Miami FC is finally back home after a disastrous road trip, in which the Blues went 0-4-0, including a record-breaking 9-0 loss in Carolina.
The team wrapped up the swing with a 1-0 loss in Austin Saturday that kept Miami FC well off the playoff pace. With five matches left in the season, the Blues are seven points behind seventh-place Vancouver (not to mention eight behind Montreal and 10 back of Rochester).
As remote as it seems, they still do have a chance to make the playoffs, and that’s the straw coach Zinho is grasping with both hands as he tries to finish out the club’s fourth – and possibly final – season strong.
I had a chance to chat with Zinho about this, his future and the future of pro soccer in Miami earlier today. Check the part about the whether Miami FC will exist next year. He’s just in the dark as the rest of us.
Here’s a transcript of the conversation:
Q. If there’s soccer in Miami next year, what would you change?
ZINHO: “First of all, being able to have the team selected way before the season begins. Secondly, at the very least, with that group, have 30 days of preseason training before the first game with everyone training. And, to bring in players of higher quality. And to better the infrastructure here. Have access to physical therapists, access to a good gym, access to better infrastructure, so we don't have to suffer through all the things we suffered through this year.”
What has the last week been like?
You can't have any excuses for 9-0. Forget the 9-0. Put the 9-0 aside. The bad moment we're having, the last seven, eight games without winning, is a consequence of the beginning of the season. We started preseason 17 days before we played the first game of the season, without having the proper number of players and the players the quality of players we needed.
Have you had any assurances from Traffic Sports about you being back next year? How about the team?
“I have not had the chance to have those conversations with Traffic. I don't know if there will be a team next year or if there should be. I have a contract until October of next year. Before they can talk about me saying, I would like to know what the conditions will be like next year, before I'd even consider it. We cannot handle another year like the one we had this year. We had a lot of injuries, a lot of players who were not prepared. A lot of guys couldn't play. We couldn't switch the players out like we were supposed to. It was difficult.”
Is this your toughest year ever?
“Yes. I know of the risk I was taking by accepting the responsibility of coaching the team with the circumstances that we had. We all agreed it was going to be a very difficult year. But the most important thing we have to focus on right now is, even with everything that's happened, we're still alive. We still have a chance to go to the playoffs. All of the things we've been talking about are things that need to be discussed after the season is over. Right now, it doesn't make any sense to discuss it. The only thing we have to worry about is the fact that we still have a numeric chance, but it is a very, very tough challenge. It depends on all of us to believe and to push, to start with a good result on Saturday. Numerically, it's possible. We still have a chance. Our responsibility as coaches right now, the only thing we need to do is keep motivating the players, to show them that it is possible, to give them the best training for the moment. And do the best job for the games so we can execute and get results.”