Inter Miami CF vs Philadelphia Union – The Philly Soccer Page
Photo: Marjorie Elzey
Which: Philadelphia Union (2021: 6-4-5, 23 points, 4th place (pts) in the East; 6th place (ppg)) vs Inter Miami CF (2-8-2, 8 points, 14th place (last) in the east)
What: MLS 2021 Regular Season
Or: DRV PNK Stadium, Miami Florida
When: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)
To look at: PHL17; ESPN +
Whistle: Referee: Joseph Dickerson, Ast. Referee 1: Jeffrey Greeson, Ast. Referee 2: Gjovalin Bori, Fourth Official: Elijio Arreguin, VAR: Sorin Stoica
The Philadelphia Union seek to find their way back to victory as they cross Sunshine State to face Inter Miami FC on Sunday night. Both sides will come out in short weeks, with Inter Miami FC losing 5-0 in their Wednesday night clash against New England, while Union losing 2-1 in their Thursday night clash against Orlando. City SC.
The Union has the advantage over Miami in this game’s short history with a 2-0-1 record. However, it was Miami that took the spoils in the last installment, winning 2-1 at Subaru Park on April 24 thanks to goals from the Higuain brothers.
Recruitment report: Inter-Miami FC
This is only the club’s second season in MLS, but they hit the low of the week with their 5-0 loss, at home, to New England. The team have now lost six straight games, allowing 13 goals and scoring only one in that span.
Nothing clicks for this team, and head coach Phil Neville is now in the hot seat.
One of the most unsettling aspects of their midweek loss was that Neville had his premier training at his disposal. He used a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Gonzalo Higuain at No 9, Rodolfo Pizarro at No 10, Lewis Morgan and Robbie Robinson at the outer wing positions and Blaise Matuidi at the center midfield. These are big names now built to win. But the team recorded just one shot on goal in their midweek game, and their performance was riddled with bad turnovers and even more set-piece defense.
“I’ve said the word unacceptable in the past,” Neville said after games. “It’s worse than that.”
OUT: Ian Fray (injury withheld)
OUT: Sami Guediri (injury withheld)
OUT: Joevin Jones (injury withheld)
OUT: Kelvin Leerdam (international service)
Scouting Report: Philadelphia Union
The Union continued their rain-delayed 2-1 win over DC United over the weekend with a midweek stumble against Orlando City SC, which saw the Union drop from second to fourth in MLS Eastern Conference.
Head coach Jim Curtin continues to deploy his diamond of choice for the 4-4-2, which will likely still be the case on Sunday. But with the short time between games, both of which are played out in the grueling Florida heat, Union fans expect to see some squad rotation for Sunday’s game.
The most apparent seems to be Alejandro Bedoya, visibly gassed in the last half hour against Orlando City. Léon Flach should see himself in the starting lineup next Sunday.
With forward Cory Burke still on international duty with Jamaica in the Gold Cup, Curtin has less flexibility to make changes at the top at the moment. Quinn Sullivan brought some positivity off the bench Wednesday in the second half, replacing Sergio Santos; So it’s possible Curtin will give him the go-ahead despite Sullivan being more of a true midfielder.
Defensively, the four defenders of the Union have had their difficulties lately. Sunday gives Stuart Findlay the chance to finally see meaningful minutes.
OUT: Jack de Vries (concussion protocol)
OUT: Andre Blake (international service)
OUT: Cory Burke (international service)
OUT: Alvas Powell (international service)
QUESTIONABLE: Ilsinho (groin surgery); Anthony Fontana (concussion protocol)
Key Match: Gazdag vs. Miami CDMs
Gazdag has shown signs that he is starting to feel comfortable with his new teammates; in particular his match against DC United which saw him obtain the assist on the first goal. Seeing how New England managed to completely dismantle the Miami defense, he will have a great opportunity to show off his playmaking skills on Sunday.
Player to watch: Gonzalo Higuain
Some MLS talking heads are almost ready to call Gonzalo Higuain’s MLS relay a bust. To be fair, he has scored 5 goals this season so far; but he certainly didn’t live up to his $ 7 million a year contract. That said, he still threatens to score a goal every time he’s on the pitch, and he has some history with the Union.
Prediction: Miami 2 – 2 Philadelphia
In a strange way, it can be miserable to face a team that has just hit rock bottom. Take a look back at the Union game against the Fire the week after the Fire hit rock bottom with a 1-0 loss to last-place FC Cincy. The Union is again without Andre Blake, after a very short week, and is on the road, where it has failed to win its last five matches (0-2-3).