Tag Archive for: soccer

Know About the Best Odds to Win FIFA EURO 2024?

The best time to check out Euro 2024 odds and learn how to bet on the Euros is right now since the most recent round of the playoffs took place on March 26. 

With ten different nations having claimed victories in the tournament’s first 16 editions, many people believe the renowned 24-team competition is additionally harder to win than the World Cup.


We’ll talk about the betting odds for Euro 2024 here, as well as early favorites like In Germany and some of the long-shot dark horses with a real possibility of winning. 

2024 European Favorites

England (+300)

The current favorite to win the Henri Delaunay Award at Euro 2024 is England, even though they have never won the award. England has demonstrated incredible achievements throughout recent times. They achieved their first-ever European final in 2020, the World Cup semifinals in 2018, and the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals. 


With the firepower to support it, England will get driven to finish the job after losing to Italy on penalties in the previous European Championship final. It prevented them from winning their second-ever major international championship. Jude Bellingham has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world after a single season at Real Madrid, while Harry Kane kept performing brilliantly in his first season at Bayern Munich.


With Denmark, Slovenia, and Serbia as the competition in their group, England should have little difficulty qualifying for the next round. Although there is considerable risk for England, if they win Group C, they would get a highly advantageous knockout stage draw and will probably play home to a team that finished third in the round of 16. However, should they place second in the group, they will have to play the victor of Group A, most likely Germany. 

France (+ 350)

Les Bleus are among the favorites in the Euro betting odds, which should come as no surprise given that France was only a penalty kick and an extended foot away from winning consecutive World Cups. France handily dominated the teams they faced in the Euro 2024 qualifying phase, winning seven games, sharing one, and scoring 29 goals against only three goals scored in eight games.

Even now, Kylian Mbappé remains one of the world’s greatest players. Thus, therefore it’s fantastic to realize that he is just 25 years old. It indicates that Mbappé is very close to reaching his peak. He is ten goals away from tying Olivier Giroud (56) as France’s best scorer. It’s doubtful that he will break the record in this competition, but he will undoubtedly try to pass Thierry Henry (51) for second place and give France their third European title. 

Germany (+650) 

Germany has performed horribly below expectations in subsequent big tournaments since winning the World Cup in 2014. In the Euro 2020 round of 16, Die Mannschaft got eliminated by eventual winners England, and they failed to advance to the next round in both World Cups. They played 11 international friendlies in 2023, losing six and drawing two, maintaining their dismal record.


Still, Germany will benefit from being the host country and remain In Germany. History will favor. The hosts of the Euro have won the championship three times (1964, 1968, and 1984) and advanced to the final three times (Belgium 1980, Portugal 2004, and France 2016). In a tournament that takes place across the continent, Italy was one of 11 extra countries to host a match, even though they were officially the host nation when they emerged victorious in 2020.


On the field, Germany still possesses a lot of firepower, and Julian Nagelsmann will be aware that the entire country depends on him. Fortunately for Nagelsmann and Germany, their group, considering all factors, matches up with Scotland, Hungary, and Switzerland. They won’t undervalue any of their rivals, considering their previous past.

Spain (+800)

In 2023, Luis de la Fuente assumed over as manager of Spain, and he earned the UEFA Nations League championship with the squad. It is also likely that Spain gets to finish opposing England and France in the bracket, giving it an easy path to the final match.


Together with a formidable defense, the Spanish midfield of Martín Zubimendi, Rodri, and Pedri is perhaps the greatest in the world. La Furia Roja has a significant impact if striker Álvaro Morata is playing at his best. He has had difficulty in big competitions in the past. 

Portugal (+900) 

The Portuguese team’s extraordinary depth of skill is remarkable. Superstars like Bruno Fernandes, Gonçalo Ramos, Rafael Leão, Bernardo Silva, João Félix, and Bruno Fernandes all contribute significantly, in addition to Ronaldo. Portugal’s weakest point historically has been its defense. However, it currently has more depth in this domain. 

Euro 2024 player of the tournament

The Euro 2020 victor Gianluigi Donnarumma, the Italy goalkeeper will have plenty of options to choose from, although the player’s share for the championship odds has not yet been available. 


Bellingham, Gavi, and Eduardo Camavinga are some of the top players in Europe and might win the championship. Therefore, it’s critical to monitor their achievements this season.

