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MLS Is Back Game 2 Preview: Inter Miami Vs. Philadelphia Union

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After losing Game one of the MLS is Back Tournament in dramatic fashion, Inter Miami CF is set to face off against the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET. Miami is in desperate need of a positive result or they could face an early exit in the tournament.  

Philadelphia is tied with Orlando City on top of Group A with three points apiece after an Alejandro Bedoya second-half goal saw the Union defeat New York City FC 1-0 in their opening match of the tournament.

Orlando City will face off against New York City FC at 8 p.m. on the same network in the other match in Group A on Tuesday. 

The Opponent 

Bedoya notched Philadelphia’s only goal in their first match and is the most notable player on the Union roster with 66 U.S. Men’s National Team appearances but Kacper Przybylko scored 15 goals last year and is also a threat. 

Inter Miami’s manager Diego Alonso knows it’ll be a tough game. “They’ve been with the same coach for a while. They repeat patterns of play that they execute really well. We have to play a really good game to be capable of competing and winning.” he said.

Highlights of the Union first win of the MLS is Back Tournament:

X-Factor 

After not starting the opening match of the tournament but coming on as a substitute, designated player Rodolfo Pizzaro showed what he can do when on the pitch. If he’s able to go the full 90 minutes in the match against the Union it would be a big boost for Inter Miami in the offensive half of the field. 

They need their star player to step with their back against the wall in this one. 

Creating Chances 

Inter Miami only registered one of their seven shots on target against Orlando City and they need to find some more creativity offensively to produce more scoring chances in this one. Pizzaro would help in this department as well and it’s possible that MLS veteran Lee Ngyuen, who looked impressive when he came in the last match, could play more of a role in this game. 

Juan Agudelo got the start in place of Robbie Robinson and scored a goal but his miss in the early going of the last match may allow Julian Carranza to get more of an opportunity to be the main forward.

I think converting the one chance still gives Agudelo the edge to start in this one but if he misses another obvious goal-scoring chance then Carranza could come on and make a difference in the second half. 

Keeping Possession 

Inter Miami must do a better job of keeping possession in the midfield in their second match, given that Orlando City held the ball for 59 percent in game one.

Having Pizzaro and Nguyen start in place of Matias Pelligrini and Will Trapp or Victor Ulloa has to be under consideration by Diego Alonso to help deal with this issue. 

On the injury front, Andres Reyes will be available as he returned to training on Sunday after a scary collision in the opening match of the tournament that required him to be stretched off.  

Prediction: Philadelphia Union 2 Inter Miami 2

I expect a better effort for Inter Miami and they will create more chances in this game but the Union might be too strong to see Miami gain all three points. Expect to see Pizzaro and Lewis Morgan find the back of the net for Inter Miami. A draw here would turn the final match against New York City FC into a must-win game on July 20th. 

If both the Union and Orlando City win on Tuesday then both teams will be through to the knockout round of the MLS is Back Tournament. 

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