Starters: Drake Callender, DeAndre Yedlin, Sergii Kryvtsov, Kamal Miller, Franco Negri, Dixon Arroyo (Ian Fray 50'), Bejamin Cremaschi, David Ruiz, Jean Corentin (Robert Taylor 55'), Josef Martinez (Leo Campana 46'), Nicolas Stefanelli (Ryan Sailor 10')(Christopher McVey 55')
Unused Subs: CJ Dos Santos, Edison Azcona, Noah Allen, Shanyder Borgelin
Captain: DeAndre Yedlin
Starter: Tyler Miller, Derrick Williams (Cristian Dájome 46'), Steven Birnbaum, Donovan Pines, Pedro Santos (Ted Ku-DiPietro 69'), Andy Najar, Chris Durkin, Victor Pálsson, Mateusz Klich (Yamil Asad 90'+8'), Taxi Fountas (Jacob Greene 81'), Christian Benteke
Subs: Alex Bono, Brendan Hines-Ike, Erik Hurtado, Kristian Fletcher, Gaoussou Samaké
Captain: steve Birnbaum
First Half: Bouncing back from last week’s disappointment against Toronto and Montréal, the Black & Red came out on the front foot, and looked to control the game. This led to Miami Center-Back Kamal Miller getting a red in the 7′ for taking down Christian Benteke who was in on goal. This was a clear cut denial of a goal-scoring opportunity, so the red was warranted.
From the tenth minute on, Miami played with only ten men. Interim Head Coach Javier Morales had the Heron’s go even more defensive and get even more physical with United’s players.
As foul after foul started to pile up, the game became more and more chippy and disjointed. No flow or rhythm could be established, though United did create chances.
Numerous opportunities were created and Christian Benteke, Taxi Fountas, Andy Najar, Pedro Santos, and Mateusz Klich all took well delivered opportunities on the Miami goal, only to be stifled by the Heron’s goalkeeper, Drake Callender, who had an excellent match. Callender kept Miami in the game, finishing with four saves despite the Black & Red peppered the goal area with 23 shots.
At the same time, the Black & Red completely shut down the offensive play of the Herons. Inter Miami couldn't get any offensive play.
United and Inter Miami ended the half in a scoreless draw, with the Herons feeling much happier than the Black & Red.
Second Half: Practicing what he preaches, Rooney managed the team bravely, and subbed Derrick Williams out for Cristian Dájome, charging the formation from a back three to a back four, and put in more offensive strategy.
Playing down a man, Inter Miami struggled to fend off United’s attack, which continued to grow in the second half. The Black & Red though looked to be growing concerned at their inability to put the ball in the net. It finally happened, but it came in the most unlikely of ways, and at first no one seemed to know it happened.
During a corner kick there was a scrum in front of the Miami goal. Steve Birnbaum headed the cross back towards the goal. Pines used his super long leg to put a foot on the ball and guide it towards the goal. The ball bounced off the post and back into the falling Pine’s leg, and he basically forced it into the goal even as it was trapped against Calendar. Despite being tangled up with Callender and the goal post, Pines got the goal. The lanky Center-Back basically pushed the ball across the goal line even as it was pressed against Callender to open the scoring in the game at the 76′ minute mark.
Benteke was able to follow up on Pines’ goal with a breakaway goal that doubled United’s lead in the 90′ minute. Victor Pálsson started the play, intercepting the ball just inside United’s half of the field. Aware that the Miami defense was up high and open in the middle, the Icelandic player placed a perfect lob pass into Benteke’s path, who split the defense, dribbled into the penalty box and slotted a shot right past Callender.
This seemed to put the game out of reach, but just two minutes later Ian Fray hit a beautiful shot from the top of the box, and past a diving Tyler Miller to end the clean sheet. Robert Taylor had set up the play, taking a long pass up the right side, and then cutback to shake free of Jacob Greene, and passed to Fray to set up the shot.
Though there was a bit of worry that DC United might let another victory slip through their fingers, they were able to settle and get the win.
Notes From the couch :
Surprised that Ted Ku-DiPietro did not get the start
Victor Pálsson playing as a Midfielder
Steve Birnbaum back in the lineup
DC is playing on the front foot
Benteke was taken down on a clear scoring chance!
Red card! Kamal Miller is out of the game
Wait, what happened?
THERES A GOAL?!?
Donovan Pines has scored his third goal of the season
Damn! Thought Ted KDP was going to have a goal of the week candidate
Great breakaway by Benteke
Ugh! Robert Taylor is good
Miami cuts the lead
Only minutes left, DC just needs to waist time now
Words from the Gaffer:
Wayne Rooney: “Performance-wise obviously we were in full control of the game and never looked in any danger. It was just really about being patient. I think performances like this, it might look late on the eye, but it was so important that we kept with our patience- and I thought we’d done that quite well.”
“I think the important thing was obviously the win after the game midweek, where we were disappointed not to get three points from a performance point of view.”
Player Ratings (FotMob):
Tyler Miller 6.4
Derrick Williams 6.8
Steve Birnbaum 7.6
Donovan Pines 8.5
Andy Najar 7.4
Pedro Santos 6.4
Chris Durkin 7.9
Victor Pálsson 7.9
Mateusz Klich 8.5
Taxi Fuentas. 6.7
Christian Benteke 7.7
Christen Dajome 7.2
Ted Ku-DiPietro 6.3
Jacob Greene N/A
Yamil Asad N/A
Man of the Match - Donovan Pines
In a really great bounce back performance, Donovan Pines was Mr Everything during this match. Not only did he score the first goal of the game, but he was a lockdown defender in the defensive half. He has consistently improved in the defense and now is becoming a consistent goal scorer, giving DC a second dangerous player in the box on set piece plays.
Next Match: DC United travels to play Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, June 10th, at 7:30 pm ET.
Written by: RJ Rolsen