Messi Birthday Special: Lionel Messi’s Monumental Impact on the MLS

Messi is a big brand in the soccer world, famous for his exceptional abilities. Before the news spread about Messi’s moving to Inter Miami, the team had 900,000 followers on their Instagram profile. As soon as Messi entered the game, their following list grew significantly. They had more followers than any other famous team. With eight million followers, the team broadcasts to a vast network of fans. From beginners to real football enthusiasts that take advantage of the $100 sign up bonus, no deposit kind of deal, we can say that they support Messi. 

You can see that Messi significantly impacts the team, even before hitting the field. But what will happen when he shows off his capabilities? 

Increased quality

Sergio Busquets confirmed he will be joining him in the 305. Therefore, the transfer of Messi to Inter Miami doesn’t only make the team more competitive but also increases playing quality. 

The opposing teams will now face a new challenge. The experienced player will encourage them to improve their game as soon as he steps on the field. The opposing team will be obligated to strengthen their squads and improve their strategy to answer to this situation.

We saw what happened when Christiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr. Many talented players followed suit and joined him in the middle east. Before Ronaldo, there was a stigma. It seems like he is an icebreaker that led talents there. Of course, they were offered immense money to follow suit, but Ronaldo made the first move that motivated them.

It is predicted that the same thing will happen after Messi’s transfer. However, it is evident that the transfer will improve Inter Miami and benefit other teams. Opponents will do everything to match Messi’s performance, and we will see the improvement they make and in which areas it gets implied.

Fan engagement

Messi’s transfer is expected to increase global attention for MLS and fan engagement. As previously mentioned, he has already increased fan engagement by increasing the Instagram following list. His presence in the league will attract a larger international audience, resulting in higher TV ratings. In addition, MLS will have increased revenue due to ticket and merchandise sales. 

The increase in ticket prices is already apparent. The tickets that offered $25 are now $300, which is a significant increase. 

Sponsorship opportunities

The league also sees Messi as an ideal opportunity for sponsorships and endorsements. Brands will want to partner with the MSL if they want to associate their name with Messi. Also, brands will like to sponsor other players and the MSL itself.

Messi and other MSL players will become part of essential marketing campaigns. The thing that many sports fans are eager to see is a collaboration between MSL and NBA. This would be a historic moment for many enthusiasts. You have probably seen the commercial back from 2013 that gathers Koby Briant and Lionel Messi. Collabs like this one will be iconic and become memorable moments. 

Promoting soccer culture

Messi’s transfer will have a significant impact on the soccer culture in the US and also motivate young talents. He will become the ultimate role model inspiring youngsters to engage in soccer culture and improve their skills. Moreover, the World Cup will partially take place in the US in 2026. Messi will likely be featured in the major event, and his presence fosters a strong soccer culture. This, paired with the hype for World Cup 2026, will write new pages in soccer history. 

The Dynamic World of Soccer Leagues: From Local Roots to Global Heights

Soccer, known as football outside of North America, is a sport that unites cultures, nations, and communities in an unparalleled manner. This global phenomenon is intricately structured into leagues, each with its unique rules, regulations, and competencies. From local amateur groups to professional international stages, soccer leagues represent the heart and soul of this beloved sport.


The journey begins at the local level, where soccer leagues are usually organized by cities, districts, or provinces. These leagues serve as the breeding ground for aspiring talents, giving budding athletes a platform to sharpen their skills and nurture their love for the sport. Regardless of location, from a small Sunday league in London to a sprawling school league in São Paulo, the aim remains the same – fostering soccer’s appreciation and offering an environment for talent to bloom.


Local leagues play an essential role in encouraging community engagement and promoting healthy competition among young enthusiasts. Over time, many of these leagues evolve into professional or semi-professional entities, competing at regional and national levels.


Rise of National and Regional Leagues: Expanding Horizons


One notable example of this evolution is the MLS (Major League Soccer) in the United States. Founded in 1993, MLS now comprises 27 clubs across the U.S. and Canada, reflecting the escalating popularity of soccer in countries traditionally dominated by other sports.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the nation, a similar tale unfolds in California. The soccer league in Costa Mesa has seen impressive growth over the years. Although Costa Mesa wasn’t originally synonymous with soccer, it has embraced the sport with gusto, making it part of the city’s cultural identity. The league now features various age groups and skill levels, serving as a symbol of community bonding and a talent conveyor belt for higher leagues. The success story of Costa Mesa’s soccer league is a testament to soccer’s growing influence in non-traditional territories.


