Win Streak Comes to an End in 2-0 Loss to New England Revolution

Miami's New England

Foxborough, Massachusetts – Inter Miami CF had their four-game win streak come to a screeching halt on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, losing 0-2 to the New England Revolution. The streak began at DRV Pink Stadium with a victory on April 9th against the Revolution and ended catastrophically at the feet of the same New England squad. The game was one to forget. 

The Herons had a pair of changes in the starting lineup from the previous match against Atlanta United. Bryce Duke got his first start for IMCF, joining Gregore and Jean Mota in midfield. Robert Taylor began the match on the left-wing in place of the injured Robbie Robinson. The initial calamity for the Herons took place less than one minute into the game. NE’s Matt Polster intercepted an awful pass by goalkeeper Nick Marsman that was intended for Mota, he then laid it off for Carles Gil, who provided Damian Rivera a clean service into the box. Rivera, a nineteen-year-old making his first MLS start, shot a laser past Marsman into the upper corner of the Miami goal. Marsman’s mistake was only the first of several disasters Miami would suffer. Striker Leonardo Campana had to be substituted at the 12’ for Emerson Rodriguez due to tightness in the lower leg. Center back Aimé Mabika came off at the 19’ for Jairo Quinteros. Mabika appeared to endure a hamstring injury. Not even twenty minutes into the game and the Herons were down two starters due to injuries and down 0-1 on the scoreboard. The only thing that went right for Miami was that Marsman made several magnificent saves, and Miami was down 0-1 to end the first half. 

The second half did not fare much better for Miami. Center back Damian Lowe received a yellow card booking at 54’, and a second yellow six minutes later for the send-off. New England’s second goal came at the 64’ on a header by Adam Buska, off a cross from Dejuan Jones.  Jairo Quinteros, the other center back was also booked at 55’ and received a second yellow at the 76’, leaving the Herons with only nine players on the pitch. The rest of the game was totally controlled by New England with Miami chasing the ball.  A disastrous night for Inter Miami mercifully ends only 0-2 in favor of the Revolution.

Post Match Press Conference

Coach Phil Neville and Chris Mcvey addressed the media after the match. The coach began by saying that the sting of the loss was being felt by the squad and that there was great disappointment in the way in which the team lost the game.

“ It hurts, and it hurts a lot, particularly in the manner in which we lost.”

Miami had won its previous four games across all competitions, but it never really seemed like the team was playing well or that they were better than the teams they were defeating. During its streak, the Herons were efficient with their chances on goal with Leonardo Campana on a goal-scoring binge. The early exit for Campana meant a shuffling of players to try and place someone at the striker position. Ariel Lassiter was given the task of filling Campana’s shoes, and he didn’t look comfortable. Higuain and Robinson were out due to injuries, and they are the most natural fits to replace Campana in a situation like the one the Herons found themselves in. IMCF played its sloppiest and most undisciplined game of the season making poor decisions all over the pitch. Goalkeeper Marsman played better after his initial mistake, but defenders Lowe and Quinteros seemed unfocused, not fully concentrated in the game situations. Both were sent off for second bookings on silly and sloppy challenges that could have been avoided. Neville was upset and let everyone know how he felt,

“I thought our discipline was really poor…I thought they were sloppy challenges.”

Mama said there would be days like these, I just didn’t know there would be so many this season. 

Final Thoughts

Saturday night against New England was one of those nights where everything seemed to go wrong for Miami. Injuries can happen in such a physically demanding sport as fútbol, and that highlights the importance of having options at every position on the pitch. Unfortunately for coach Neville, his two options to replace Leonardo Campana were both back home and also injured. It seems like Robbie Robinson will be available soon, and I believe he can handle the striker position better than anyone other than Campana.

Neville must find the right mix and balance for the midfield. The coach has tinkered all season long and yet the midfield is still an issue. Injuries have played a factor in figuring out what the best combination is for this team. Acosta, Ulloa, and Duke have all been out at various points during this campaign. Mota, Gregore, Adams, and Taylor have been the players most available to Neville. The next DP signing could be a creative playmaker that adds some spice and quality to the position that is lacking a “difference-maker”. Let’s see how Phil handles this.

Damion Lowe has been in a rut the last few games. The wins have shifted the focus off the fact that the center back has committed too many costly fouls and has been sent off in multiple games. Lowe has committed penalties and has been lucky to get away with some others. The experienced Jamaican international needs to regain his best form or Neville needs to make a switch. Mcvey has played center back, and it is in fact his most natural position. He would seem the first option, with Gibbs, Jones, or Allen sliding into left-back. Lowe has the experience and the ability to play the position at the required level but has not done so. Hopefully, for the team’s sake, he returns to form.

Gregore returned from a suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards, and he got another yellow early into the New England game. The captain of the team MUST be better than that. He is one of the players making silly fouls and being undisciplined on the pitch. This has to change. Fouls are a part of the game, but Gregore seems reckless at times, and he has enough quality to prevent many of the bookings he receives. I’m sure Neville has had conversations about this with him, let’s see how he responds moving forward. 

Finally, the win streak is over. Miami was a model of efficiency during the streak, winning games in a big part because of the effectiveness of its striker. The team more often than not lost the possession battle, along with the other major offensive statistics. Neville has his work cut out for him with Campana out, suspensions, and a three-game stretch within a week. I don’t know how the coach improves the midfield play for this team unless he makes major adjustments. The team philosophy of playing out of the back has met great tactical resistance from opposing teams that pressed high, preventing the pivot from receiving balls in space. Gregore in my opinion has been subpar so far. Mota, Duke, and Taylor could provide a boost of speed and technical ability together, but it would mean leaving Gregore the captain on the bench. I don’t know if Phil would be willing to do that. Whatever the coach decides to do during this stretch of games will give us a good perspective on his style and ability as a coach during tough circumstances.

Looking Ahead

The Herons have to change the narrative quickly with upcoming games against Charlotte FC on May 7th, South Georgia Tormenta in US Open Cup on May 10th, and D.C. United on May 14th. The games against Charlotte and the Tormenta provide a great opportunity for Miami to get a couple of wins despite a depleted roster.

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