Inter Miami had its official induction as a Miami team delivering its fans the first “What the hell just happened?” loss of its brief and winless existence as Nani completed Orlando City’s comeback victory with a 97th minute goal that sealed the fate of Diego Alonso’s squad in the inaugural match of the MLS Is Back tournament.
The match was a rollercoaster of emotions with goals, crazy injuries and a moving Black Lives Matter demonstration by both teams. However, Inter Miami itself was a mixed bag. They will have to make important tweaks ahead of a must-win matchup against the Chicago Fire next Tuesday.
Let’s take a look at how each Inter Miami player fared by grading them individually from 1 to 10.
Important note: Only those who played at least 30 minutes will be graded. Those who didn’t will receive an Incomplete unless they did something otherworldly or were vital to the final outcome of the match.
Grading Inter Miami
Luis Robles (5): Inter Miami’s goalkeeper started out great with an amazing diving save in the 22nd minute with the match still 0-0, but he could and should have done more in Orlando City’s first goal as the ball crossed the box and he remained paralyzed under the crossbar. Nothing for him to do in Nani’s goal.
Se quedó el Inter Miami después de unos primeros 20 minutos intensos. Agudelo sigue sin saber dónde está el arco. https://t.co/7p6Wd2FVWb
— Cinco Razones Deportes Network (@CincoRazonesNet) July 9, 2020
Andrés Reyes (7): Reyes was having a great night as the leader of the five-man defense until Dom Dwyer’s vicious elbow sent him to the hospital in the 58th minute. The Colombian back showed great poise, and his absence destabilized the Inter Miami defense. The tying Orlando City goal came just a couple of minutes after his exit.
Ben Sweat (3): The complete opposite of Reyes. Insecure and full of doubts. He tried to score off a free kick with his hand, but he is no Maradona. He looked lost, and to make things worse Nani´s goal came off a silly deflection off his shin as he clumsily stumbled into a teammate trying to clear a cross in the heart of the box.
Mikey Ambrose (5): The left back was a non-factor against his former team. Didn´t have trouble on defense, but didn´t contribute on offense either.
Jorge Figal (3): The Argentinian veteran is supposed to be a steadying presence, but instead he seemed to be skittish and unnerved by Mueller and especially Dwyer, Orlando City´s only “true” forward. He wasn’t paying attention and the ball deflected off him after the cross before it found Nani.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) July 9, 2020
Dylan Nealls (3,5): Nealls lost to Nani way more than he won in their personal duel. The difference in speed and talent between him and a world-class player like Nani was evident as the world-class Portuguese midfielder left him in the dust before the assist for Orlando’s first goal.
Will Trapp (6): The central midfielder had the hockey assist in Agudelo´s goal and was crisp and tried to partner up with Matías Pellegrini before being replaced by Jay Chapman in the 79th minute. All in all, correct performance.
Víctor Ulloa (8): Very versatile next to Trapp and did a great job appearing in the box by surprise to serve Agudelo the scoring chance in a silver platter. Inter Miami´s Man of the Match.
Matías Pellegrini (7,5): Talking about scoring chances in silver platters, the 20-year-old Argentinian midfielder was the team´s main and best offensive threat all match long. He should have had an assist in the 8th minute with a great play, but Agudelo missed the point blank shot in the most unexplainable way.
9 MINUTES | 0-0
How did Juan Agudelo miss? 😳😳
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) July 9, 2020
Lewis Morgan (6): Another good option on offense down the right side, but he needs to stand out more if he wants to have steady minutes in the long run.
Juan Agudelo (6): Started out like a 2 missing the aforementioned chance created by Pellegrini´s cross, and then tried to score from midfield in the first half. Credit to him, though, for being where a striker should be to score. Got lost in the shuffle during the last 40 minutes as Orlando City dominated.
In case you missed the goal or just want to relive it, here is Juan Agudelo opening the scoring at the MLS is Back Tournament.
— Franco Panizo (@FrancoPanizo) July 9, 2020
Rodolfo Pizarro (6): The Mexican star came in for Reyes in the 58th minute and tried to provide a spark with his talent and creativity.
Julian Carranza (Inc.): Replaced Agudelo in the 73rd minute. He is the superior striker and got yellow carded 10 minutes later.
Luis Argudo (Inc.): Came into the match in the 78th minute in place of Morgan as part of a triple substitution by coach Diego Alonso.
Lee Nguyen (Inc.): Nguyen is trying to regain his 2014 form and was dynamic during his 20 minutes of action in place of Pellegrini in the 78th minute. Don´t be surprised if he is more of a factor in the next two matches.
Jay Chapman (Inc.): Came in for Trapp. Almost made it 2-1 Inter Miami in the 88th minute with a header that just missed.