Fort Lauderdale – On a Saturday evening where the club opened their stadium to full capacity for the first time ever, sanctions looming, Inter Miami, in short, let their fans down:

For a team that has the highest payroll in the league at $17.8 million a year, the game was below the club’s self-imposed standards.

The day after the news that MLS would be imposing sanctions on Inter Miami due to cooking the books in regards to several players, it seemed like that announcement was hanging over the players as they took the pitch.

However, during the post-match conference, both Phil Neville and Lewis Morgan insisted that the sanctions didn’t affect the team:

Bad Luck Or Bad Decisions?

Now, these guys are professionals of course, but with the bad luck Inter Miami has had in their first two seasons, it’s definitely something that stings a little.

Losing 3-0 didn’t make anything better, either.

It’s been discussed before, but this lack of effort has been a reoccurring theme in South Florida:

This game was no different.

While Neville tried to tinker with the lineup in the 2nd half, bringing on various players, they couldn’t crack the code to DC’s defense.

The Herons went from a 3-5-2 in the first half, quickly switching to a 4-4-2 after they went down 2-0. Although the formation switch gave them some freedom with the ball, it wasn’t enough. Maybe the blue kits were a sign of bad luck? Maybe the Inter Miami sanctions had more effect on the team than we thought?

Whatever it was, the fans didn’t hesitate to voice their displeasure:

What we do know, is that this team needs to re-group. They have the talent to be able to win and win convincingly, but, it’s up to Neville to find a playstyle that can get the most out of these players.

It’ll take some time, but the club will get there.

What’s Next?

What is clear is that the team has to do better, they can’t afford to lose. The ownership group has spent far too much money for the team to be playing this poorly. Jorge Mas and David Beckham are all in on this team and they desperately want them to succeed.

But, for all the doom and gloom that does surround the club, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful. For one, South Florida is a soccer hotbed, and Inter Miami’s academy has tapped into that. Already we’ve seen the likes of Felipe Valencia, Edison Azcona, and Ian Fray sign first-team contracts. They’re still young, but in a year or two, we will see them start to contribute significant minutes.

Inter Miami’s USL club, Fort Lauderdale CF also has a ton of promising prospects. Guys like Venton Evans, George Acosta, Ethan Hardin, Noah Allen, and Aime Mabika all have the potential to make the jump to the first team sooner rather than later:

With these sanctions coming down and Miami forced to scale back their spending, there isn’t a better time to invest in the future than now. The club may be in a difficult period (last night was a perfect example of that) but, it won’t last forever.

The next game Inter Miami will play is on June 19th against DC United.  Only time will tell if the Herons can get their act together.

📸 Credit: Vicky Alves

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Alex Windley
Alex is a soccer enthusiast with an unhealthy obsession with tattoos. Born and raised in Miami, she spends her time waxing poetic over Jordan Rakei, finding different tea combinations, and planning her next road trip.
https://playathroughball.substack.com/

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