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The mid-season break may have come at the perfect time for the New York Red Bulls as they went into the 2023 Leagues Cup after two consecutive defeats in the MLS. The club had some respite during that tournament before they were eliminated. One of their wins in the Leagues Cup came against arch-rivals New York City FC, which certainly boosted their morale. After exiting the Leagues Cup, New York Red Bulls resumed the MLS season with their seventh win of the season.
Inter Miami were supposed to resume their league voyage against Charlotte FC last weekend, but a stellar performance in the 2023 Leagues Cup catapulted the struggling MLS side into the final of the tournament. Inter Miami emerged victorious after an intense penalty shootout against MLS counterparts Nashville SC. This past Wednesday, the club was in action in the US Open Cup semi-final against Eastern Conference leaders FC Cincinnati. A second successive penalty shootout win propelled Inter Miami into another cup final this year.
New York Red Bulls and Inter Miami share the same goal – qualify for the MLS playoffs. While both teams might be able to achieve this feat, in this encounter, only one side can go home with all three points. A reinvigorated Inter Miami side will be favorites to win the clash.
The two clubs have locked horns on seven occasions in the MLS, including the match earlier this season. New York Red Bulls have the better head-to-head record with five wins, while Inter Miami have won only on two occasions.
Inter Miami’s last win against the New York Red Bulls came at the DRV PNK Stadium last season. Ariel Lassiter and Robert Taylor were on the scoresheet as the club secured all three points with a shutout.
Later that season, New York Red Bulls avenged the loss at the Red Bull Arena by beating Inter Miami 3-1 after goals from Lewis Morgan, Daniel Edelman, and Caden Clark canceled out Gonzalo Higuain’s 19th-minute opener. Both sides finished the game with ten men.
New York Red Bulls are not unbeaten in their own backyard against Inter Miami, as they suffered a 2-1 defeat in the 2020 MLS season. Omir Fernandez opened the scoring for the hosts, but the visitors turned the game on its head with goals from Matias Pellegrini and Higuain.
The New York Red Bulls are eager to commence the charge for playoff qualification this season. The team is currently just three points off Chicago Fire FC, who are sitting in ninth place, which is the final playoff qualifying spot of the Eastern Conference.
The campaign resumed with a crucial 1-0 win over DC United for the New York Red Bulls, with John Tolkin scoring the winner just two minutes before the 90. However, the club will have to be much better in the next game if they want a positive result against Inter Miami.
The Inter Miami side they are up against has undergone massive changes in all departments, upgrading the key areas of the pitch. Hence, it will be difficult to try and clinch a slender victory. The hosts must stamp their authority from the first minute if they want any points.
The hosts have not been in the best goalscoring form this season, as they have one of the lowest goals-per-game ratios in the MLS this season. In 24 league games so far, the New York Red Bulls have only scored 23 goals.
Frankie Amaya is the club’s top scorer and scored his fourth goal of the season in the final game before the break against Real Salt Lake. However, he failed to score in any of the four Leagues Cup matches. The hosts may also be without Cory Burke and Dante Vanzeir in the next game.
While the attacking department concerns are rising for the New York Red Bulls, their defensive performances have been one of the best in the league so far. Their goal concession rate is the fourth-best in the league, at par with Philadelphia Union.
The young center-back pairing of Andres Reyes and Sean Nealis has been quite robust. At left-back, John Tolkin has contributed defensively and offensively. The 21-year-old is the New York Red Bulls’ leading assist provider.
Before the midseason break, Inter Miami were in disarray and despair. Winning just five out of 22 games sent them to the bottom of the Eastern Conference and the Supporters Shield table. But a changed and upgraded Inter Miami will resume the campaign and aim to climb high.
As things stand, Inter Miami are 14 points off the final playoff qualification spot with two games in hand. Even if they nab the ideal result in both those games, the club will be eight points short. That is when Inter Miami will wait for other sides to falter.
However, the club must be on its toes and not drop points carelessly. The match against the New York Red Bulls will be a good preview of Inter Miami’s performance in the second half of the league this season.
The signings of former Barcelona players Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, and Messi have undoubtedly been the best signings of this season. The effect of the new arrivals was evident during Inter Miami’s 2023 Leagues Cup-winning stint.
In addition to that, Inter Miami have been on the road for four of the last five matches they have played. Astonishingly, they have won all four games on enemy territory and will aim to make that five when they visit the Red Bull Arena next.
Inter Miami played and won the 2023 Leagues Cup final against Nashville SC at the GEODIS Park this past weekend. After that game, the team was back in action on Wednesday when they beat FC Cincinnati in the 2023 US Open Cup semifinals.
When they take the pitch against the New York Red Bulls this Saturday, it will be their third game in a single week. Fatigue from the last two high-intensity matches may play a part in the match against the New York Red Bulls and could turn the tide against Inter Miami.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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