Inter Miami CF-FC Cincinnati Preview
Phil Neville hopes to get Inter Miami back on track at FC Cincinnati after a defeat to CF Montreal that dealt his team a "reality check".
As Neville later highlighted, victory in its midweek match could have taken Inter to the top of the Eastern Conference. Having lost 2-0, they instead enter the weekend 11th, albeit four points ahead of last-placed Cincy.
"Sometimes in life, football has a real, real way of kicking you right where it hurts," coach Neville said. "When you think you're doing well, when you think you've got momentum, when you think sometimes probably that you're better than what you are, sometimes football has a way of knocking you back down to the ground."
The former England Women manager learned from the experience, though.
"I think it's a bit of a reality check for us all, in terms of where we are and where we want to get to," he added. "We know we've got a lot of work to do. We remain together as a team, we know the areas we want to improve, and we've just got to keep working hard at those areas.
"We've got to make sure that we get the players back that are injured and unavailable and make sure that we perform better at Cincinnati on Sunday."
For Cincinnati, this will be the first game at their new TQL Stadium.
But Jaap Stam, a former Manchester United teammate of Neville's, while describing a "very positive" feeling, insists his team cannot look at the game as a one-off.
"I think every time you play you want to make a statement," he said. "It's difficult to say 'Okay, in this particular game, we're going to set the standards for how it's always going to be'. Of course, every game you want to do very well and that's what we're aiming for."
FC Cincinnati – Przemyslaw Tyton
Cincy have the same old problems in attack, scoring only twice across three games, but it's also conceding at an alarming rate. Goalkeeper Tyton might be required to keep Stam's side in the game and get the crowd onside.
Inter Miami – Ryan Shawcross
Inter conceded just a single goal across Shawcross' first two starts in MLS, but it will need the former Stoke City captain's experience to steady the ship again now after the painful two-goal loss to Montreal.
- Inter Miami beat FC Cincinnati 2-1 at home in the lone meeting between the sides last season. Mikey Ambrose and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez scored the goals for Miami.
- Cincy collected 19 points in 26 matches at Nippert Stadium (W4 D7 L15) before moving to TQL Stadium, tied for the fewest any team has earned at home over a 26-match span in MLS history (Chivas USA – W5 D4 L17 at home from October 2011 to June 2013).
- Inter has collected four points in its first two away matches of the season (W1 D1). It's the first time in club history the team has gone consecutive away matches without defeat, as it managed just seven points on the road all of last season.
- Cincinnati scored two goals in the first 12 minutes of the season, but has been outscored 10-0 since. Cincy has trailed for 173 minutes, 29 seconds of 180 possible minutes over its past two matches.
- Inter has failed to score in two of its past three matches. Miami had scored in 15 of its previous 16 regular season matches dating back to early September 2020.
Updated May 14, 2021