For Inter Miami, It’s So Far, So Good

After 10 games of the 2024 Major League Soccer season, Inter Miami has proven to be a winner in MLS. But some serious questions still surround Tata Martino’s side moving forward. 

The fairytale 2024 season that Inter Miami and Major League Soccer have planned hasn’t been immune to a few hiccups, but it’s been more or less going according to plan just under a third of the way through.

Inter Miami leads the MLS Eastern Conference with 18 points, although the team has played more matches than anyone else in the league. New York Red Bulls, FC Cincinnati, and reigning champs Columbus Crew all lurk behind Miami and have looked to be hitting their respective strides.

As one would figure, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are among the leaders when it comes to goals and assists, but while the team is sitting pretty and leading the Supporters’ Shield race, there are glaring issues for Inter Miami that need to be addressed if the team truly wants to write a story worthy of its talented roster.

Defensive Struggles

Inter Miami manager Tata Martino has yet to find any real answers to his poor defensive problem. The club leaks goals, and has had issues across the board when it comes to defending. As of late Martino has tried an all-Argentine backline, but even then, Franco Negri in for Jordi Alba looks very rusty, and Marcelo Weigandt is a cheaper version of DeAndre Yedlin, who was made surplus due to salary cap issues. The on-loan Boca Juniors full back can play the part, but at times gets caught up field.

Add to that some very poor play out of the back, and Martino will need to find a solution as he can’t really go back into the market to find a new central defender. Tomás Avilés looks to have the tools of a good defender, but like his teammates, can be inconsistent.

Goalkeeper Drake Callender is able to make key saves, but is not immune to making mistakes of his own as well, and the communication between the keeper and the back line needs to improve — which could be the byproduct of a language barrier.


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Benjamin Cremaschi returned only for Diego Gomez to go down, and before that the list of injuries for the club includes Alba, Leonardo Campana, Robert Taylor, Serhiy Kryvtsov, and Federico Redondo.

There is the constant nagging of Messi’s hamstring, which at times has kept him out, in addition to Suarez’s knee, which has so far held up.

The team has been decimated by injuries, begging the question, how will this team play when (or if) everyone is back to full fitness?

Tata Martino

tata martino inter miami

Martino himself should be looked at with scrutiny as well. Sure, his team is in first place, but such is expected when you have Messi and Suarez on the roster. Martino usually has little answers for games where Messi is not available, and has an abysmal record when he is not in the squad.

Let’s face it, every team Messi has ever played for has been dependent on his play, but in the case of Inter Miami, when Messi is out, the team especially struggles to find wins.

Martino has been forced to be creative with his formations thanks to the litany of injuries, but even when his team is fully healthy, he has international call-ups to deal with. Messi alone could miss up to 15 games in total this season due to international duty and injuries.

On the Bright Side

Not all is doom and gloom for Inter Miami. Sure the club was manhandled by Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, but being the current leaders of the Supporters’ Shield race can’t be overlooked.

Messi and Suarez continue to be highlight players, combining for 13 goals and 10 assists — Messi with seven and six in just six games played, and Suarez with six and four through nine games.

Messi is even close to becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer, just nine goals away from tying former Argentina teammate Gonzalo Higuaín, who has 29 goals in 70 games. Messi has 20 in 23 and could realistically score 30 goals this season if things go his way. He is also four assists from tying Robert Taylor as the team’s all-time assist leader with 14.

It has been a rollercoaster first month of the season for Inter Miami, who have been winning but have been equal parts exciting and maddening.

It’s still early, and there’s plenty of season left, not to mention the Leagues Cup. We could easily be here two months from now telling an entirely different story. But so far, while there have been some plot holes in this movie, it has largely stuck to the script.

MLS leaders check, Supporters’ Shield in sight check, Messi among the best in the league check. We’ll see if they can keep this up.

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