Breaking Down Inter Miami’s Pre-Season Scrimmage vs Universitario

Inter Miami has hit the hard reset button.

After an off-season reboot that saw sixteen players leave and eleven (and counting) be brought in, the South Florida club was back in action as they took on Peruvian club Universitario.

Though the roster is not complete, nor are they regular season fit, Phil Neville’s men put on a show in Fort Lauderdale putting four goals past the “U’s” defense. 

The scoring got started in the 19th minute with an own goal by Universitario’s Nelson Cabanillas.

Miami continued to put on the pressure and added to their lead with a fantastic goal by Homegrown defender Ian Fray. Miami ran away with the match by the second half as they added two more goals from wingback Harvey Neville and defender Ethan Hardin.

With their first ‘tune-up’ match out of the way, let’s break down what Inter Miami could tactically look like when the season starts:

New Look Miami

Neville lined Miami up in a 5-2-3, a formation he often used in 2021. However, this iteration of the “back five” looked quite different.

It was less of a flat back five and more a 3-4-3. The wingbacks pushed high and wide and acted as an outlet when Miami wanted to hit Universitario on the counter:

Most of the offensive build-up came through the center backs. McVey specifically, was very active on Miami’s left-hand side. His passing was crisp, solid, and he had several line-breaking through balls that kept Miami’s attack flowing freely.

Both of the centrebacks that flanked Aime Mabika had the freedom to roam forward and help in attack – take Fray’s goal for example:

Moving on to the midfield, Jean Mota did not disappoint.

The 28-year-old midfielder showed why Inter Miami’s Sporting Director Chris Henderson values him so highly.

The central midfielder looked lively.

He wasn’t afraid to throw himself into tackles and showed that he had a good passing range. Once his fellow Brazilian Gregore makes a return to full fitness, the duo will make an extremely formidable midfield pairing.

Looking at the attacking front trio of Robbie Robinson, Gonzalo Higuain, and Ariel Lassiter, not much has tactically changed since last year.

Wingers are told to get in behind the defense and try to go direct as possible while Higuain drops deep (but not too deep) to add creativity in the midfield.

Neville did say in his post-match conference that they have been “working on several formations.” While the back three is something they used during the friendly, Miami will more than likely use a myriad of tactical setups throughout the season:

Some of the standout players in the match were: Jean Mota, Ian Fray, Christopher McVey, and Edison Azcona.

If this friendly is anything to go by, Inter Miami fans have plenty to get excited about as they head into the 2022 season.

Wha’s Next?

Inter Miami will continue their season preparation this Saturday, January 29th as they take on DC United in a closed-door scrimmage.

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