New York City FC took all three points against Inter Miami with a 1-0 victory on Monday morning. With neither team in the best form, here are three things we learned.
While both Inter Miami and New York City FC entered the MLS is Back Tournament with high hopes, by the time their contest came around on Monday morning, their final game of the group stages, neither looked likely to progress. Instead, NYCFC and Inter Miami exchanged soft blows in what was a largely uneventful Group A finale.
Inter Miami looked lackluster and out of sorts. The only player on the pitch worthwhile was Designated Player Rodolfo Pizarro, and even then, one man can only do so much. NYCFC, on the other hand, found a way to squeak out a win under difficult circumstances. A 63rd-minute goal by Ismael Tajouri-Shradi was enough to breakdown Miami’s defensive line.
With both teams now having completed their group-stage fixtures, here are three things we learned.
3. Inter Miami need a striker
With all the talk of Inter Miami wanting to win trophies, the team is currently far from achieving that goal. Now that they’ve swiftly been knocked out of the MLS is Back Tournament, it’s time to look to the future. Miami GM Paul McDonough has repeatedly spoken about wanting to bring in at least two more players. The importance of that now means more than ever.
Against NYCFC, which admittedly was a poor showing for both teams, Inter Miami had a total shot of two shots on goal. For a team looking to get into the knockout stage, this isn’t nearly good enough. The strikers that Diego Alonso had at his disposal were not nearly as effective as Robbie Robinson was in the first two games of the season pre-COVID-19 break.
Juan Agudelo isn’t the type of striker that Diego Alonso likes in his system. A big, physically imposing center-forward that can run the channels while also holding up the ball is imperative to this system working. Agudelo’s game is more suited to a possession-based style where he can drop deep and get on the ball if needed. Alonso needs a bruising number nine. It is now up to McDonough to provide it.