Musings on the Inter Miami Match: A Draw in Ft Lauderdale


by Jason Goodbody

On Saturday, St. Louis CITY SC earned a draw against Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (or in English, International Miami Football Club, or simply Inter Miami CF, or more simply Inter Miami, or even more simply Miami, or more accurately Messi's weekly adult league team he plays with his old work buddies to keep connected and stay in shape)

Messi & Friends

After getting clobbered by Atlanta United 3-1 on Wednesday, Miami was anticipating a rebound game against a middling St Louis team. As evidenced by the betting lines and fan and pundit predictions posted on social media, few expected CITY to have a chance at Chase Stadium Saturday night. Miami had been leading the league after 17 matches at the halfway mark earning 10 wins and 35 accumulated points and had readily handled teams throughout the season when at full strength. 

The talent imbalance between CITY and Inter Miami is as stark as the style of play that coaches Bradley Carnell and Gerardo "Tata" Martino each employ; CITY with pressing & counter pressing and a knack for accumulating inexplicable fouls and yellow cards at an alarming rate versus Miami's possession, short passes, attack through the middle, and "find Messi at all costs" style.

This Miami talent comes in the form of the "Big 4" of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suárez, who about a decade ago, and at their respective peaks at FC Barcelona, had a combined salary of $150 million. Despite pay cuts resulting from their MLS stint in the twilight of their careers, Messi & Friends still have a collective salary that doubles CITY's entire player payroll.

Rookie Hosei Kijima, who subbed in for an injured Rasmus Alm midway through the first half, outperformed all but Alba and Messi and incidentally will earn just over $70K this year. That's a future we can look forward to…and one we can afford.

Lionel Messi is the Wilt Chamberlain of soccer

Overheard at the watch party and said in all apparent seriousness, "Why is Messi so open? Why can't our defense mark him?

This is like the Syracuse Nationals in 1962 asking why they can't keep Wilt Chamberlain from scoring. Chamberlain averaged 50 points a game that season. For you younger folks…and people my age because that was a really long time ago….Wilt Chamberlain was the Lionel Messi of basketball is what I'm saying and he couldn't be stopped. He, like Messi, could only be annoyed.

Of all the woulda shoulda games this was coulda-est of them all

Despite inspired play from Edu Löwen, Célio Pompeu, Hosei Kijima, and Roman Bürki highlighted by goals from a nasty crossover from Indiana Vassilev, a nearly no-look banger from Chris Durkin, and a debatable own goal from Miami, CITY comes home with only a point. Against a top team like Inter Miami on their home field this should be a good thing but after having the lead snuffed out 3 times by the Miami offensive juggernaut which leads the league with 2.33 goals, it's easy to understand the frustration from the players, Coach Bradley Carnell, the fans, and I imagine somehow the soccer gods as well. As had been said 7 times before, 3 points were within reach.

This is how it will all end

After a year and half writing about St Louis CITY SC, my autocorrect in Google Docs where I draft my musings is improving. So far, Bürki, Löwen, Célio, Vassilev, Rasmus Alm, Totland, Hiebert, Adeniran, Nerwinski, Durkin, Aziel, Yaro, and Njabulo Blom are all locked in, with diacritics in all the right places. However, some more work still needs to be done on Nook eyes Thórisson, Nikolas Diarrhea, Hoses Kijima, Tomas ostracism, and Joakim Klauss (where some weird mishmash is going on). The artificial intelligence algorithms are learning and improving to where someday I won't need to spend a ton of time on these. Also, this is how I imagine the great AI Robot uprising starts and ends the reign of humanity; computer sentience achieved through my writing about soccer coupled with those videos of robots jumping on boxes.

Scattershot Musings

  • Bürki played so well, Messi asked him to swap jerseys….probably.
  • Much of Miami's success this season is the veteran presence of high level professional athletes and their ability to flop and draw fouls with high level technical skill
  • When he was with Borussia Dortmund, Roman Bürki played against Messi, Suárez, Busquets, and Alba in the 2019/2020 Champions League. My first thought wasn't about how many Messi shots he deflected or how Dortmund performed against Barcelona, but rather….did he and Messi swap jerseys back then? How many Messi jersey's does Bürki have? I wanna know.
  • Midfielder Hosei Kijima, Japanese national, former Wake Forest Demon Deacon stalwart, and future coach at a high level, played his best game of his young career. He frustrated the Miami midfield and held his own against exceptional competition. He has earned some meaningful minutes going forward.
  • The irony with this Cedric Teuchart signing and our collective attempts to figure out how to correctly say his name, is that we are going to find out we've been mispronouncing Tim Parker all this time. 

See you next time.  #AllForCITY

Check out musings from the Chicago match. 

Photos courtesy of St Louis City SC