Match previews / Union

Match preview: Inter Miami CF vs Philadelphia Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Who: Inter Miami vs. Philadelphia Union

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

When: Wednesday, July 13, 8:00 p.m.

Watch: PHL17, ESPN+, Philadelphiaunion.com

Whistle: Not available at publication

A midweek matchup down in Florida on a hot July evening should provide plenty of fireworks, with Philadelphia Union coming off a match where they scored seven goals.

Meanwhile, hosts Inter Miami have scored two or more goals in each of its last six home games as they look to make their home field a fortress. It will be interesting to see if either side rotates their starting lineup heavily, as both are coming off games at the weekend with another match three days after for both sides.

Scouting Report: Inter Miami

After a rocky first year in MLS, Phil Neville has gotten his Inter Miami side to turn in form and push closer to the playoff line in the Eastern Conference. They have even had some recent success against Philadelphia, posting a win and two draws in their last 3 meetings.  One of the catalysts of this turn in form has been star man Gonzalo Higuain being dropped to the bench in favor of promising striker Leo Campana. The young Ecuadorian has tallied eight goals so far this season in 15 starts, while Higuain has accounted for just two goals on the year. Helping deliver service to Campana will be Ariel Lassiter and Indiana Vassilev, with both looking to be a threat for some goals.

Behind the attack is Miami captain Gregore, who pairs centrally with either Jean Mota or Victor Ulloa. Miami prefers their central midfielders to work box to box and slow any counter attacks, shielding their backline. They also will look spread the ball out wide to wingbacks DeAndre Yedlin on the right and Robert Taylor on the left.

In defense, Miami has been regularly lining up with a back three, which usually includes Chris McVey, Damian Lowe and either Ryan Sailor or Aime Mabika. All three are big center backs who will look to spread the ball wide to Yedlin and Taylor and will also serve as threats on set pieces. Miami has shown a stauncher defense in their six games since last meeting Philadelphia, having only surrendered multiple goals once in that stretch.

In goal for the home side is Drake Callender. The young American has played in 10 games so far for Miami and has kept a clean sheet twice, stopping around 75% of the shots he has faced.

Injury Report: Out: Robbie Robinson

Suspension Report:  None

Scouting report: Philadelphia Union

The story for the Philadelphia Union prior to their last match on Friday was their lack of finishing quality.

Then thanks to Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre and Alejandro Bedoya, they walked away with seven goals in a single game.

Striker worries may not be over for Philadelphia though, as Carranza is unavailable for tonight’s match due to MLS rules regarding players on loan facing their parent club. That leaves Uhre up top, most likely pairing with Cory Burke, although a possible start for Quinn Sullivan or Paxten Aaronson could be in the cards.

Jumping out to a large lead in their last match also allowed the Union to rest their midfield starts for a good portion of the second half. Bedoya, Jose Martinez, Daniel Gazdag and Leon Flach were all substituted in the second half and should be fielding their usual spots in the midfield diamond. If Jim Curtin decides to rotate his squad, Jesus Bueno and Jack McGlynn, along with Aaronson and Sullivan, are also options.

The defense for Philadelphia is the least likely unit to see a change, as the group of Nathan Harriel, Jack Elliott, Jacob Glesnes and all-star Kai Wagner have combined to become the best defense in the league. Harriel has done well facing added pressure on the right side for his age, while Wagner can deliver excellent set piece service from the left.

In goal is another all-star in Andre Blake, who made a series of good saves to keep a clean sheet against D.C. United in the last match and saved a penalty against Columbus earlier in the month.

Injury Report: Questionable: Jack Elliott

Suspension Report:  None

Key Matchup: Fitness

Both teams are coming off a weekend match, have another game in 3 days, and are playing in hot and humid Florida. Whoever has the deeper bench may win this game and starters may be pulled rather early to rest for the weekend. Don’t expect this game to be played at a fast pace.

Player to Watch: Cory Burke

Uhre and Carranza both made statements over the weekend with multi-goal games, and now Cory Burke will need to step up for Philadelphia with Carranza out. Burke needs to show he’s deserving of more playing time as Sullivan returns from international competition, or he may find playing time harder to come by.

Prediction:  Miami 1-1 Philadelphia 

A slower game finds two goals and both teams split the points as they look forward to the weekend.

Odds
Philadelphia = +145
Miami = +175
Draw = +230

11 Comments

  1. Flach left the game injured. Was it just cramping?

  2. Deez Nuggs says:

    I suppose there is no chance of the Union triggering Carranza’s purchase clause before the game starts?

  3. Here is the officiating crew.
    .
    REF: Marcos DeOliveira
    AR1: Jose Da Silva
    AR2: Kevin Klinger
    4TH: Silviu Petrescu
    VAR: Malik Badawi
    AVAR: Craig Lowry

  4. Gruncle Bob says:

    On mlssoccer.com Carranza is NOT listed on Miami’s roster at all. Previously, he appeared on the Miami roster with “loaned out” as a notation.
    .
    Maybe it’s nothing, but to me it’s good news ’til I hear otherwise.

  5. Be interesting to see if the U can figure out how to succeed against a back 3. Seems like they typically get overrun in midfield when the other team is playing with 5 in the mid.

  6. Big game for Gazdag and Uhre

  7. Gruncle Bob says:

    Now on philaunion.com. Carranza is official.

  8. Peanut Gallery says:

    Based on the weather forecast, it looks like this match may end up getting rescheduled.

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