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A View from the Top Row DC United vs Inter Miami Game Review



Recap: 

Inter Miami started the game with several changes to its starting XI from its midweek win over Nashville SC in the Concacaf Champions Cup, most notably with Lionel Messi out and Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba on the bench. DC United looked to take advantage of this and started the game on the front foot, with an all out press which seemed to confound the Herons. 


Over time, Inter Miami’s Manager made some adjustments to how his team was going to counter United’s press. As the game wore on Inter Miami took control. It may not have been Messi and Suarez leading the attack, but an attack of Robert Taylor, Campana and Gressel, which looked nearly as effective. In addition with Diego Gomez, Sergio Busquets and Rodondo controlling the midfield, it looked only a matter of time before Miami will break through.


That would come when Luis Suárez enter the game. He really can’t run like he used to, but he still took over. He scored twice off the bench in the second half to ensure Inter Miami stayed a top of the Eastern Conference, and give United its first loss of the season.


First half 

DC started the game on the front foot as they did against New England. United’s aggressiveness and tenacity flustered the Miami players early on, who could not string together any passes in DC’s half. While on the other hand, the Black & Red were creating real opportunities.


The best opportunity happened when Benteke took a perfect pass from Pirani just behind the defense and shot on goal, unfortunately he couldn’t generate enough power and Miami’s goalkeeper, Drake Callender, easily saved it.


More crisp passing a few minutes later led to the opening goal g in the 14th minute. Stroud, who got between Miami's defenders and took a pass from Klich and blasted a shot past Callender for his first goal of the season.


Unfortunately for the Black & Red, Miami’s Campana answered 10 minutes later with a goal for the Herons. After his initial header was denied from close range, DC wasn’t able to properly clear the ball. The young Ecuadorean forward benefited from the scramble to keep the ball in play. A teammate on his back poked the ball to  Campana, which provided a second chance to finish, which he did with a left-footed shot from the center of the box.


At the same time Inter Miami’s defense greatly improved,  in part because of changes made by Tata Martinez, and in part by the introduction of Sergiy Kryvtsov, who replaced Freire when the Center Back picked up an injury. With a more solid base, Miami’s Midfielders, Diego Gomez, Sergio Busquets and Rodondo, began to boss the center of the pitch. Due to DC’s pressing, young DP Matti Peltola, was often left to cover too much ground by himself, and was overrun.


The game was tied at the half, but United was really just hanging on in a way they had not seen this season.


Second half 

Adjustments were made and DC began the second half as the stronger of the two teams. Mateusz Klich and Peltola had dropped a bit deeper, and were more direct in their passing. Similarly, neither of the Fullbacks went as far forward.


While these changes helped stabilize the defense, the Black & Red were not creating as many opportunities to score. It began to look like a draw might be in the offering.


This would change, however, with the introduction of Luis Suarez in the sixty-second minute of the match. The 37-year-old looks his age and near immobile at times but he still knows how to put the ball into the back of the net. On his first goal, Suárez allowed Federico Redondo’s pass to reach Leo Campana, who drove the ball and then sent a perfect cross to Suárez who had perfectly positioned himself to slot the ball into the back of the net. This gave Miami their first lead in the seventy-second minute, just ten minutes after the Striker had entered the game. Suárez provided insurance just thirteen minutes later with a perfect chip shot which lofted the ball just over Bono's outstretched fingertips before falling just over the goal line. 


With DC down to ten men due to a red card awarded to Pedro Santos, the game was well and done. DC United would unfortunately suffer their first loss of the season, and Inter Miami would continue to be the darlings of the league.

DC United 1 - Inter Miami 3


Side Note - Luis Suarez has been an incredible player, who I have enjoyed watching for years, both with Barcelona and in international play. It was an incredible display of scoring that I witnessed yesterday. However, I have read some people who are already crowing about how off people are who questioned how Suarez would fare in MLS, as if they have already been proven wrong. I would point to the calendar, we are at the beginning of the season, that Luis Suarez is tearing it up right now, not that surprising. If he is still doing it in September will be another question.



Game Stats

Recap: 

Inter Miami started the game with several changes to its starting XI from its midweek win over Nashville SC in the Concacaf Champions Cup, most notably with Lionel Messi out and Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba on the bench. DC United looked to take advantage of this and started the game on the front foot, with an all out press which seemed to confound the Herons. 


Over time, Inter Miami’s Manager made some adjustments to how his team was going to counter United’s press. As the game wore on Inter Miami took control. It may not have been Messi and Suarez leading the attack, but an attack of Robert Taylor, Campana and Gressel, which looked nearly as effective. In addition with Diego Gomez, Sergio Busquets and Rodondo controlling the midfield, it looked only a matter of time before Miami will break through.


That would come when Luis Suárez enter the game. He really can’t run like he used to, but he still took over. He scored twice off the bench in the second half to ensure Inter Miami stayed a top of the Eastern Conference, and give United its first loss of the season.


First half 


DC started the game on the front foot as they did against New England. United’s aggressiveness and tenacity flustered the Miami players early on, who could not string together any passes in DC’s half. While on the other hand, the Black & Red were creating real opportunities.


The best opportunity happened when Benteke took a perfect pass from Pirani just behind the defense and shot on goal, unfortunately he couldn’t generate enough power and Miami’s goalkeeper, Drake Callender, easily saved it.


More crisp passing a few minutes later led to the opening goal g in the 14th minute. Stroud, who got between Miami's defenders and took a pass from Klich and blasted a shot past Callender for his first goal of the season.


Unfortunately for the Black & Red, Miami’s Campana answered 10 minutes later with a goal for the Herons. After his initial header was denied from close range, DC wasn’t able to properly clear the ball. The young Ecuadorean forward benefited from the scramble to keep the ball in play. A teammate on his back poked the ball to  Campana, which provided a second chance to finish, which he did with a left-footed shot from the center of the box.


