Inter Miami gave its fans a performance deserving of a standing ovation inside Inter Miami CF Stadium, as they defeated interstate rivals Orlando City 3-2.
They scored first, responded quickly after conceding and aside from a few moments at the end of the game, controlled the pace. The passes seemed crisper and the attacks felt more dangerous. Miami appears to have used the break since its short stint at the MLS is Back Tournament to their advantage, claiming the club’s first-ever victory.
Here are my five observations from Inter Miami’s win on Saturday.
1 — The Carranza takeover.
Centre-forward Julian Carranza was given the opportunity to start alongside Robbie Robinson and Juan Agudelo. To say the least, he wasted no time proving his value.
In the 11th minute, Carranza notched Inter’s first score with a near-post finish assisted by Rodolfo Pizarro. Following an Orlando City goal to even the score at 1-1, Carranza nailed a header off a Ben Sweat pass in the 22nd minute to collect his second goal of the evening.
Adding to his impressive performance, Carranza nutmegged a defender in the 30th minute and drew a foul that caused a yellow card.
2 — Rodolfo Pizarro doing it all.
In familiar fashion, Pizarro was influential throughout the game, scoring a goal and assisting another in Miami’s home opener. Every time he’s on the ball, you get the feeling that something good’s going to happen for coach Diego Alonso’s team.
Pizarro nearly had a second goal right after his first, before his curling effort was denied by the post.
3 — Inter Miami will be competitive this season.
Orlando City is fresh off an MLS is Back Tournament run that saw them compete all the way to the finals. Expected to translate that showing over to the regular season, that wasn’t the case Saturday.
Having to beat some of the better teams in MLS to reach the finals, Miami’s victory against one of the more in form sides shows that they have the potential to play versus anybody in the league despite their performance back in July.
Looking back at it, Inter’s three losses were by one goal. Plus, all three of their group opponents went on to make the quarterfinals.
All five losses were by one goal and Inter Miami and all three of their group opponents made the quarterfinals of the tournament.
4 — Not the perfect start for LGP.
While centre back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez will probably be happy with the team victory, being part of a defense that conceded two goals in his debut is not the individual start that he would’ve planned for. Regardless, the more playing time he gets on the field, the more comfortable he’ll feel with his back-line partners.
5 — More improvement still to come.
With over a month between games, we saw a much-improved side play for Inter Miami tonight. This progress shows that coach Alonso is getting the players to buy in while adjusting to his style of play.
Miami is moving in an upward direction. With newly signed midfielder Blaise Matuidi’s debut on the horizon, Miami is bound to continue improving as the season goes on.