Continental and Global Soccer Leagues: The Apex of Competition


Beyond the national leagues, continental soccer leagues draw vast audiences and involve high-stakes competition. In Europe, the UEFA Champions League sees top clubs from national leagues across the continent vying for the ultimate title. This high-profile league showcases the best of the best, with teams like Barcelona, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich becoming household names worldwide due to their consistent successes.


Africa’s CAF Champions League, Asia’s AFC Champions League, and South America’s Copa Libertadores follow a similar format, providing a platform for top clubs from various nations to compete against each other, promoting continental pride and rivalry.


At the top of the pyramid lie global leagues like the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro, where national teams from around the globe compete. These events generate worldwide excitement, representing not just a sport but a celebration of global unity and the human spirit. The glory and pride associated with winning such an event are unmatched, resonating with billions of viewers around the world.


The Role of Technology and Innovation in Soccer Leagues


The landscape of soccer has not only been shaped by the passion of its fans and players but also by the advancements in technology and innovation. This progress has profoundly influenced the game at every level, from local leagues to global competitions, altering the way we experience and engage with soccer.


One of the most significant innovations in recent years is the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR). This technology has transformed decision-making in matches, helping to ensure fairness and accuracy in high-stakes games. Despite initial resistance and ongoing debates about its implementation, VAR has become an integral part of many top-tier soccer leagues worldwide.


In addition to improving officiating, technology has revolutionized the way matches are analyzed and how teams prepare for games. Data analytics has emerged as a powerful tool for coaches and teams. Using advanced metrics, teams can gain insights into player performance, tactical effectiveness, and potential injury risks. This data-driven approach, initially adopted by elite clubs, is now trickling down to local levels, enhancing competitiveness across the board.


Technology has also brought fans closer to the action than ever before. With the advent of streaming services and social media, soccer leagues worldwide can now engage with fans on a more personal and interactive level. Fans can watch live matches from any corner of the world, join online supporter communities, and even interact with their favorite players on social media platforms.


Innovations extend to the stadium experience as well. From advanced ticketing systems that make attending matches more convenient to the implementation of augmented and virtual reality for enhanced fan engagement, technology continues to shape the future of the sport.


In the ever-evolving world of soccer, it’s clear that technology and innovation play a critical role in its growth. By embracing these advancements, soccer leagues can enhance the quality of play, engage with fans in novel ways, and continue to grow the sport’s global footprint, ensuring the beautiful game remains at the forefront of sports culture worldwide.


The Unifying Power of Soccer


Regardless of the level or geographical location, the essence of soccer remains consistent. Whether it’s the local soccer league in Costa Mesa or the illustrious UEFA Champions League, each league is a testament to the unifying power of the sport. Soccer is more than just a game; it’s a lifestyle, a community, and a global phenomenon that brings people together. The love, passion, and camaraderie fostered by these leagues among their teams, fans, and communities truly define the beautiful game. Soccer leagues, in all their variety, weave a vibrant tapestry of human endeavor, aspiration, and shared joy, capturing the very essence of what makes the sport so universally beloved.

A Guide to a Footballer’s Nutrition

It’s just as important for professional footballers to watch what they eat as it is to put in the hours at the gym. More thought is given to how a player’s diet can improve their performance than was in the past when they might have gotten off the field and immediately tucked into a plate of steak and chips.

Sports scientist Armando Vinci, who collaborated with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte for nearly a decade, told The Times that players’ “endurance levels and speed, as well as their recovery and sleep patterns,” are all affected by their diet.

Footballers need specific nutrients when they want to play their best after relaxing to some online casino games using their Croco casino login.  And whether you spend 90 minutes sprinting up and down a field or crushing a HIIT workout in the gym, there are dietary tips you can learn from the pros.

1. Eat whole-grain carbohydrates and protein

Proteins and carbohydrates play crucial roles in the body and should never be left out of a healthy diet. They help you stay energized throughout practice or competition and aid your recovery afterward, allowing your body to mend and rejuvenate.

