Tactical Report: Inter Miami

By Hernán Romero Carpio

03-May-2021 on Analysis

9 minute read

Hernán Romero Carpio worked for two and half years as a coach at Deportivo La Guaira in Caracas, Venezuela. He is currently studying at the César Luis Menotti School of Coaches and shares analysis content on his website.


In his first analysis for Nacsport, Hernán takes a close look at Inter Miami and the tactics of new coach, Phil Neville. With David Beckham being one of the owners at Inter Miami, can his former Manchester United teammate take Inter any closer to glory than last year.


Over to Hernán...

Inter Miami have started their second MLS season with fresh ideas, a different tactical approach and new players in the starting line up.


Under new head coach, Manchester United legend Phil Neville, the first two matches of the season have revealed some of the tactical concepts that Neville wants to implement at Miami and some of the key plays that he wants to see from his players.


In this tactical report, we’ll take a look at both.




Miami’s first home game of the season was played against LA Galaxy and ended in a 2-3 defeat, although we did get some indications of their new playstyle. Throughout the game, Inter attempted to reach the scoring zone through quick counter attacks after recovering the ball. These counter attacks were where we saw Inter at their most dangerous, especially in the first half.


Generally speaking, when building from the back, Miami sought to begin the push forward through their right back, Jorge Figal who would attempt to link up with Morgan or Higuain on the right wing to continue the push towards goal.


1. Inter Miami build up from back


Miami Phil Neville Tactics in Attack


At other times, Miami preferred to play route one with goalkeeper McCarthy playing the long ball directly to the forwards.


Inter Miami Higuain


Miami’s first goal of the season came as Higuain broke free of his marker in midfield and took full advantage of the space offered to him, making a long, free run to Galaxy’s penalty area before unselfishly feeding the ball across the face of the keeper for Robbie Robinson to slot home.


Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy


And this was another aspect of their game as Neville’s team sought to surprise their opponent with direct attacks, using the space behind LA’s defensive line. Occasionally, with the ball in midfield or the last third of the field, the forwards would occupy the middle lanes, while the wingers pushed up through the outside lanes.


Inter Miami counter attack


In their second game against Philadelphia Union, which Miami won 2-1, the Floridian team were unable to impose themselves during the build up but instead managed to reach the opponent’s area through direct attacks after high recovery.


Inter Miami transitions


Both of Inter’s goals came from the right wing. The first came from a free kick taken by Fredrico Higuain. He lofted the ball into the box where it was met by the head of his brother, Gonzalo Higuain, who confidently fed it past Philadelphia’s keeper.


The second came from a cross from the right side of the box after Inter found a few yards of space to play with. Again, the ball was played high into the box and, this time, it was Fredrico Higuain himself who headed it into the back of the net. Incidently, this is the first time in the history of MLS that two brothers have scored in the same match, something that Phil Neville and his brother Gary might appreciate.


Inter Miami vs Philadelphia Union


The defining moments of the first three games have involved Gonzalo Higuain linking up with 22-year-old winger, Robbie Robinson. Both players, alongside Fredrico Higuain, have already marked their names on the scorecard at Fort Lauderdale this season.




In defence, the Miami team tried to recover possession by reducing spaces with two lines of 4, leaving Higuain and Pizarro floating up front.


Inter Miami not pressing keeper


In situations where they lost the ball in midfield or near the opponent’s area, they looked to press straight away, although they had limited success in some cases. However, they were able to create danger and some chances after being placed in the high block.


Inter Miami no pressure on attacking team


When faced with teams who started their build up from the back, Inter Miami did not press high. Instead, they allowed the opposition keeper to come out and get involved in the build up, which could be damaging as they managed to break the front line line through the superior numbers with the goalie.


Inter Miami compact formation


Against, LA Galaxy, Miami suffered from crosses from the wing to the centre of the area. The Californians were able to take advantage of the space between midfielders and create goal scoring opportunities at speed.


In the second match, played in Philadelphia, Neville’s men still displayed difficulties in defence when faced with crosses into the centre. Many of the opportunities afforded to Philly came from these types of plays.


The parity in this match meant that more of the match was played in midfield but, when the Union pushed forward into the final third, they definitely got the better of the Miami defensive line with these long centre crosses.




In the first two games with Phil Neville in charge, Miami, who are part owned by David Beckham, have clearly shown their intentions for this season in regards to managing the game and recovering the ball.


In principle, Inter Miami are a counter attacking team which, when starting from a high recovery of possession can be dangerous. In defence, they tend to shore up the space in the medium-low block and don’t press the opposition too high.


In defence, they definitely have shortcomings, especially when dealing with crosses into the box but, hopefully, as the season progresses, these problems will be solved.

As Phil Neville said after his first MLS victory against Philadelphia Union, “This is just the beginning of our journey. We know we have more to give, much more quality and consistency in our game”.


Thanks to Hernán for his fantastic analysis. You can get in touch with him over on his Twitter channel or through his website. If you have any questions about Nacsport, don't hesitate to get in contact with us through any of our social media channels.


If you would like to see your analysis work published by Nacsport and have an interesting idea to share with the analysis community, check out this article for more information and get in touch with us.


Thanks for reading!

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