Inter Miami clearly has a midfield conundrum in loss to Nashville SC

Inter Miami (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Inter Miami (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Inter Miami’s first road game of the season ended in a 1-0 loss to Nashville SC.

Inter Miami go 1-0-6 on the year with a 1-0 loss to fellow expansion team Nashville SC. This defeat is nothing new, for a while now Inter Miami has shown glimpses of brilliance only to fall short of total cohesion. There’s certainly plenty of talent on this roster but with only one win to their name, Miami is another loss away from possibly pushing the panic button.

Failing to finish chances, sloppy defending and a lack of a real gameplan hurt the South Florida club, who looked much better in their last match. Despite all the momentum swinging towards La Rosa Negra’s favor after their 3-2 home win against Orlando, all of that went out the window during Sunday night’s trip to the Music City.

Here are the three key things that we learned.

Pellegrini’s DP status comes into question for Inter Miami

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The 20-year-old young Designated Player Matias Pellegrini came on to the scene with high expectations, so far, he’s failed to truly make his mark on the team.

Although his high price tag indicated a player of higher quality in his over 200+ minutes played with the club, the Argentinian has only registered an assist to his name.

As a Designated Player, statistics like this are flat out unacceptable. It’s looking more and more likely that his DP player status is coming into question.

Compare his stats to fellow Designated Player Rodolfo Pizarro. Pizarro has been the engine for this Inter Miami squad, scoring four goals and assisting three times during his first six games for Miami.

Of course, the 20-year-old is still young and there is time to grow, but for a team that is at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, patience is swiftly running thin. Pellegrini hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, and it’s possible that for Inter Miami’s next match against Atlanta United, he could be relegated to the bench.

Inter Miami midfield conundrum: Wil Trapp, Victor Ulloa, or Lee Nguyen

It’s been discussed ad nauseam, but the midfield pairing of Wil Trapp and Victor Ulloa does not work.

The duo is slow, defensive inconsistent, and doesn’t contribute enough offensively to really make an impact, there are solutions to this issue on Inter Miami’s bench, however. During the 74th minute, Diego Alonso used four of five of his substitutions on attacking players -one of those players was midfield maestro Lee Nguyen. Compared to Trapp and Ulloa, Nguyen has the technical ability and awareness to play off of guys like Rodolfo Pizarro in order to get them into better offensive spaces.

It’s evident that Miami’s offensive threat immediately picked up as soon as the 33-year-old stepped on the pitch. According to WhoScored by the 80th Ngyuen had two shots and helped Miami keep possession maintaining an 80-18% average during the last 10 minutes of the game. If Inter Miami wants to get more offensively out of their midfield starting Lee Ngyuen in place of either Victor Ulloa or Wil Trapp will probably be the best way to go.

Are the striker options enough for Inter Miami?

If there was any game that exemplified Inter Miami’s need for a prolific goal-scorer, Sunday night’s loss against Nashville was a perfect example. While Julian Carranza enjoyed a fantastic outing against Orlando City, against Nashville he was largely ineffective. This begs the question, does Inter Miami use their third DP spot a number nine?

It’s been argued many times that until Miami gets a big name striker that their attack will be largely inadequate. That statement isn’t entirely wrong. Miami has created chances, and on good days – like their match against Orlando City, they finish them. But on nights like Sunday where even half chances weren’t put away, having a clinical striker with a nose for goal will help the team win games.

The three main strikers that Miami has available to them, Robbie Robinson, Juan Agudelo, and Julian Carranza are very talented but they may not be consistent enough to lead Inter Miami’s front line. Both Robinson and Carranza are still young and their performances will fluctuate as they continue to play games.

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Sunday night’s loss was a hard pill to swallow for Inter Miami. The team didn’t play to their ability and the lack of finishing their chances is starting to add up. Their next game against Atlanta is another chance to cement their playing style and hopefully get another win.