Dylan Mares Enjoying Free Role In Miami's Attack

The former Indy Eleven midfielder has hit the ground running in South Florida
NASL Staff (@naslofficial} | May 18, 2017

Dylan Mares played a key role in Indy Eleven reaching an NASL Modern Era home unbeaten record, which stands at 21 games. Now, the midfielder heads to Carroll Stadium with the chance to end.

“It’d be interesting,” Mares told about possibly ending the streak. “I want to go up there and win and get three points. Everyone is ready to go up there and fight.

“It would mean something to me, obviously, because I’ve been a part of creating that. At the same time, I’m on a new team with new goals and new vision. For me, it’s about going up there and getting three points with the team.”

Mares played 73 regular-season games from 2014-16 for Indy, scoring 10 goals with 11 assists. He featured in The Championship Final in 2016 as the club fell just short of winning the title against the New York Cosmos.

The midfielder now returns to Indy the first time, coming a week after scoring a goal in a 3-2 win over his former club at Riccardo Silva Stadium.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Mares said. “They have a really good fan base and they always treated me well. I’m excited to go back and play in front of friends and family. It’s going to be a good challenge because they are getting some guys back and healthy. We’re going to be ready.”

At times when players play against their former sides, they may choose not to celebrate. Mares, though, got lost in the moment of scoring the go-ahead goal.

“Sometimes I think you see people who are playing against their old teams and don’t celebrate, but I’m on a new team with new players,” he said. This is my new team. To go up, 2-1, in a moment like that was important. It was an important moment to help the team win and that’s what matters.

“For me, celebrating is a part of the game, regardless of what the situation is. It’s not anything against them by celebrating. In the heat of the moment, something like that [scoring the goal] happens and it’s a big moment.”

Since his arrival in South Florida ahead of the 2017 season, Mares has settled quickly. He’s scored two goals with one assist and leads the NASL in chances created with 20.

“I think it’s just a mixture of the style of play – what the coaches are asking of us – and the players that are around,” Mares said. “There’s a lot of very good, technical players.”

While playing in more central roles during his time with the Boys in Blue, Mares has been deployed on the flanks, where he has excelled. That free role for Mares and the other attacking players has led to the league’s most potent attack. Miami has scored 12 goals, taken 119 shots, created 96 chances, and holds possession on average of 60.33 percent – all league highs.

“It’s the style of play,” he said. “I get a lot of freedom on the left side to come inside and receive the ball and turn and go or play higher up the field or switch sides. They give us a lot of freedom to move around.”

Mares and first-place Miami FC visit Carroll Stadium on Saturday in the Week 9 clash.  

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