red bulls, mls, soccer, jsn

Red Bulls Host Inter Miami FC and ex-Madrid Striker Higuain

     Tonight at 7:00 PM, the New York Red Bulls will host their Major League Soccer (MLS) Eastern Conference rivals, Inter Miami FC at Red Bull Arena. Miami come into Harrison, New Jersey on a five-game losing streak, during which they have been shutout four times!

From the Red Bulls perspective, Head Coach Gerhard Struber's men have posted an 2-1-2 record in their last five games. New York's 'Red and White' should have won their last game on July 8 vs. Philadelphia, but tied that one. 

Next Man up for Red Bulls

    The Red Bulls have been without their leading goal scorer, Caden Clark for the last four matches since June 18. The 18-year-old American was recently signed by RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga as per ESPN's report, but has missed his last four games since undergoing an Appendectomy.

According to SBI Soccer, Clark was being considered for a call-up to the United States Men's National Team (USMNT) ahead of their participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but his condition squandered what could have been another showcase of his talents.

In Clark's stead, midfielders Frankie Amaya and Christian Casseres Jr. have emerged as two of the team's most reliable players. Casseres Jr. left to play for his home nation of Venezuela at the Copa America. He played in four matches in mid-June, before returning to the Red Bull on July 3. He scored a wonderful goal in a close win over Orlando City on the road, which brought him level with Caden Clark with four goals to lead the Red Bulls in 2021.

On the other hand, Frankie Amaya may not score goals like Clark and Casseres Jr. do, but he has shown himself to be a reliable, two-way player. Despite being around 20 years old and standing just 5'4, Amaya has great soccer IQ and has displayed his calm mentality in several Red Bull victories. However, Coach Gerhard Struber has played him on average 45 minutes in his last four games. The last time he played a full match was June 18 against Nashville SC. 

Scouting Report: Inter Miami FC

Inter Miami FC have scored just one goal in their last five matches. The last time they scored more than one, was a 3-1 win in late May. The team's owner is former England/Real Madrid superstar midfielder, David Beckham. The Red Bull opponent on Saturday is coming off a horrid string of matches, where they've mustered just one goal.

Miami's head coach is Phil Neville. Neville spent 10 seasons with Manchester United in the middle of their heyday with manager Sir Alex Ferguson from 1995-2005. He has won 1 Champions League and 6 English Premier League titles. 

Miami signed midfielder Indiana Vassilev "on a season-long loan from Aston Villa in the English Premier League", according to the team's website. Vassilev has been with the team for over a week and it's not clear if the US Youth International is ready to play tonight.

“With Rodolfo, Gonzalo, Robbie, Lewis, Indiana, Brek Shea, I think now we’ve got to put them in the best positions to create more chances,” he said. “I think you’ll see Rodolfo and Gonzalo physically better, Robbie physically better, I think we’ll be able to have more explosiveness, more quality. What you’ll see is a full hit. No excuses now. We’ve run out of them, and now it’s time to win.” - Inter Miami FC Manager, Phil Neville

Inter Miami FC have several players who were once considered the best at their positions: Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain

Let's start with Matuidi. The 5'10 Frenchman has played for some of the game's best teams, Juventus and Paris Saint Germain. The 30-year-old even was part of the French midfield that dazzled fans at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, bringing France it's first international trophy since 2000. Matuidi is not a goal scorer, rather he is a two-way midfielder similar to Frankie Amaya who brings a wealth of world class European football experience to Inter Miami.

      Now, onto Higuain. The 34-year-old Argentine striker was born in Brest, France which is the northwestern cape of France. Gonzalo's career took off when he was signed by Spanish Giant, Real Madrid in 2007. Higuain played in 250 matches for Madrid, scoring 121 goals and 60 assists. The 6'2" striker could overwhelm defenders physically and with his speed and ball-striking ability. 

Throughout his 15-year pro soccer career, Gonzalo has been a productive goal-scorer but, he has scored just six times in 18 career games with Inter Miami FC in MLS.

Stats & Result Prediction

     Red Bull will enter this match shorthanded, without star center-back Aaron Long or Caden Clark, but thanks to their depth, they have enough players to step up and defend their home turf. Midfielder Wikelman Carmona has played admirably well in Clark's stead during the last three games. The Red Bulls just simply do not have a midfielder with the unique skills to replace Clark with, however the Red Bull have more going for them positively than the away team Miami. 

Even though New York have won two of their last five games, and their offense has not looked special, they're still very good at home this season. According to New York Red Bulls website, the New York Red Bulls have outscored their opponents 9-2 in their last five games at Red Bull Arena.

Inter Miami FC have just eight points as a team. That ties Miami with Toronto FC for last place in the MLS Standings. Their offense is the worst in the league as they rank last in goals scored as a team this season. On defense, Miami has held their own thanks to some stout play from goalkeeper John McCarthy, who has six years of MLS experience under his belt, which started in 2015 with the Philadelphia Union.

Red Bulls 2 - 1 Inter Miami FC

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Anthony graduated from Montclair State University, where he covered a variety of sports for three years. He co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on campus radio station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.