You can get this slow-release energy you need for a 90-minute game by eating a plate of whole-grain pasta a few hours before the game. Chicken and turkey, as well as oily fish like salmon and mackerel, are excellent protein choices. Eat whole-grain foods, and limit fat intake. Stay away from white bread and potatoes.

2. Include fiber in your diet

High-fiber foods include legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. And they should up your current caloric intake by around a couple of times. Add one serving of grains like oats, beans, sweet potatoes, quinoa, or other comparable items to each meal because the average person only consumes half of what they need.

Vegetables and fruits provide the nutrients your body needs to function at its best, so including both will help you achieve your fitness goals faster.

3. Don’t forget to snack mindfully

Eating actual food as snacks between meals helps athletes feel full and maintain energy levels. To perform at their best, they need to get the most nutrients out of their caloric intake, and when it comes to nutrient density, whole foods are unrivaled.

Remove junk food from your diet to improve your performance. Your physical self will appreciate it, and your efficiency and effectiveness on the job will increase dramatically.

Always remember that food isn’t just for taste; it serves a purpose in the body. When the goal is to aid players in recuperating from back-to-back games, the food must be packed with as many beneficial nutrients as possible.

No matter what they advertise, packaged foods like bars and snacks never live up to expectations. Whole foods are loaded with nutrients that the body can easily absorb and use, such as protein, fiber, fat, and complex carbs.

Examples of healthy snacks are apples and bananas with 3/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt, a handful of nuts or nut butter on a piece of whole grain toast, avocado, lettuce roll-ups with turkey, a smoothie made with plain Greek yogurt and fruit, etc.

4. Hydration is key

Football players must take dehydration seriously, as it can have major consequences on the field, especially in the warm months leading up to the season’s start when they’re still wearing heavy uniforms. Athletes should aim to consume 16-20 ounces of fluid each hour and have a drink every 15 minutes or so during practice and games.

Extra electrolytes (from a sports drink or even something as basic as a banana, for example) will go a long way for any activity lasting longer than an hour, especially if players are heavy sweaters.

5. Oily fish

Salmon and other fish are excellent sources of healthy fats like Omega 3. Particularly helpful for lowering inflammation, Omega 3 helps speed recovery so you can train more frequently and intensively.

Some additional health benefits of oily fish include reduced anxiety and stress, enhanced cardiovascular disease risk factors, enhanced immunological function, and alleviated bone and joint pain. As a source of protein, it aids in muscle growth and recovery from exercise.

One of the best ways to guarantee optimal Omega 3 consumption is to eat fatty fish twice a week, but this is by no means the only choice. Walnuts and broccoli are both excellent sources of omega-3.

6. Be realistic

Try not to obsess over your diet. Finding a happy balance is essential. Pay attention to your physical sensations. What you’re consuming right now is probably not healthy if it causes you to gain weight, feel sluggish, or lack strength.

You don’t have to give up all the foods you enjoy because of this. You will miss your sweets more than ever if you try to survive on a diet of just healthy foods. If you can find the sweet spot, your long-term success on the football field should improve considerably.

Take away

Find out the active components in your supplements, and check if you can purchase them elsewhere. Remember that supplements should not replace a balanced diet of whole foods.

A look at how the US is finally influencing soccer in England

As American sports fans, we have always been able to boast about having the world’s best players when it comes to football, baseball, and basketball. When it comes to soccer though, we’ve historically, had to be bystanders during conversations about the beautiful game. At least, the national team hasn’t left enough of a mark on the international stage for us to speak with any conviction about soccer. However, the days of quietly nodding along in the corner now seem to be numbered when you consider that there is an American soccer revolution currently taking place around the world courtesy of the personnel in the Premier League club Leeds United. 

Tellingly, this current Leeds side is heavily influenced by three Americans who are successfully leaving their mark on the globe’s toughest league and in doing so, proving to the world that the US can influence soccer at the highest level. They are, of course, Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams, and coach Jesse Marsch. Crucially, both Aaronson and Adams are regular starters for the US men’s national team. In particular, Adams is the captain of the US team.