At the same time Inter Miami’s defense greatly improved,  in part because of changes made by Tata Martinez, and in part by the introduction of Sergiy Kryvtsov, who replaced Freire when the Center Back picked up an injury. With a more solid base, Miami’s Midfielders, Diego Gomez, Sergio Busquets and Rodondo, began to boss the center of the pitch. Due to DC’s pressing, young DP Matti Peltola, was often left to cover too much ground by himself, and was overrun.


The game was tied at the half, but United was really just hanging on in a way they had not seen this season.



Second half 


Adjustments were made and DC began the second half as the stronger of the two teams. Mateusz Klich and Peltola had dropped a bit deeper, and were more direct in their passing. Similarly, neither of the Fullbacks went as far forward.


While these changes helped stabilize the defense, the Black & Red were not creating as many opportunities to score. It began to look like a draw might be in the offering.


This would change, however, with the introduction of Luis Suarez in the sixty-second minute of the match. The 37-year-old looks his age and near immobile at times but he still knows how to put the ball into the back of the net. On his first goal, Suárez allowed Federico Redondo’s pass to reach Leo Campana, who drove the ball and then sent a perfect cross to Suárez who had perfectly positioned himself to slot the ball into the back of the net. This gave Miami their first lead in the seventy-second minute, just ten minutes after the Striker had entered the game. Suárez provided insurance just thirteen minutes later with a perfect chip shot which lofted the ball just over Bono's outstretched fingertips before falling just over the goal line. 


With DC down to ten men due to a red card awarded to Pedro Santos, the game was well and done. DC United would unfortunately suffer their first loss of the season, and Inter Miami would continue to be the darlings of the league.


DC United 1 - Inter Miami 3


Side Note - Luis Suarez has been an incredible player, who I have enjoyed watching for years, both with Barcelona and in international play. It was an incredible display of scoring that I witnessed yesterday. However, I have read some people who are already crowing about how off people are who questioned how Suarez would fare in MLS, as if they have already been proven wrong. I would point to the calendar, we are at the beginning of the season, that Luis Suarez is tearing it up right now, not that surprising. If he is still doing it in September will be another question.



Game Stats


Observations From the Upper Deck: 

  • Pirani is showing up today.

  • Sweet pass to Benteke from Pirani 

  • Damn! That would have been an amazing opening goal.

  • STROUD!

  • Amazing shot!

  • Need to clear the ball better!

  • Damn!

  • Campana’s shot was perfect.

  • If that's not clear and obvious penalty on Dájome, then I don’t know what is.

  • This referee is too inconsistent in his calls 

  • How is that not a pen?

  • Handball?

  • Nope, not given 

  • A real change in the game’s momentum after Miami’s goal. DC looks like they're chasing after  the game instead of controlling it.

  • Halftime tie

  • DC is looking better 

  • Mateusz Klich has upped his game 

  • Would be nice if the refereeing was more even handed 

  • Yellow on Peltola? How was that not a foul by Busquets?

  • Benteke header!

  • Wait! How was that not a corner?

  • Luis Suarez coming on

  • Kristen Fletcher coming on

  • That kind of says it all

  • Goal by Luis Suarez 

  • Is that Martin Rodriguez?

  • Did Luis Suarez just chip Alex Bono?

  • Yes, yes he did 

  • That’s a wrap folks 


Player Ratings:

Alex Bono                     5.7

Aaron Herrera               7.2

Lucas Bartlett              6.6

Christopher McVey       5.9

Pedro Santos                 6.1

Matti Peltola                  6.1

Mateusz Klich               7.5

Jared Stroud                  7.3

Gabriel Pirani                6.4

Cristian Dájome            6.1

Christian Benteke         7.3


Subs: 

Kristian Fletcher           6.4

Jacob Murrell               6.0

Martin Rodriguez         6.3


Up Next: At St Louis CITY


Observations From the Upper Deck: 

  • Pirani is showing up today.

  • Sweet pass to Benteke from Pirani 

  • Damn! That would have been an amazing opening goal.

  • STROUD!

  • Amazing shot!

  • Need to clear the ball better!

  • Damn!

  • Campana’s shot was perfect.

  • If that's not clear and obvious penalty on Dájome, then I don’t know what is.

  • This referee is too inconsistent in his calls 

  • How is that not a pen?

  • Handball?

  • Nope, not given 

  • A real change in the game’s momentum after Miami’s goal. DC looks like they're chasing after  the game instead of controlling it.

  • Halftime tie

  • DC is looking better 

  • Mateusz Klich has upped his game 

  • Would be nice if the refereeing was more even handed 

  • Yellow on Peltola? How was that not a foul by Busquets?

  • Benteke header!

  • Wait! How was that not a corner?

  • Luis Suarez coming on

  • Kristen Fletcher coming on

  • That kind of says it all

  • Goal by Luis Suarez 

  • Is that Martin Rodriguez?

  • Did Luis Suarez just chip Alex Bono?

  • Yes, yes he did 

  • That’s a wrap folks 


Player Ratings:

Alex Bono                     5.7

Aaron Herrera               7.2

Lucas Bartlett                6.6

Christopher McVey       5.9

Pedro Santos                 6.1

Matti Peltola                  6.1

Mateusz Klich               7.5

Jared Stroud                  7.3

Gabriel Pirani              6.4

Cristian Dájome            6.1

Christian Benteke         7.3


Subs: 

Kristian Fletcher           6.4

Jacob Murrell               6.0

Martin Rodriguez         6.3


Up Next: At St Louis CITY












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