What to make of Inter Miami’s win in Week 2?

Inter Miami, Phil Neville (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Inter Miami, Phil Neville (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

For Inter Miami, this weekend’s 2-1 win at the Philadelphia Union was a bit of a statement about the club’s intentions. Given the struggles of last year for the then expansion club, Inter Miami going on the road and grabbing three points against a very good team was noticeable.

Especially, given the club’s tumultuous offseason.

It wasn’t pretty, but Inter Miami did what they needed to behind the sibling brilliance of Gonzalo and Federico Higuaín. And in getting a road win against the top team in league play last year, it was a clear signal about the sense of not just direction but also belief under head coach Phill Neville.

“We beat a really top team, a team that’s in [Concacaf] Champions League, a team that’s going to be going for the championship this year and a team that hasn’t been beaten,” Neville said after the win in Philadelphia. “This is only the start of the journey for us. We know we have miles more to give, miles more quality, miles more consistency in our play. I do believe there’s another 20 to 30 percent from us.”

Coincidentally, Sunday’s win was the first under Neville, who was hired by Inter Miami this offseason.

But despite all the good feelings from this win – and the result certainly shouldn’t be dismissed – it was far from a flawless result. In fact, there are cracks in the façade from this road win that shouldn’t damper the mood in south Florida but certainly should give pause.

The Union outshot (13:6), out-possessed (53.1 percent) and had a distinct edge in corner kicks (9:1) their opponent. Inter Miami got the result and should be commended for it. But this performance isn’t necessarily a bellwether, especially against some squad rotation done by Philadelphia ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League showdown midweek against Atlanta United.

Two weeks ago in their home opener against the LA Galaxy, Inter Miami had possession for just 33.9 percent of the match. Possession isn’t the only indicator of success – teams like the New York Red Bulls almost have a disdain for it – but it is a trend now through two games for Inter Miami that they will need to fix.

All this isn’t to say that Inter Miami doesn’t have potential under Neville – they certainly do. And that they can’t tighten things up – they certainly can. But Saturday’s win in Philadelphia certainly came against the run of play, something that should lend some caution when evaluating where this team is at in their development under a promising head coach.

Follow Kristian Dyer of ‘MLS Multiplex‘ on Twitter @KristianRDyer