Undoubtedly, their on-field success is the driving reason behind why fans are beginning to take soccer in the US seriously as Leeds continues to pull off remarkable results with the help of their American stars as they did when they beat Chelsea and then Liverpool in late October, as covered by ESPN

Marsch carries the hopes of a generation 

Another reason for this growing wave of international respect is Wisconsin-born Marsch, who is the current manager in the hot seat at Elland Road. Now, it’s been well-documented that this is the single most crucial job that any American has had in the world’s most demanding soccer league. Marsch is striving to become the first manager born in the US to be considered a success in the Premier League. 

Predictably, we’ve had to witness a ceaseless inquest from the media in England who go out of their way to try to prove that the 49-year-old is out of his depth, with the influence of this being seen in the views on this BBC article. Unsurprisingly, is a narrative that does not go down well here in the States. Interestingly, this is why American fans have thrown their weight behind Leeds as the country’s reputation, as far as coaching soccer goes, is on the line. In other words, if Marsch is a success then doors will open to other prospective managers here in the US who have ambitions about coaching in England. 


As touched on, this is why more and more Americans have adopted Leeds as their team and as things stand, it’s also worth keeping in mind that many supporter groups have popped up over the last few months, such is the resolve to see the US finally breakthrough at the summit of the sport.

A nation united 

Perhaps most telling of all, however, was the recent forming of a supporters group in Ohio given that locals have never really given soccer in England a second glance until now. One of the reasons why this historical indifference could have now come to an end is that a big drawcard these days when it comes to sports in America that haven’t always been traditionally popular is betting, which is increasing in popularity after sweeping reform has spread across the country. 

With this in mind, it’s easier to see why Ohioans are now taking to soccer and following Leeds given that as of the 1st of January, locals will be able to use sports betting apps to bet on the Premier League which will undoubtedly stir up more interest in the important goings-on across the pond. To mark this historic occasion and the start of a new era, fans in the Buckeye State can access this BetMGM bonus code Ohio, which includes a $200 no-deposit free bet. In addition to that, this can be used on Premier League outright markets such as Leeds finishing in the top half. As soccer’s popularity continues to grow in the country, expect to see the range of markets grow for the Premier League and other top European leagues.

Only time will tell whether Leeds is able to achieve this or not but the one certainty is that they will have millions of fans in the US roaring them on.

Yes, this club which lies over 3000 miles from the east of the US is now a regular fixture in the lives of Americans who sense that a long overdue breakthrough is about to be made.

Everything You Need to Know About the World Cup

This year’s World Cup will be held in Qatar, and fans from all over the globe are already making their travel plans to witness the action firsthand. If you’re one of those fans or just curious about the fuss, here’s everything you need to know about the World Cup.


As with any sporting event, fans worldwide want to stay in the know with every piece of information related to the World Cup. The official website of FIFA, the governing body of the World Cup, is a great place to start. They provide comprehensive tournament coverage, from the qualifying rounds to the final.


In addition, several dedicated news websites and channels will provide up-to-the-minute coverage of the World Cup. Sky Sports, BBC Sport, and ESPN are just a few options fans can choose from. You can also get your FIFA World Cup News from The AllStar App. The AllStar app will give you all the latest news, scores, and highlights from the tournament to keep up with all the action. This way, you can be sure you won’t miss a beat. 


The weather in Qatar can be scorching, with temperatures regularly exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in the summer months. However, the World Cup will be held in November when temperatures are a bit more bearable, averaging 27 degrees Celsius. The cooler weather relieves players and fans alike, as the heat can be too much to handle.


The World Cup organizers have ensured that the weather will not be a factor by installing air-conditioned stadiums and training facilities. In addition, they’ve also implemented a water break in each half to keep players hydrated.


The 2022 World Cup will take place in eight stadiums separated by an average distance of 43 miles. Out of the seven stadiums, eight have been built from scratch, with the Khalifa 


International Stadium being the only one that was pre-existing. However, all the attention will be on the Lusail Stadium, the flagship of the Qatari stadiums. It has a capacity of 80,000 and will host ten games, including the world cup final. In the opening stages of the world cup, all the attention will be on Al Bayt Stadium, built in 2021, as it will host the opening match.


The 2022 World Cup will take place from November 20th to December 18th. The group stage will begin on November 21st, with the final on December 18th. A total of 64 games will be played, with each team playing three group stage games. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage, where they will compete in a single-elimination tournament until only two teams remain. These two teams will face off in the final, with the winner crowned World Champion.


