could help Miami vie for its first silverware in the Championship this season. 


Anthony Pulis (1st Season)

Anthony Pulis returns to the USL Championship’s Head Coaching ranks in Miami after last season working as an assistant coach to Phil Neville slightly further north at MLS club Inter Miami CF. The former Saint Louis FC Head Coach – whose side earned a postseason berth and remarkable run to the Quarterfinals of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – will look to build on the work done by Paul Dalglish after last season’s postseason appearance at a club that has major title ambitions.

Key Number

52.94 Miami FC ranked second in the Championship with a 52.94 percent shooting accuracy rate. The only team above them was Memphis 901 FC (54.56%), who last year included Miami’s new offseason signings Kyle Murphy and Mark Segbers.

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