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Draw, both teams to score
Pick made on 08/01/2022 at 07:10 PM EST
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Both these sides are looking for a little run of form but that’s been hard to come by. San Jose Earthquakes haven’t got a win in six matches and Inter Miami haven’t had a win in their last two.
Inter Miami also played a friendly against Barcelona in between that they lost 6-0, which wouldn’t have helped their morale. The two sides haven’t faced each other before, which makes this a fascinating match up. San Jose have home got advantage, which is why they head into this match as favorites but not by much.
This is the first meeting between the two sides.
It was yet another home draw for the San Jose Earthquakes, and of the worst kind, with Jefferson Savarino equalizing in the 5th minute of added time for Real Salt Lake to snatch away the three points from San Jose Earthquakes, who’ve been desperate looking for a win in the last couple of weeks. The San Jose Earthquakes have been poor defensively all season and unless they have an unassailable lead, teams will always feel like they have a chance to score against them. This was their eighth draw of the season.
They’re tied for most draws in the Western Conference after the Portland Timbers. They’re currently sitting in 13th place on the Western Conference standings with the rest of the season likely to be a case of damage limitation.
No team has conceded more than their 45 goals this season and the underlying numbers aren’t great either. Their expected goals against is at 41, with only Toronto FC having worse underlying numbers on that metric but Toronto FC at least have some new stars like Federico Bernadeschi and Lorenzo Insigne to look forward to. San Jose Earthquakes have none of that to mitigate the lost points.
The only real positive to this is that they know exactly what areas to strengthen going forward. It doesn’t just start with defense. Their forwards have actually been quite productive in the final third but do very little defensive work. The likes of Espinoza and Ebobisse rack up far less pressure in the final third than the league average. It might be a case of getting someone new into the building and force the team to work harder as a unit and get organized.
MLS legend Landon Donovan has been linked with the job in recent weeks, which suggests that a change in management is due.
Despite all the defensive shortcomings, they’ve been one of the most entertaining sides in the league. They’ve scored 36 goals in this campaign, with only the top two sides in the Western Conference managing to score more goals.
Jeremy Ebobisse has been outstanding all season, scoring 11 goals with an expected goal value 10.4. If he can keep this up, he’s going to be a star in the MLS, if he’s not snapped up by one of the European teams first. Despite all the issues that need sorting and their place on the table, they’ve got a player that the side can build around for many years to come.
Defensive midfielder, George Asomani, has been out with a hip injury since February with no expected return date.
Gonzalo Higuain has struggled to get on the scoresheet for Inter Miami but was on fire in a thrilling 4-4 tie against FC Cincinnati, netting a hat-trick before McVey scored a stoppage time equalizer to keep Inter Miami within reach of the playoffs spots.
Higuain has been asked to play as a bit of a facilitator this term, which is why the goals have dried up. He had only scored one goal prior to the hat-trick and had not registered enough assists to validate the facilitator role. This will take some pressure off of him and his manager
It won’t help Phil Neville’s cause that the person who replaced him as the manager of the England women’s national team, Sarina Weigman, has just helmed a brilliant run for the side by leading them to a Euros Championship.
Neville was often questioned about his credentials when he got the England women team’s job and it’s been much the same since he got the job at Inter Miami. David Beckham, the owner of the side, was a teammate of Neville’s at Manchester United and it looks like he’ll have to make a tough decision at the end of the season. Inter Miami are always under the spotlight because of their owner and the money that’s been invested into the club. Two seasons in, it doesn’t look like they’ve met the targets that they’ve set but there’s still some time.
There’s nothing in the numbers to look forward to either. They’ve scored 26 and conceded 36 goals. The underlying numbers suggest they might be a tad bit unlucky with an expected goals value of 28 and expected goals against value of 31.7 but this is still a negative goal differential.
In Neville’s defense, the roster has not been constructed very smartly. The example of Gonzala Higuain illustrates this. The Argentine was a good player in his pomp, who had a great eye for goal and of course was capable enough to do the other tasks of a forward but asking him to facilitate play, even if it is in the MLS, is just too much.
Before spending big on players, they should get a better manager and possibly a better recruitment team. Get the backroom in order and the team will start to take shape.
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|Teams||San Jose Earthquakes vs Inter Miami|
|Location||PayPal Park, California|
|Time||Wednesday, August 3 at 10.30 pm EST onwards|
|How to watch||ESPN+, DAZN, NBC Sports California Plus, My33 and UniMas|
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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