Inter Miami Plummets To Last Place In The East After 1-0 Loss to CF Montreal

Inter Miami Last Place

Stade SaputoInter Miami CF suffered another setback with their 1-0 loss Saturday night at CF Montreal. The loss drops Inter Miami to last place in the Eastern Conference. Chinoso Offor scored the lone goal of the match giving Montreal the three points at home.

Kick Off

Academy product Ian Fray made his first MLS start for Inter Miami. He played the double pivot alongside Dixon Arroyo in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Both sides were energetic to start the match, pressuring and playing fast, but sloppy with the ball.

Montreal’s Sunusi Ibrahim made a long run at the 5′ minute and launched a shot that went just wide of the Miami goalpost.

Miami’s best chance at goal in the first half came at the 34′ minute when Robert Taylor and Leo Campana teamed up on a one-two combination that saw Taylor’s blast go wide of the Montreal net.

Neither team did any damage in the half and they entered the break tied 0-0.

Five minutes into the second half Benjamin Cremaschi made a short pass to Ian Fray who charged with the ball toward the Montreal goal. He dished out a nifty pass to Leo Campana out wide on the right side. Campana laid out a ball back to Coco Jean inside the Montreal box. Jean impacted a shot that the goalkeeper blocked and was cleared by the defense.

At the 53′ minute, former Inter Miami player, Ariel Lassiter received a pass and squared up against DeAndre Yedlin. Yedlin shadowed Lassiter but did not provide pressure on him. Ariel took advantage of the lax defending and sent a cross into the Miami box where Chinoso Offor slid and tapped the ball into the Miami goal. Franco Negri was slow reacting on the play and could only watch as Offor scored.

Miami pursued the tying goal throughout the period with multiple chances that just refused to go in.

Franco Negri rocketed a freekick at the 77′ minute that was blocked by the goalie, and Nico Stefanelli launched a missile in the 87′ minute that ricocheted off the top post. Benjamin Cremaschi ripped a shot that hit the post and bounced out to Nico Stefanelli who had his kick blocked by defender Joel Waterman.

Time would run out on Miami with the loss sending the team to the bottom of the standings.

Postgame Press Conference

Coach Neville went directly to questions from the press instead of his usual postgame remarks. I initially asked Phil about his substitution of Leo Campana at the 60′ minute, wondering if it was because of injury. The coach said he thought Leo looked tired and it was a tactical substitution.

I don’t know if there is more to it, but a twenty-two-year-old player needing rest after already missing many games to start the season makes me skeptical. Campana’s issue with Miami has been durability, let’s hope he can stay healthy for the rest of the season.

I took the opportunity to ask DeAndre Yedlin to send a message to the fanbase regarding this difficult moment for the team and the coach. A barrage of losses including one to rival Orlando City has the fans livid with the team. DeAndre asked for the fans to continue believing in the squad and to trust that they will turn things around this season.

Miami has hit rock bottom but only remains three points out of a playoff spot, which Montreal currently holds. This crazy season continues with the next two games at home for Miami versus New York Red Bulls, and D.C. United, two very winnable games.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been critical of both DeAndre Yedlin and Franco Negri’s defending this season, citing both as the main culprits in many of the goals conceded by Inter Miami. In the goal scored by CF Montreal Saturday night Yedlin shadowed Lassiter lazily and was not aggressive enough to make Ariel uncomfortable. Negri on the opposite side trailed Chinoso Offor slackly and could not react in time to reject the cross that Offor slid and put into the Miami net.

Yedlin and Negri are integral parts of the Inter Miami squad. They are very talented players, but the effort defending must improve dramatically for both if Inter Miami want to find themselves on the opposite side of last place.

Goal-scoring opportunities were created by Miami against Montreal, but they were all to no avail. Miami has been shut out in six out of fourteen matches. That is absurd. A team that has Leo Campana and Josef Martinez should not be so bad at scoring goals. What’s the reason? What’s missing?

A special player is missing, a quality attacking midfielder that can control the middle of the pitch and provide service to the forwards while occasionally scoring goals. That type of player is not currently on the Miami roster. Will Chris Henderson magically make him appear during the second transfer window? For Phil’s sake and the team’s functionality he better.

The walls are closing in on Phil. With the season almost at the halfway point, he has Inter Miami in last place. Granted, with a pair of wins in his next two home matches the team would likely once again be in playoff contention, but this dysfunction is driving everyone crazy.

I believe Phil the Cat will survive until the end of the season because it is part of the plan and don’t be surprised if he turns it around, especially if Henderson gives him a quality CAM.

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