New York City FC-Inter Miami CF Preview
Inter Miami CF head coach Phil Neville claimed his side have not been ruthless enough as they look to end their MLS campaign strongly at home to New York City FC.
Miami's playoff hopes all but ended with two games left to play after a 2-1 loss on the road against Atlanta United.
Back-to-back victories had provided hope of a top-seven finish but that ended in their last game and Neville bemoaned his side's finishing.
"I thought we played some brilliant football, I thought the determination of the team was fantastic, I thought the collective system, the efforts of the players, the belief of the players to win a game was as good as it's been on the road," Neville said after the loss at Atlanta.
"We have not been ruthless enough in front of goal… I don't think we've created clear-cut opportunities; I'm talking 1v1's, I'm talking free headers, I'm talking chances in on goal to score goals, and we weren't ruthless enough.
"That's the disappointment."
New York sit four points clear of the chasing pack in fourth in the Eastern Conference, traveling to Miami on a three-game unbeaten run.
Head coach Ronny Deila saw his side edge past Chicago Fire 1-0 in their last game and was thrilled with his defensive unit's work.
"Again, we kept a clean sheet - I don't know how many times we have done that this year but we have been really good defensively,"
"A win at a time like this in the stage of the season is really crucial, hopefully it's the start of something really good."
Inter Miami CF - Gonzalo Higuain
Gonzalo Higuain has been Miami's most prominent attacking threat throughout the season. Indeed, the forward has netted 12 times this season - eight more than any other team-mate.
New York City FC - Valentin Castellanos
Valentin Castellanos scored his 16th goal of the season last time out and will have his eye on the Golden Boot as he trails DC United's Ola Kamara by a sole strike.
●New York City FC has won each of its first three matches against Inter Miami, winning once at home, once away and once at MLS is Back. NYCFC is one of two teams Miami has faced more than once without ever taking a point (D.C. United).
●Inter Miami fell to Atlanta United, 2-1, despite taking a 1-0 lead into halftime. The club has a winning percentage of .667 when leading at the half this year (W4 D0 L2), which is the fourth-lowest winning percentage in MLS this season in games when leading at the half.
●New York City has conceded 34 goals in its 32 games this season for a goals against average of 1.06. Last season, NYCFC set a team regular season record for its lowest goals against average over a single season at 1.09 (25 goals conceded in 23 games).
●Gonzalo Higuaín scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season, scoring in each of his last two matches. It is the second time Higuaín has scored consecutive goals in MLS, having scored in his first two games for Miami earlier this year.
●Valentin Castellanos scored his 16th goal of the season with the lone goal in NYCFC's 1-0 victory over Chicago. The 16 goals are the most by an NYCFC player in a single season other than David Villa, who had three seasons with 18+ goals.
Updated October 29, 2021