By Official Florida FC
Inter Miami is the worst team in Major League Soccer.
The Herons (3-8-4, 13 points) had a chance to rouse themselves from the foot of the Eastern Conference in a Florida Derby against Orlando City on Wednesday night, but settled for a 1-1 draw. Kieran Gibbs’ first goal for the club in the 66th minute allowed the visitors to silence Orlando’s Exploria Stadium.
Orlando City (8-4-5, 29 points) had, better chances in both halves, but only put one of them away. Center back Antonio Carlos headed home Nani’s service in first half stoppage time to give the Lions the lead.
Orlando City forward Tesho Akindele thought he won the game with less than 10 minutes to go, but was judged to be offside. That relegated Florida’s two MLS clubs to the first draw in six all-time meetings between the pair.
“I think it was a difficult game for both [sides]. Very [choppy], rocky, it didn’t flow for either team,” Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja told the team’s website afterward. “From the beginning, we couldn’t find a rhythm. Miami didn’t create many chances, but we didn’t have that volume in the attack that we’re used to having either.
“It was a game that I think both teams showed that they were coming in with a short period of recovery, trying to find those answers during the game through the players with their effort. We take the point today. We respect Miami. We obviously came to win the derby with that energy, but today we have to walk with that point and we will do that and prepare for the next one.”
Wednesday is the middle of a three-game week for both squads. Orlando City made five changes Chris Mueller, Mauricio Pereyra, Benji Michel and Nani. Orlando City is 3-0-1 this season when those four are in the starting XI of a 4-2-3-1 system and Nani is the center forward.
Of course, Orlando would not deploy its bester service provider as a center forward if it can avoid it. Nani’s assist on Carlos’ goal was his club record 24th in 70 matches in purple. The Portuguese will likely revert back to his position on the left wing now that Daryl Dike has returned following international duty.
Daryl Dike did not play Wednesday, but he was recognized for helping the USMNT win the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Inter Miami also had multiple players selected for international duty. The Herons are undefeated (1-0-2) since Kelvin Leerdam returned from international duty with Suriname. Mexican international Rodolfo Pizarro had a 30-minute appearance in Wednesday’s result after playing 44 in the Gold Cup final in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
Pizarro and the rest of the Herons will return home on Sunday night to host a Nashville SC team that is 2-0-2 all-time against the Floridians.
[…] Lions dropped points against a team in the depths of the Eastern Conference once again on Saturday night. Orlando City (8-4-6, 30 points) remains in second place in the […]