Atlanta United’s first ever loss to Orlando City may have stung (Spoiler: it did. A lot), but the Fives Stripes aren’t afforded any time to dwell on the past. In what is a chance to rebound and put themselves back above the playoff line, Inter Miami visits Mercedes Benz Stadium this Wednesday.
Neither of these teams have lived up to expectations so far, but Miami has been particularly underwhelming. Despite boasting a well rounded team with the likes of Rodolfo Pizarro, Julian Carranza, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, and Luis Robles, Inter Miami finds itself in last in the league with three points from seven games. The addition of Blaise Matuidi will certainly help, but as last week’s drab 1-0 loss to Nashville showed, the attack is clearly short of ideas. Staying compact defensively is an excellent way to shut down Diego Alonso’s side, but as the Orlando game showed, individual mistakes from Atlanta aren’t so easy to get rid of.
Speaking of such mistakes, “Pity” Martinez provided one of the most glaring in the lead up to Orlando’s third. Since Stephen Glass has taken over, the Argentine has put in two performances of vastly different quality. The superb brace against Nashville was followed up by a poor ninety minutes vs Orlando that included seven losses of possession, and a mere five touches in the box. Neither match is fully indicative of Pity as a whole, but the next few games will point us in the right direction. Those four games are also going to be vital as for how Atlanta’s season will turn out. The Five Stripes are currently in 8th on nine points, but only three points separate them from 5th and 13th. A winning run could send Atlanta back to where it’s used to, near the top of the East, while a subpar run of form would see United into uncharted territory, out of the playoffs.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Atlanta United 1-1 Inter Miami
Both of these teams are struggling, and that’s going to show Wednesday. No one is able to take control, and we see an evenly contested ninety minutes play out with goals from Erick “Cubo” Torres and
Brek Shea Rodolfo Pizarro.