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Miami FC Kicks off Important Road Trip

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Miami FC is preparing for an important three-game road trip that begins on Wednesday, Aug. 18 with a match against the Carolina Railhawks at WakeMed Park. Kick-off is set for a 7:00 p.m.

"We know we will have another tough challenge ahead of us. We are just looking to keep playing better soccer and hope to come away with a positive result," said Head Coach Daryl Shore The Blues look to remain unbeaten in the month of August and gain some ground in the playoff race as the team looks to make a late season run towards a playoff berth. Miami FC currently sits six points behind the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the eighth and final playoff spot with eight games remaining. Wednesday's game will be the second and final meeting of the season between the Blues and Railhawks after both teams fought to a 1-1 draw in an early season match at Lockhart Stadium on May 8.

After the conclusion of this match and the two more road games against the Rochester Rhinos and AC St. Louis, Miami FC returns home to face the Montreal Impact on Sept. 11. SCOUTING CAROLINA The Railhawks enter this match on the heels of a 2-1 road loss to Crystal Palace Baltimore on Aug. 14.

Carolina fell behind in the 21st minute when the Tsuyoshi Yoshitake put a shot low past goalkeeper Eric Reed to give Baltimore a 1-0 lead. Baltimore added another goal early in the second half thanks to a strike by Gary Brooks in the 49th minute. Despite the Railhawks cutting the lead in half in the 76th minute when Matt Watson put a well-placed shot past Baltimore keeper Evan Bush, Carolina was unable to find the equalizer in the final minutes of the match.

Carolina has been on the downswing over the past several weeks, only having won one of its last five regular season matches and losing its past two games. As a team, the Railhawks are tied for the fifth highest goal total in the league having scored 24 goals this season (Miami FC is also tied for fifth with 24 goals scored this season) and are led by leading-goal scorer Etienne Barbara, who is among the Top 10 in that category with five goals. On the flip side, the Railhawks have done a good job keeping opposing offenses from scoring, having allowed the third fewest amount of goals this season (19).

LAST TIME OUT

The Blues came away with a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw in the Coastal Cup finale on Aug. 14 against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Lockhart Stadium.

Paulo Jr. made a nice run on the right flank in the 19th minute, setting himself up for a nice cross to a wide open Chuckwudi "Chucky" Chijindu inside the box who then headed the ball directly past Tampa Bay keeper Daryl Sattler to put the Blues ahead. The Rowdies leveled the match when Maykel Galindo delivered a shot that beat Patterson on the far post in the 33rd minute.

Late in the half, another newcomer got into the mix for Miami FC as Danilo Martins scored a goal after a pass deep in Rowdies territory bounced off a referee and ended up at his feet. The one-goal advantage was short-lived as the Rowdies came charging and an unfortunate deflection off Gerson Mayen ended up as an own goal and tied the game at 2-2 in the 45thminute. Aaron King burned the Blues just minutes later when he beat defender Kyle Veris and tapped a shot that caught Patterson out of position, giving the Rowdies their first lead of the match early in the second half.

Paulo Jr. then floated a through-ball up the middle to Martin Nunez in the 82nd minute that presented a good chance for the Blues. Sattler saw the developing play and came out of the net looking to break it up, but Nunez outmaneuvered him and knocked the ball into an open net with Tampa defenders raining down on him.

HOMECOMING SPLASH

Brian Shriver and Abe Thompson have emerged as playmakers for the Blues on the road this season and are looking to continue their success on the team's three-game stint away from home. They join Paulo Jr. and Christian Gomez as the team's biggest offensive threats this season.

Paulo Jr. has continued to climb the league leader boards with a team-high seven goals on the season and is tied for third in the league in that category while Gomez has four goals as they continue to prove that they are one of the top dual-threats in the league.

Gomez also has 11 points this year thanks to his three assists this season. Paulo Jr. has 18 points and is tied in third place in that category.

Shriver, meanwhile, tied Christian Gomez's goal total last week with his fourth goal of the season against Baltimore. Three of Shriver's goals have been on the road.

Thompson scored the tying goal against Islanders on Aug. 7 which brought his goal total up to three this season.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

It didn't take long for Miami FC's newest roster additions to make an immediate impact for the Blues.

In their home debuts, Danilo Martins and Chuckwudi "Chucky" Chijindu each scored goals to help the Blues earn an important draw against the Rowdies this past weekend. Hohlbein has also been a rock in the backfield for Miami FC, making two starts in two games for the Blues.

Chijindu was sent on loan from Chivas USA along with Gerson Mayén Chuckwudi Chijindu while Hohlbein was sent on loan from the Kansas City Wizards. They joined Traffic Sports product Danilo to help the Blues move into position for a playoff push.

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