Inter Miami CF (2-4-2, eight points) went scoreless for the third time in their last four matches in the 3-0 home loss to D.C. United on Saturday.
Miami’s defeat was its worst loss of the season and came in front of its biggest home crowd since opening play last year, with a sellout crowd of 15,945 at DRV PNK Stadium.
Inter Miami’s loss kept them winless in home games (0-3-1) this season entering the team’s three-week break from play due to FIFA’s international competition window, which starts on Monday.
Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s match:
Inter Miami’s season-long difficulties with creating quality scoring opportunities were on display in their loss to D.C. United.
Miami didn’t record its first shot from the run of play until the 35th minute when Lewis Morgan served Julián Carranza with a cross inside D.C.’s box, with Carranza sending a header to the left of the goal.
Inter Miami didn’t have their first shot on target until with the 65th minute.
They may have finished the match with 10 shots (three on goal) and won the possession battle at 57.2 percent, but their most threatening scoring opportunities came when D.C. United already had a comfortable lead.
Inter Miami, whose one goal per 90 minutes through eight games is tied for the fifth-worst mark in the league, don’t create many scoring chances and don’t capitalize enough off the ones they do create.
Their 9.75 shots per 90 minutes ranks No. 25 out of 27 teams in MLS.
Despite ranking No. 1 in the league in shots-on-target percentage at 41.0 percent, Miami ranks toward the bottom of the league in how many goals it scores per shot on goal (0.22).
“We don’t score, so we need to start scoring goals at home,” Morgan said. “That’s the whole team as a collective. As a team, we need to start creating more chances.”
Coach Phil Neville switched Inter Miami’s formation with them missing three key players on Saturday (Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Rodolfo Pizarro, Robbie Robinson), and the adjustment led to D.C. United being more dangerous in the attack early in the match.
Even outside of the two goals D.C. United scored within the game’s opening 21 minutes, Miami had a hard time staying connected with runners in the box and were losing the numbers battle in threatening defensive situations.
Neville attributed Inter Miami conceding goals to individual errors, but took the blame for Saturday’s loss.
“Ultimately, the buck stops with me,” he said. “The buck stops with me in terms of that is my team out there and we play together and we win or lose together. At this moment in time, we’re suffering a lot and we’re frustrated with what has happened in the last three or four games.
“Now is not the time, eight or nine games into the season, to start pointing fingers at individuals. We’ve got to be better as a collective unit, we’be got to make sure that we play better, and that’s the way it has to be.”
Inter Miami don’t play their next match until June 19 against D.C. United, with their next home game coming on June 25 versus in-state rival Orlando City.
With multiple players battling injuries and the team not in its best form (1-3-0 in its last four matches), it’s clear Miami could use the next couple of weeks to get healthier and regroup.
“There needs to be a period of clearing the mind,” Neville said. “There’s been lot happening: crowds back in, different emotions in games, new manager, new culture within the football club — there needs to be a period now of just clearing the mind for 3-4 days and then getting back to work.
“Being hard to beat and making sure it’s not easy for teams to create easy chances against us — that’s the main thing I’m going to be working on.”