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Three takeaways from Inter Miami’s 0-0 draw against Orlando City


The latest installment of the Sunshine Clasico saw Inter Miami and Orlando City play to a 0-0 draw at Inter&Co Stadium.

It wasn’t exactly the most entertaining clash between the two, but there were a few key stops by both Miami’s Drake Callender and Orlando’s Pedro Gallese. It’s also worth noting that Lionel Messi was unavailable for selection after suffering a knee injury during his side’s 3-2 triumph over CF Montreal last weekend.

However, the Herons still had a few half-chances to go on and claim all three points. The same can be said for the hosts, but neither side possessed the quality in the final third on the night to break the deadlock — even with players like Luis Suarez and Facundo Torres on the pitch.

Here are three main takeaways from the Herons’ goalless draw vs Orlando.

Messi missed out through injury

Messi missed out through injury / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Who knew Miami would struggle a little to create numerous chances without the greatest player to ever play the sport? In Miami’s narrow victory over Montreal, we saw players like Suarez and Matias Rojas step up when Messi was having an off-night.

Messi’s off-night got worse after he suffered the knock to his knee in the first half, but his teammates were still able to go on and win with Benjamin Cremaschi finding the winner in the second 45.

However, that wasn’t the case Wednesday night against Orlando. It could’ve been the fact that Miami, like every other team, were facing a quick turnaround while still waiting on a few key players to return to from the treatment table. It also could’ve been the fact that even though Messi may not have put in his best performance against Montreal, his mere presence or “aura” no doubt kept eyes on him at all time and thus freed up space for his fellow attackers.

As the season rolls on and Copa America kicks-off in late June, the Herons will have to find a way to continue winning matches without Messi — or they could find themselves sliding down the Eastern Conference standings.

Tomas Aviles

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

20-year-old center-back Tomas Aviles put in one of his best performances of the 2024 season to help preserve the clean sheet for Miami. While it may not have been the best match to watch for those expecting goals galore, Aviles oozed quality in defense for those who admire great anticipation and crunching challenges at the back.

The youngster — who joined Miami last summer from Argentinian outfit Racing Club — recorded one clearance, two interceptions, made five recoveries and even created one chance. Aviles also pitched in with three tackles won — one of which denied Duncan McGuire a sure-fire strike at Callender’s goal.

Aviles also won five ground duels and was dribbled past just twice against a talented Orlando attacking unit that boasts the likes of Torres, McGuire, Luis Muriel and Martin Ojeda. If Miami are to continue their impressive run of form, Aviles will be at the center of defense doing his job — which also means there could be plenty of European sides taking note of his impressive performances week in and week out.

Drake Callender gave Miami a chance

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

Although the veteran Callender has a mistake in him every now and then, he was huge for Miami against Orlando.

The hosts were pressing hard for the opener in the first 45, blasting nine shots at Callender’s goal. Just over 30 minutes into the contest, Muriel found Ojeda on the edge of the box, and the tricky winger managed to find space with a clever turn and fired a strike that was bound to find the back of the net — before Callender intervened.

That wasn’t the only save the USMNT shot-stopper made. The 26-year-old notched another two saves on the night against an Orlando xG of 0.96. Callender didn’t record the most eye-popping stats on the night, but he played his part in giving Miami a chance at victory by keeping Orlando at bay, especially in the first half.



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