A total of 32 teams will compete in the 2022 World Cup. The host country, Qatar, will automatically qualify for the tournament, as will France’s defending champions. The remaining 30 teams will have to go through a qualifying process to earn their tournament spot.


The qualified teams will be placed into eight groups of four, each playing the other once. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage. The 2022 World Cup will feature some of the best teams in the world, including Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Argentina.

Live Streams and Highlights

If you can’t make it to Qatar for the World Cup, don’t worry—you can still catch all the action from home. Numerous broadcasters will provide live coverage of the tournament, so you can watch your favorite teams battle it on the pitch.


In addition to live coverage, most broadcasters will also offer highlights packages after each match. This way, you can catch up on all the action, even if you missed the live broadcast.

To find out which broadcaster is showing games in your country, check out this list from FIFA.



The World Cup is the ultimate battleground for some of the best footballers in the world. A total of 736 players will compete in the tournament, with each team allowed to have a squad of 23.

Some of the best players in the world will be on display at the World Cup, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe. These players are sure to put on a show and entertain fans from all over the world.


We have also seen some break-out stars rise to the scene, including James Rodriguez in 2014 and Benjamin Pavard in 2018. This year’s competition will not be any different. New stars will be born, and history will be made.


The 2022 FIFA World Cup will surely be a spectacle that no football fan will want to miss. With so much on offer, it’s sure to be a tournament that will go down in history. If you’re looking for a way to stay up-to-date with all the latest news, information, and highlights, be sure to download The AllStar app.

Inter Miami CF

Three Takeaways From Inter Miami’s Cross Country Road Trip

Montreal, Canada – Inter Miami cap off a cross-country road trip with a win against the San Jose Earthquakes and a draw vs CF Montreal.

In what was a critical stretch of matches for Miami’s playoff hopes, the Herons managed to pick up a solid amount of points to keep themselves in the hunt:

With a massive home match against NYCFC this weekend, Neville and his men got the job done on the road when they needed points the most.

Here are three takeaways from Inter Miami’s cross-country road trip.

Back Three Here To Stay?

If Inter Miami want to maximize all the attacking talent they have, the back three may be here to stay:

So far, this formational switch has allowed Neville to play Pozuelo, Higuain, Duke, Taylor, and Campana all together without dropping either of them:

Against Montreal, Pozuelo and Duke were the two attacking midfielders behind Gonzalo Higuain who was playing up top. This allowed two creative players to be on the pitch together, while Higuain can focus on being the focal point of the Miami attack.

This trio, specifically, combined in the early stages of the game to put the Herons ahead. Some nice skill by Duke started the chain reaction which ultimately led Higuain to get his eighth goal of the season.

With Neville looking to expand Miami’s attack a bit more, the back three will probably be the formation the Herons use going forward. It provides width for the wingers, defensive cover, and positional freedom for players like Pozuelo and Duke.

It’ll be interesting to see if the formation holds up for the rest of the season, or if Neville reverts back to a 4-3-3.

Pozuelo’s Impact

Speaking of the back three, the biggest takeaway from that formation could be the budding on-the-field relationship between Pozuelo and his fellow teammates.

Since being acquired by the South Florida club, the Spaniard has been lights out for the boys in pink.

Since its inception, Inter Miami has struggled to find a consistent creative player in the middle of the park. There was the Rodolfo Pizarro experiment, then Federico Higuain came along and did his best, but Pozuelo has been the player that the club has needed since 2020:

Not only does the 30-year-old make Miami better as a team, but he’s also a big influence on the younger generation as well:

Bryce Duke Is Very Good

Lastly, Bryce Duke is developing into an outstanding player for Inter Miami:

Not only did he show off some skills vs San Jose, but he also won Man of The Match for his performance against Montreal:

The future is bright for the young 21-year-old.

Inter Miami CF

Three Takeaways From Inter Miami’s Insane Draw vs FC Cincinnati

Fort Lauderdale, FL –  Inter Miami can’t capitalize on a Gonzalo Higuain hattrick as they drop two points in a 4-4 draw against FC Cincinnati. Offensively, the Herons looked great in what was perhaps their best-attacking game all season.

Defensively, on the other hand, was not ideal. What was normally a stringent defense gave up too many goals for comfort.

In the post-match conference, Phil Neville even mentioned as much:

With only a handful of games left in the season, dropping points at home isn’t good for Miami’s playoff hopes. With that, here are three takeaways from Miami’s draw vs FC Cincinnati.

