Inter Miami CF

Three Observations From Inter Miami’s Wild Win Vs Charlotte FC

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Despite a rain delay preventing the start of the game in a timely manner, Inter Miami showed that they “have that dog in em'” by coming from behind to beat budding rivals Charlotte FC in a 3-2 victory.

It was a tale of two halves for Phil Neville’s men.

In the first forty-five, the Herons looked predictable. They allowed Charlotte to get on the scoresheet early courtesy of two Yordy Reyna goals – one of which is nominated for MLS Goal of The Week.

The second forty-five, however, was a different story.

Neville made the correct substitutions and tactical tweaks to get the best out of his players. In the end, his decisions paid off.

Here are three observations from Miami’s colossal comeback win vs Charlotte FC.

Pozuelo Brings Flexibility

Alejandro Pozuelo was everything Inter Miami needed and more. The Spaniard only had a few training sessions under his belt, but his impact was immediate.

Lining up in central midfield along Gregore and Jean Mota initially, the 30-year-old made the best of what was a poor first half for Miami.

Pozuelo was doing exactly what enganche‘s in this league do – find and manipulate space; unfortunately, his teammates couldn’t quite find the connection.

Of course, there were some moments of technical brilliance from ‘Poz’ where Miami could’ve scored, but, there was a lack of ruthless finishing in the final third.

Looking at their first half passing map told the whole story: There wasn’t enough space in the middle for him to seamlessly connect with his teammates to have a proper impact:

That all changed in the second forty-five. Neville brought on Bryce Duke and Gonzalo Higuain to give Miami more control down the middle, then he instructed Pozuelo to push out wide.

This saw some cheeky combination play between the young American and the Spaniard. They interchanged effortlessly, with Duke sometimes going on the left, and Pozuleo tucking inside. The constant movement eventually was too much for Charlotte; after some good pressing by the Herons, Duke was able to play a nicely threaded through ball to Emerson Rodriguez to see the game out:

It was only Pozuelo’s first game in pink and black, but – if the result means anything – it’s certainly a sign of things to come.

Center back Merry-Go-Round?

With Damion Lowe picking up a yellow for a nasty foul in the 12th minute, the Jamaica international will miss Miami’s upcoming match against NYCFC.

The biggest question heading into the weekend is who will start in his place.

All signs point to Christopher McVey. McVey has played every minute of Inter Miami’s 2022 campaign and he’s the most natural fit to slot over in Lowe’s absence.

His center-back partner? Well, that’s a tad more difficult. Neville has the option of starting either Ryan Sailor or Aime Mabika – both equally impressive young players.

Looking at their stats below could provide a clearer picture.

Both players are excellent at blocking and clearing the ball – though Sailor has a slight edge on the latter. Mabika has a better pass completion percentage, while Sailor is better at winning aerial headers.

NYCFC away will be a difficult game. In the end, Neville will probably choose the player who is better equipped to play in such a demanding environment like Yankee Stadium – especially if this guy sticks around for one last game.

Higuain The Super Sub?

Last but surely not least, Gonzalo Higuain may have found a role that suits him on this team: A super sub.

The 34-year-old may not have the legs to start a full 90, but his football brain has never left him. The run he made to score Miami’s equalizer was vintage Pipita. 

The pass from Gregore was even better.
Higuain has scored two goals in Miami’s last two matches – both off the bench.  Could this be the role the former Argentina international gets comfortable in?
That’s up to Phil Neville at the end of the day, but, it’s definitely a role that gets people’s heads turning.
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