October 5, 2022 Sports Review
When Inter Miami and Orlando City compete on Wednesday at DRV PNK Stadium, a playoff spot will be up for grabs because a victory for either team will assure them a spot in the MLS postseason.
Miami is now in the playoffs and has three more victories than Columbus Crew, while the Lions are just ahead of the Herons on goal differential.
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Better late than never, as they say, and Phil Neville and his team this year proved that when they scored four minutes before the end of Friday’s game to upset Toronto.
Earlier in the season, the former manager of the England women’s national team took a risky step by benching one of Miami’s seasoned leaders. The move seemed to bring this group closer together.
The veteran members of this team appear to have understood Neville’s message because throughout the previous three games, Miami’s star players have stepped up when they have been most needed.
A victory on Wednesday would not only secure them a spot in the postseason for the second time ever, but it would also make their current winning streak, which is the longest in club history, four games long.
The Herons have experienced quite a turnaround in 2022 after starting the year winless in their first five games and rarely seemed consistent until recently.
Miami has only triumphed twice in seven prior meetings with their opponents from Florida, despite going unbeaten in their last five regular season games at DRV PNK Stadium.
Another close game this past weekend did not favor the Lions, as Orlando City, who are currently sixth and have a tiebreaker lead over both the Herons and Columbus Crew, are now in a scrap to stay above the playoff line.
The U.S. Open Cup champions lost to New York City FC on Sunday, marking the second time in their previous three games that they had a point in hand but let it slip away.
Oscar Pareja’s team lost two second-half goals to the Pigeons on Sunday after taking the lead two minutes into the second half. This season, his team has lost 14 points when holding a second-half advantage while traveling.
In 13 away games this season, Orlando City has scored one goal or fewer, and they have lost their previous two away games by combined scores of 7-2.
While losing in two of their three trips to South Beach, they haven’t given up more than one goal to Miami in four straight league games.
Since taking over as manager two years ago, Pareja has never missed the postseason, and a victory on Wednesday would guarantee their return for a third consecutive season. It would also break the franchise record for wins in a single season, which is currently 13 wins.
Higuain, who is now in the finest form of his Major League Soccer career, is one of Miami’s top players who is finally rising to the fore.
Orlando lacks a strong attacker who can make the difference, and their recent psychological decline is concerning this late in the season.