By James Nalton.
What’s he building down there? Is Diego Alonso finally getting to instil his style upon this Inter Miami team?
A 1-0 win against Houston Dynamo following on from their 2-1 victory at New York Red Bulls last week, gave the Uruguayan’s side their first back-to-back wins
Gonzalo Higuain scored his first goal for Inter Miami in that midweek game, firing a free kick with so much venom past the wall and inside the far post that New York Red Bulls goalkeeper, David Jensen, couldn’t even get to it on his own side of the goal.
Higuain’s presence has turned things up a notch in Miami. It was a signing that showed they mean business and the type of Designated Player acquisition many expected earlier on in the expansion side’s existence.
There is much more to come from the striker, too, at least according to his older brother Federico, who himself is now on his way to Inter Miami, potentially playing in the same side as his sibling for the first time in over 15 years.
The last time they took to the field together so was for River Plate against Velez Sarsfield in June 2005, both coming off the bench in the second half.
With Federico’s move to Miami only confirmed yesterday, they will have to wait a little longer to be reunited on the football pitch, but the now former DC United attacker will add quality and experience to this side.
Federico Higuain has joined his younger brother Gonzalo at Inter Miami.
This will be the first time they’ve played together since they were both at River Plate in 2005 🇦🇷🇺🇸⚽️ pic.twitter.com/wVXY9qN8W3
— James Nalton (@JDNalton) October 10, 2020
The club are now eyeing a spot in the top ten and the playoffs, and are beginning to put together some good results after a slow start.
Houston await a new Argentinian signing of their own. Mateo Bajamich who joined from Instituto last week, but is waiting for his Visa to clear before undergoing a period of quarantine as a new arrival in the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the most striking things about Higuain (G) since his arrival in the league is the sheer power he can impact on the ball. Within 15 minutes of the first half, he was showcasing this ability, letting fly from outside the area, claiming a corner but not getting one as the ball flew past the post.
The pace on the ball was only increased by the rain that teemed down at the Inter Miami CF Stadium, adding extra zip to any shots from distance, giving goalkeepers John McCarthy and Marko Maric something extra to worry about.
Maric saved well from Lewis Morgan following Higuain’s lay-off and did so again from Higuain at the near post before the weather, or more accurately the threat of lightning, forced the players off the pitch for around half an hour.
They returned to play out the first half, but the goal finally came in the second period when Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was hauled down by Aljaz Struner at a corner kick.
Morgan had been demonstrating his two-footedness throughout the game, taking corners with both feet, and slotted the penalty away with his left.
While Higuain has brought an air of prestige to the club as well as quality all-round centre-forward play, Morgan has often been the standout player for the club in this debut season.
McCarthy played his part between the posts, too, saving well from Ariel Lassiter in the second half as Inter held on to secure another three points.
McCarthy on the team finally working well together: “I hope so, I hope we keep keeping on. Its an a amazing feeling for the guys. It was a hard fought game. The guys are happy.”
— Alex Windley ☀️ (@aaw_1998) October 11, 2020
“Emotionally, it strengthens the team,” said Alonso of the back-to-back wins.
“It’s also important we won playing well. Now we move forward and tomorrow we prep to play Atlanta.
“The closer we get to the end of the season we know we need points. We take it game by game, the team has improved [since MLS is back].
“We’ve got players of great quality and it helps the team.”
Inter will be looking to make it three from three when they face Atlanta United on Wednesday evening, with both sides hoping to secure a place in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.