Invest In Defense This Winter

Inter Miami has done a great job at revamping their roster.

Acquiring players such as DeAndre Yedlin, Robert Taylor, Leonardo Campana, etc, has given the club new blood in what was a stagnant 2021 roster. Nevertheless, there’s still room for improvement.

Christopher McVey has been IMCF’s iron man. The 25-year-old has played every minute of the team’s 2022 MLS campaign. He’s been solid, but, he’s been asked to do a lot positionally. Looking at Miami’s match against NYCFC, it’s clear that McVey looks the most comfortable playing as a center-back.

Throughout the season, mainly due to injuries to Kieran Gibbs, the Swede has been pushed out wide to left back. Last night’s game vs Cincinnati showed that there are some weaknesses there.

While McVey has done a serviceable job at that position, it may be time to invest in a lockdown starter this coming winter.

MLS has a myriad of capable left backs that could fit into the current role McVey occupies. Miami could trade within the league for a starter, then slide McVey back over to his preferred position to partner next to Damion Lowe. Of course, this would all happen heading into 2023, but it’s something to ponder as the 2022 season comes to a close.

‘Coco’ Makes His Debut

After a month of waiting in a hotel room in France waiting for his visa, Corentin ‘Coco’ Jean finally made his Inter Miami debut. The Frenchman came on in the 80th minute to much fanfare. Although he only had 9 touches, Jean got the game-tying assist on McVey’s wondergoal:

Higuain In-Form

Is Gonzalo Higuain back to his 2021 best? It appears so! The 34-year-old has scored five goals in his last four matches displacing his ‘replacement’ Leonardo Campana in the starting eleven.

His performance against FC Cincinnati was historic.

Higuain is the first player in Inter Miami history to score a first-half hattrick. The 34-year-old’s budding chemistry with fellow Designated Player Alejandro Pozuelo looks promising and electric, filling the creative void left by Federico Higuain’s retirement at the end of 2021.

Pipita’ looked lively, relaxed, and stepped up when IMCF needed him the most.

Though he’s rediscovered his form, it must be said Higuain’s contract runs out at the end of the season. The club does hold an option to extend, but, given his hot and cold streak this year, would it be wise to return the former Argentina international? Or should the South Florida club continue their rebuild without him, bringing in fresher, younger players that fit their current direction?

MLS is a league where it’s advantageous to have youth in and within your squads. All of the league’s leading goal scorers are under the age of 30 and four of the top five are 25 and younger.

It remains to be seen what Chris Henderson will do, but these last 12 games of the season could be a decent indicator of what happens in 2023.

Inter Miami CF

Three Takeaways From Inter Miami’s Loss VS NYCFC

The Bronx, New York – The injury bug has hit Inter Miami as they lose 2-0 to a well-drilled New York City FC side.

What was Taty Castellanos’ last game in NYC blue, Miami attempted to spoil the party to keep themselves in the playoff hunt; unfortunately, without the services of Leonardo Campana, Damion Lowe, Bryce Duke, and Ariel Lassiter, the Herons were largely flightless against one of the best attacks in the league.

This loss wasn’t necessarily a death blow- but, with only 13 games left in the season, Miami’s chances to rack up valuable points continue to slip.

Here are three takeaways from IMCF’s loss against NYCFC.

McVey Is A Center back

Christopher McVey is Inter Miami’s utility man. The Swedish-American has played every minute of Miami’s 2022 campaign. Against NYCFC, he was deployed in a slightly different role. With Damion Lowe out due to yellow card accumulation, the 25-year-old slotted in as the right-sided center-back.

For the most part, he did quite well.

McVey completed 94% of his passes, 50% of his long balls, and ended the game with 10 recoveries and four interceptions.

He was alert and tactically aware of most of the danger on the field. For example, on what would’ve been Castellanos’ farewell goal, McVey smartly stepped up at the last second to spring an offside trap:

All in all, despite the loss, McVey put on a good showing.

Question is, will he continue in the same position once Lowe returns? Or will he line up at left back once it’s all said and done?

High Press or No?

