Inter Miami Doubles its Progress and Gets Ready for the Toughest Stage

Inter Miami
Messi in Inter Miami (Credit: Getty Images)

At this time last year, Inter Miami was suffering its fifth consecutive loss, coach Phil Neville had been fired, interim Javier Morales debuted with a defeat and the team was last in the MLS with 15 points in 16 games. Now everything is very different.

Inter Miami is the absolute leader in the MLS with 31 points in 15 games (before the match against Vancouver, on the night of Saturday, May 25). There are 19 matches left until the end of the regular season. The RosaNegra can feel more confident about approaching the second semester in which the first objective is to ensure qualification for the playoffs.

It will not be easy, which is why it is important to score points at this time, since you also have to reach as high as possible to maintain a favorable home status when it comes to life-or-death matches.

The great concern of Rosanegros coach Gerardo Martino is the forced transfer of his players to the national teams of their respective countries.

“What the team needs is to continue adding points,” the strategist emphasized. “This way we will be better for when we have to deliver the players for the Copa América, the Olympic Games, and the FIFA dates.”

In previous official calls, Inter Miami gave up an average of eight of their best stars and the team felt the blow.

This season, unlike 2023, the clubs will not only have to lend their stars for the World Cup qualifiers in 2026, but also for the Copa América USA 2024, between June and July, and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, between July and August.

This means that for six MLS games, plus two for the League’s Cup, against Puebla in Miami on July 20 and against the Tigres in Monterrey, Mexico, on August 3, the RosaNegra will face them with a team of emergency, made up mostly of substitutes and players from their own academy who will surely be promoted.

The interesting thing about the campaign that Inter Miami has been playing so far is that Martino found his starting 11 and the variations he makes are forced by injuries.

Martino’s scheme:

So far their starting squad is made up of Drake Callender in goal. On defense there is a line of four made up of Marcelo Weigandt, Tomás Avilés, Nicolás Freire (he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, in Inter Miami’s 1-0 victory over DC United, on Saturday, May 18, and was out for the rest of the year) and Jordi Alba; In the midfield, there are Sergio Busquets, Julian Gressel, Benjamín Cremaschi and Matías Rojas; and upfront are Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez.

In his deck, Martino has magnificent options. There are Sergii Kryvtsov, Franco Negri, Ryan Sailor, and Noah Allen on defense; David Ruiz, Yannick Bright, Lawson Sunderland, and Santiago Morales in midfield; and Robert Taylor, Leonardo Campana, Leo Alonso, and Shanyder Borgelin in attack.

They will be joined by those injured if they recover in time, such as Diego Gómez, Facundo Farías, Ian Fray, Robbie Robinson, and Federico Redondo.

With this squad, Martino can weather the storm, because we must consider that the other MLS teams also give up players to the national teams, although perhaps not to the extent of Inter Miami.

Last season, despite the fact that Messi arrived in the middle of the championship, Inter Miami did not manage to get into the playoffs because they were in last place in the standings and very far away in points.

Furthermore, in 2023, the RosaNegra bet all their chips on the League’s Cup. The choice paid off because they became champions in the first title won in the club’s history and thus qualified for the CONCACAF Champions Cup 2024.

In the main CONCACAF club tournament, Inter Miami was eliminated early by the Rayados de Monterrey and thus saw its hopes of qualifying for the FIFA Club World Cup, which will be played with 32 teams in the United States in 2025, frustrated.

Inter Miami aspires to become MLS champion because the United States has a place in the FIFA club tournament and all that remains is to determine which team it will be awarded to. Everything indicates that the champion of the 2024 edition of the MLS will obtain it.

That is why what Martino’s team has been doing so far is very important. It paves its way to the MLS playoffs, which will begin after the regular season ends on October 19.

By then, between September 5 and November 19, six dates of the South American World Cup qualifiers and also other regions will be played. This is equivalent to saying that in the life or death stages of the MLS postseason, Inter Miami will appear without its key figures.

All this indicates that the RosaNegra have to take advantage of these moments to place themselves in the best position and reach the decisive stages of the MLS very firmly. For now, the situation is very different from 2023, when not even with Messi could they reach the playoffs.

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