Inter Miami Extends Unbeaten Run to 4 Games after 2-0 defeat of the New York Red Bulls

Inter Miami Red Bulls

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Inter Miami CF defeated New York Red Bulls 2-0 in an exhilarating match Sunday afternoon at DRV Pink Stadium. Ariel Lassiter and Robert Taylor scored for the Herons, while Drake Callender had his second successive clean sheet. Deandre Yedlin and Ariel Lassiter were back in the starting XI for Miami, the only changes from the previous match against Philadelphia Union.

Early on the game action was fast and furious, with Inter Miami and Red Bulls alternating possession and creating scoring opportunities. Drake Callender made a masterful save on a clear breakaway by Patryk Klimala, closing out and blocking the NY forward’s shot at the 24’.

Just a few minutes later Ariel Lassiter scored his first Golazo for Miami with the assist from Bryce Duke. Lassiter received it on the left wing, then cut to his right leaving two Red Bull defenders in his dust, and fired a right-footed stinger past NY goalkeeper Ryan Meara. The back and forth continued for both squads, and the half ended 1-0 for Miami. 

2nd Half 

The Herons had long sequences of subtle possession and pretty fútbol in the half, but NY also had its shining moments. Drake Callender made brilliant saves for the Herons at the 57’ and 69’.  Gonzalo Higuaín and Victor Ulloa teamed up at 77’, with Higuaín sliding a pass to Ulloa who had his right-footed tap saved on the line by a Red Bulls defender.

Gregore put a long ball through to Higuaín who used his body to win position from defender Sean Nealis, Gonzalo then waited on a Robert Taylor run to pass the ball forward. Taylor received Higuaín’s pass and found himself in a two-on-one situation with Victor Ulloa. Taylor passed the ball wide to Ulloa who cleverly held the ball as goalie Ryan Meara charged him, then passed back to Taylor who ripped the shot into the open Red Bulls goal for the 2-0 at the 87’. The match ended 2-0, with the Herons adding three huge points at home. 

Postgame Press Conference

A cheerful Phil Neville talked about the win and how “there’s a great spirit and togetherness” on the team. Neville also spoke on the importance of the substitutions in the game, stating that “the match winners were the substitutions that came on.” I want to focus on one substitute, in particular, Gonzalo Higuaín. 

Coach Neville had glowing praise for his DP and face of the franchise,

“I was super, super pleased with Gonzalo because he’s hurting, he’s really hurt. He’s a proud guy who wants to play every game but knows that in this moment in time his role might be just that for this moment in time, but I thought he was a different class when he came on.” 

Higuain is the third highest-paid player in MLS and has had a spectacular career for both club and country. It will be difficult for him to swallow his pride and wait his turn on the bench to play limited minutes, but if he can do that and play as he did against the Red Bulls, he will really help this team. I have written that Gonzalo is best suited as a super-sub for this team and that his experience and skill are crucial for the squad to do anything meaningful this season. The redemption of Gonzalo Higuaín with this fanbase will be directly linked with how well he handles his ego and gives his best for the good of the team.

Final Thoughts

Jean Mota was my choice for Man of The Match against the Red Bulls. The Brazilian midfielder was a warrior in the game showing both quality and grit. He’s starting to put a string of good performances together. 

Drake Callender is essentially showing that now that he has been given the opportunity to be the starting goalkeeper for Miami, he has no plans to relinquish the position. Callender is playing amazingly and can get even better with the experience he is getting. 

Phil Neville is also slowly convincing some in the fanbase who did not believe him fit to be the coach for Inter Miami CF. Now that he has a full squad available, the team is seeing better results on the pitch. Neville has also made many tough decisions for the betterment of the team. His latest decision to continue to start Drake Callender as the goalie is paying off. Chris McVey has also consolidated his role at left-back, making the defense more stout. Calling Ryan Sailor up, and starting Bryce Duke have also been assertions by the coach. The most important move by the coach was placing Campana as the main striker. Now, if the coach can convince Higuaín to continue to play as a super-sub, and maintain a positive attitude, he will have made his best move yet.

Photo | Yaismil Rolo

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