It’s been a disappointing second season in MLS for Inter Miami. After 15 games in the 2021 season, they find themselves rock bottom of the table with just 13 points. There are signs of improvement though with five points from the last three games. Can they defy the odds, maintain this good form and finish in the top ten?
This season saw head coach Diego Alonso replaced by Phil Neville. He’s no stranger of course to David Beckham having won several trophies with him at Manchester United. His managerial career has certainly had its ups and downs. He didn’t stay that long at Valencia in La Liga but did enjoy some success as the manger of the England women’s football team. The odds on him taking them to World Cup success weren’t looking good though and he announced his departure.
He’s not had a dream start in Miami though. Inter only won one of their first five MLS games. It could have been two but a 2-1 home lead over LA Galaxy ended in a 3-2 defeat. A win over FC Cincinnati doubled their number of wins but at that time their opponents were in dire form.
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If you do manage to get a win in the MLS, the task is to then build on it. Get confidence flowing through your team and start getting betting results. That’s not how it worked for Inter and betting on them to win more games was a disastrous move to make. They lost six straight league matches with only one goal being scored.
Home form has been a nightmare for Inter. Only one point was earned from their first six home fixtures of the season. That’s not how a new manager wins the support of the fans. After the disastrous 5-0 home loss to New England Revolution last month, the pressure was really on Phil Neville. Could his time at the club be a short one? He could be back home in England in time for their new Premier League season.
A home game against high-flying Philadelphia Union was the next game for Inter. When in desperate trouble, this wasn’t really the kind of match you needed to play. The first signs of recovery were on their way though. With only 19 minutes remaining, Inter took the lead. Could their first win since May be just minutes away?
Not so as Philadelphia leveled the scores in the 85th minute. The game ended in a draw and that run of six straight league losses had been ended. Miami were still at the bottom of the table though. The odds given by sportsbooks on them making the play-offs were not encouraging though.
August has to be a month when Inter Miami start raising their game. If not, then the loyalty shown by Beckham to Neville would be hard to maintain. The month began with a home match against Montreal Impact who were just outside the Eastern Conference play-off positions.
However, Montreal arrived in Miami having lost their last two games. Could Inter defy the odds and make it three in a row? That didn’t look the case as Montreal took a 20th minute lead and went into the break 1-0 up.
One great bet that always has great odds at a sportsbook is a half-time/full-time forecast with one team ahead at the break but their opponents winning the match. Anyone fancying that to happen in this match was in for a good return. A Higuain penalty four minutes into the second half put Inter level. 20 minutes later he was on the mark and Inter held on for a 2-1 win.
Neville was probably the most relieved soccer manager in the US at the end of that game. A first win since May and four points from the last two matches. A corner was most definitely being turned. Speaking after the match, Neville said “there is an element of relief throughout the whole club,” not to mention the odds on him leaving the club suddenly lengthening. Defender Kelvin Leerdam summed up how Inter are going to start climbing the table. “It’s about not giving up,” he said, adding “we’re heading in the right direction. We’re climbing up slowly, but we’re heading in the right direction.”
No one expects Inter to suddenly go on a winning streak and somehow make the play-offs. The bookmakers don’t believe that will be the case, probably not even Phil Neville. Their next game was another promising one though. Inter went behind at Orlando City who are second in the Eastern Conference. That battling spirit was again shown though as a Kieran Gibbs goal in the second half saw them return home with a point after losing the last three without scoring.
Now they take on Nashville SC at home on August 8 followed by a trip to New York City on the 15th. Neville still has a lot of work to do to convince everyone he’s the right man for the job. The odds on him turning the situation around are looking better though.