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Perhaps Inter Miami aren’t so bad after all.
Once the laughingstock of MLS due to their blunders on (and off) the field, they’re now picking up their pace with two wins and two draws in their last four games.
Star striker Gonzalo Higuain is finally following through with his lofty expectations, and in support, his older brother Federico is doing an excellent job behind him.
The tides are turning for Miami, and although three points might be just out of reach this weekend, there is reason to believe that they could claim at least one against New York City FC.
Don’t overlook Miami, they’ll make this a fun and tightly contested affair.
|New York City FC vs Inter Miami Information|
|Teams||New York City FC vs Inter Miami|
|Location||Red Bull Arena (Harrison, New Jersey)|
|Time||Saturday, August 14th at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||ESPN+, UniMas|
Are we not giving enough credit to NYCFC?
They are undefeated in their last five MLS appearances and have been defensively solid with only 18 goals allowed in just 17 matches.
With impressive names like Maxi Moralez, Jesus Medina, Sean Johnson, Valentin Castellanos and countless others in their roster, they undeniably look like a playoff team already.
That said, they did recently show some signs of weakness…
Delayed for hours due to thunderstorms in the area, NYCFC and Pumas didn’t wrap up Wednesday’s League Cup quarterfinal until a little after 1:00 am on Thursday.
Deadlocked at 1-1 through 90 minutes, the knockout round match was ultimately decided by a penalty shoot-out — that unfortunately for NYCFC — finished in Pumas’ favor.
It was a harsh blow for the MLS side.
Heading into the match, they looked like the easy favorites. NYCFC were not only hosting the match, but were also facing a Liga MX team without a win in all competitions since April.
Nonetheless, NYCFC failed to capitalize on their chances and were ultimately vulnerable to Pumas’ counters that eventually helped secure the draw that went to penalties.
Clearly frustrated with the result and their performance, NYCFC will now need to quickly turn around and face a resurgent Miami just three days later.
And technically speaking because it ended at 1:00 am on Thursday, it’ll be just two days.
It wasn’t too long ago when MLS media and fans were seriously questioning Gonzalo Higuain.
As one of the most illustrious league additions in years, it was disappointing for many to see him go through a five-game stretch from mid-May to July with just one goal.
Perhaps inspired by some time spent on the bench, the former Real Madrid and Juventus star has appeared energized with his three goals and assist in his last four starts.
And he’s not the only Higuain stepping up either.
In the midfield, Federico has also been commanding as of late and recently provided the assist for the game-winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Nashville SC.
All that said…
Gonzalo Higuain will surely be a menace for NYCFC’s backline and will likely find the back of the net for Miami, but outside of him, it’s tough to pinpoint other obvious goalscorers.
Other than Gonzalo, only one other player has more than one goal so far this season, and that’s Robbie Robinson who has scored twice since April.
Realistically speaking, NYCFC won’t break easily either.
They have a solid defense, they have a long list of players who would easily be key figures in several MLS teams, and they’ve been consistent for most of 2021.
But as seen on Wednesday/Thursday, they are susceptible and may be tired after slogging through their midweek defeat.
A hard-fought point for Miami could be in the works.
Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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