Three Takeaways from Inter Miami's 0-0 Draw with Orlando City - Latest Global News

Three Takeaways from Inter Miami’s 0-0 Draw with Orlando City

In the last edition of the Sunshine Clasico, Inter Miami and Orlando City played to a 0-0 draw at the Inter&Co Stadium.

It wasn’t the most entertaining matchup between the two, but there were a few key saves from Miami’s Drake Callender and Orlando’s Pedro Gallese. It’s also worth noting that Lionel Messi was not available for selection after suffering a knee injury during his team’s 3-2 win over CF Montreal last weekend.

However, the Herons still had a few half chances to get all three points. The same goes for the hosts, but neither team had the quality needed to break the deadlock in the final third of the night – even with the likes of Luis Suarez and Facundo Torres on the pitch.

Here are three key takeaways from the Herons’ goalless draw with Orlando.

Messi was missing due to injury

Messi was missing due to injury / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Who would have thought that without the best player to ever play the sport, Miami would have a little trouble creating numerous opportunities? In Miami’s narrow win over Montreal, we saw players like Suarez and Matias Rojas perform when Messi was on a break.

Messi’s absence was made worse after he suffered a blow to his knee in the first half, but his teammates were still able to go on and win, with Benjamin Cremaschi scoring the winner in the second 45 minutes.

However, that wasn’t the case against Orlando on Wednesday night. It could be because Miami, like every other team, was facing a quick turnaround while still waiting for some key players to return from the treatment table. It could also have been because, while Messi may not have put in his best performance against Montreal, his mere presence or “aura” undoubtedly kept him in sight at all times, creating space for his attacking colleagues.

As the season continues and the Copa America begins at the end of June, the Herons must find a way to continue winning games without Messi – otherwise they could slip down the Eastern Conference standings.

Tomas Aviles

Tomas Aviles anchored the backline / Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages

20-year-old center back Tomas Aviles had one of his best performances of the 2024 season, helping Miami keep a clean sheet. It might not have been the best game to watch for those expecting goals galore, but Aviles exuded quality in defense for those who value great anticipation and tough defensive challenges.

The youngster – who moved to Miami from Argentine side Racing Club last summer – recorded one clearance, two interceptions, grabbed five rebounds and even created a chance. Aviles was also there with three won tackles – one of which prevented Duncan McGuire from scoring a sure hit on Callender’s goal.

Aviles also won five ground duels and was outrebounded just twice against a talented Orlando offensive unit that featured players like Torres, McGuire, Luis Muriel and Martin Ojeda. If Miami wants to continue his impressive form, Aviles will do his job in central defense – which also means there could be plenty of European teams taking note of his impressive performances week in week out.

Drake Callender gave Miami a chance

Drake Callender gave Miami a chance / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Although the veteran Callender makes a mistake every now and then, he was great for Miami against Orlando.

The hosts pushed hard for the lead in the first 45 minutes, firing nine shots at Callender’s goal. Just over 30 minutes into the game, Muriel found Ojeda on the edge of the penalty area and the tricky winger, with a clever turn, managed to find space and fire a shot that inevitably ended up in the net – before Callender intervened.

That wasn’t the only save the USMNT shot-stopper made. The 26-year-old made two more saves on the night against an Orlando xG of 0.96. Callender didn’t post the most impressive stats on the night, but he did his part to give Miami a chance to win by keeping Orlando at bay, especially in the first half.

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