Inter Miami Win In Phenomenal Fashion vs Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Photo by Danis Sosa

DRV Pink Stadium – The pregame scene was a prelude to the party that the match against Philadelphia Union would become. Inter Miami CF came out rocking and with a European flair and defeated Philly 2-0 with wonderful goals from Frenchman Corentin Jean, and Finnish international, Robert Taylor. The Herons earned their second win in a row to begin the 2023 season, a first for the organization.

The Starting XI remained the same as the previous week against Montreal, like the old adage says, “A winning lineup doesn’t change”.

The Herons came out flying all over the pitch and had a scoring opportunity in the 1′ minute, but Josef Martinez had his attempt blocked. The early frenzy would not subside as Miami took control of the match, with Philadelphia creating some opportunities on the counter-attack.

Corentin Jean controlled a ball outside of the box, and with a directed forward touch blasted a missile past Union goalie Andre Blake, blowing up the Philly net at the 32′ minute.  Golazo by the Frenchman!

The Herons continued to dominate with Philly sporadically counter-attacking until the end of the first half.

The energy for Inter Miami CF did not diminish in the second half, with the players pressuring Philly all over the field making it uncomfortable to maintain possession for the Union.

Philadelphia, with the heart and quality of a conference champion, continued to battle forward, but Drake Callender and the Inter Miami squad put out all the fires.

Robert Taylor scored a magnificent volley at the 77′ minute to put Miami up 2-0. Jean Mota chipped a ball in and Taylor controlled it with his chest, and before the ball could hit the ground Taylor took a majestic strike that a diving Andre Blake could only watch enter his goal. GOLAZO!!! A real candidate for the goal of the Match Day and perhaps the goal of the season.

The Herons would close out the rest of the match to maintain their second clean sheet in a row. Big win for Inter Miami CF.

Postgame Press Conference

I asked Robert Taylor how it was possible for him to come in after some time away from the squad and have such a smooth transition,

“It’s mostly to do with your teammates, how they are managing the game. It’s easy for anyone to come off the bench to help the team out, you know you got good players around you. There’s no pressure in coming on. I think we have a good energy around the team.”

The Herons do have a good vibe around them, it’s a team with players that genuinely get along and are focused on a common objective. Phil Neville, as a people manager has to get kudos for keeping a positive atmosphere around the team.

Robert also touches on an important point, good players make the game easier for everyone to play. Miami has many good players, and they have a spot for a great one to join the team.

Despite the big win against Philadelphia Union, Coach Neville has a tempered outlook on what it means to this team,

“There’s no celebration, we’re happy, we got a good dressing room, we got good people in there, we got good quality, and I think there’s still another thirty percent to come from this team. Wait till Josef starts firing, wait till Leo comes back, and we are in good shape.”

One of the reasons I picked the Herons to finish in a top-four spot in the Eastern Conference was the quality of depth I perceived on the team. The new faces have come in and added value, they are giving the coach more quality options to choose from.  It’s a long season, but Miami’s promising start provides hope for another magical ride.

Final Thoughts

During the week prior to the game, I tweeted out that this game against Philadelphia was as important as a second match of the season could possibly be for Miami. The result would give us a glimpse of where the Herons stood in regard to one of the best teams in the conference. Inter Miami CF showed me that this team gives the fans the freedom to dream about big things this season.

Rodolfo Pizarro’s story is a continuation of Gonzalo Higuain’s redemption last season, although they didn’t get along, they are connected by the similarities of their journeys in Miami. Pizarro has come back to a place where he hasn’t lived up to expectations, eager to make amends. Rodolfo has been one of the better players for Inter Miami CF in these two initial games and looks like he’s hungry for more success.

Coco Jean scored a banger Saturday night, and it was about time. Jean has battled injuries in his time with the Herons and now appears to finally have found his groove. Let us hope so.

Robert Taylor is such an underrated and quality player. Taylor does whatever the team needs him to do, he plays different positions and provides a high skill level in all of them. Inter Miami CF is lucky to have a baller like him on their squad.

Kryvtsov really is the veteran leader this defense has been missing. I hope all the young center-backs on the team are taking notes on how to play the position with great fundamentals. Sergii isn’t flashy, but he is so effective and the difference on the backline is very evident.

I know it’s only two games into the season, but the Herons look pretty in pink and I can’t wait to see how they look wearing the “La Noche” kits.

Photo | Danis Sosa

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