If there’s anything to take away from this game, it’s that Miami should think about implementing a high press. Inter Miami is at bottom of the league when it comes to possession won in the opponent’s final third:

In MLS where the technical level isn’t as sharp compared to other leagues, high pressing can be a valuable asset. Under Phil Neville, the Herons have largely been a team that sits back in a midblock, keeps their shape, and tries to cut off passing lanes.

Against NYCFC, Miami’s lack of team pressing led to opportunities for the Pigeons to take their time and pick a pass. Take this instance in the clip below. Instead of pushing up and pressing the ball carrier, Miami’s defensive lines – inexplicably – stand there ball watching.

That allows NYCFC to move the ball without any pressure and eventually manage to get a cross and touches inside IMCF’s 18-yard-box:

Luckily, there wasn’t a goal scored, but on any given Saturday against a sharper team, these actions would’ve been punished.

Miami has gotten good results by playing in a midblock. However, if they want to make the playoffs – comfortably, they’re going to need to start taking some risks.

Maybe it starts with a defensive change?

Too Slow To Switch Tactics?

As Robert Taylor and Indiana Vassilev struggled to get going, could Neville have swapped their positions?

With NYCFC’s field being small and narrow, instead of playing long balls over the top, perhaps the two wingers could’ve tried swapping flanks so they can cut inside with their dominant foot.

Both Kieran Gibbs and DeAndre Yedlin were keen and willing to make overlapping runs. Having Taylor and Vassilev cut inside would’ve not only given the fullbacks much more space but also provide them the opportunity to combine with the midfield as well.

Had this switch happened, Miami could’ve gotten more numbers through the middle with outlets on the flanks via the fullbacks, almost like a front attacking five:

To conclude, Miami needs to take some risks if they want to make the playoffs. Playing it safe with a handful of games to go won’t be good enough. This weekend, they have a massive game against Eastern Conference rivals FC Cincinnati. Anything less than three points will be bad news for the Herons.

As the season begins to wind down, it’s officially do-or-die time for the boys in black and pink.

Inter Miami CF

Opinion: Completely Overanalyzing Inter Miami’s Loss To FC Barcelona

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Inter Miami played FC Barcelona in what was supposed to be a celebratory event.

Miami’s 6-0 loss to Barca’ should’ve been understandable. Barcelona is a world-class side with world-class players, and for the majority of the game, the Herons looked overmatched.

The crowd was rocking, the stadium was full, and for the most part, the event went well. But, after the final whistle, it got a bit ugly.

From tweets calling the organization, “a joke” to very prominent soccer writers getting their obligatory quippy jabs in, the borderline vitriolic social media backlash to what was meaningless friendly is bizarre.

Based on Phil Neville’s post-game comments, it seems like the Englishman took the result well, despite his pregame comments, and saw it as a lesson for him and the group:

That begs the question, why has this game been blown out of proportion?

Much Ado About Nothing?

Inter Miami has had its sins – plenty of them, but in the last year and a half, they’ve started the process of atonement. They’re currently in 9th place in the Eastern Conference and have even taken on a new ethos:

Miami’s start to MLS life was tough. They fell short of the self-imposed expectations and came out of the starting block stumbling.

The media is very unforgiving, especially in football circles. The club’s poor first two years of existence will be held over their head by a plethora of national and local soccer writers. Any minor screw-up or abnormally bad result will be scrutinized, dissected, and heavily torn apart more so than the average team; being a David Beckham-owned club, it comes with the territory. Fair enough.

But, this friendly against Barcelona shouldn’t be one of those occasions.

At the end of the day, the match should’ve been taken for what it really was: A savvy business decision by Inter Miami and a great opportunity to get some reps against one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Plus, they’re not the only MLS club hosting mid-season friendlies against tough European opponents.

Is it as big as hosting a US Open Cup Final or MLS Cup Final? No way! Was this the biggest game in club history? When it comes to the quality of the opponent on the pitch – certainly! Both things can be true!

In the end, winning silverware is Miami’s main goal. They’ll get there – eventually.  But, in the meantime, playing a mid-season friendly isn’t a death sentence. An exhibition match was just that, an exhibition. It gave the club good exposure and some younger players a useful experience.

The team will now shift their focus to NYCFC this Saturday with the hopes of climbing further up the Eastern conference table. By then, all the hubbub surrounding this match will die down, and the think pieces on Twitter will cease. There will be other mid-season friendlies for people to watch, and the MLS season will roll on.