At the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, struggling Inter Miami will host in-form Austin FC on Saturday at DRV PNK Stadium.
The visitors defeated Houston Dynamo by a score of 3-0, while the hosts were humiliated 4-1 by Philadelphia Union in their last match.
The Inter Miami management was forced to break ways with manager Phil Neville, who left the team earlier last month, after a run of 10 losses in 13 MLS games.
Javier Morales, the team’s interim manager, was unable to turn things around in Florida, as he presided over three straight losses losses to DC United and the New England Revolution came before last weekend’s humiliation in Philadelphia.
Because of this, the Herons are currently on a seven games losing run and have let up 16 goals since their previous victory, which came against New England roughly six weeks ago.
Gerardo Martino, a former manager of Barcelona and Argentina, has subsequently been named the club’s permanent manager, but even without Lionel Messi’s impending arrival, the 60 years old faces a challenging challenge.
No team in the Eastern Conference has scored less goals than Inter Miami, who have lost each of their previous seven home league games and each of their previous three as well.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 25, 2023
Gyasi Zardes and Ethan Finlay each scored in Austin FC’s two consecutive 3-0 triumphs against Texas rivals FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo to advance to the match on Saturday.
Josh Wolff’s team fell in the standings when Austin lost three of four games between late May and mid-June, giving up nine goals in the process. However, they are now only four points behind Seattle Sounders in third place in the Western Conference.
The Verde and Black have won five of their previous eight games in addition to winning each of their past two games, scoring at least two goals in four of those victories, and maintaining three clean sheets.
Despite recent improvements, Austin FC has only managed to win two of its eight league away games this season. Wolff will be keen for his team to start picking up points consistently away from home.
Austin must improve on the road after losing five of their previous seven MLS away games and giving up 16 goals in the process, but a trip to winless Inter Miami offers them the best chance to do so.
Gregore (Lisfranc), Jean Mota (knee), Ryan Sailor (hamstring), and Dixon Arroyo (groin) are among Inter Miami’s injured players, giving new manager Gerardo Martino a lot to consider before his first game in command.
As the former Atlanta United striker who won the MLS Golden Boot and MVP award in 2018 has managed to score four goals in a losing team this season, Josef Martinez is anticipated to stay in attack.
On the other hand, Leo Vaisanen (ACL) and Zan Kolmanic (ACL) are still out with long-term injuries, and Alex Ring (groin) is currently receiving therapy.
Argentine playmaker Sebastian Driussi will continue to help Gyasi Zardes in attack after accruing six goals and two assists in 15 games this season.
Goalkeeper Brad Stuver, 32, will stay in the starting lineup at the other end of the field because he has started every game for Austin in 2023 in every competition.
Inter Miami possible starting lineup
Callender, Fray, McVey, Allen, Taylor, Ruiz, Arroyo, Negri, Cremaschi, Pizarro and Martinez.
Austin FC possible starting lineup
Stuver, Lima, Cascante, Radovanovic, Gallagher, Finlay, Wolff, Pereira, Fagundez, Zardes and Driussi.
We predict: Inter Miami 1-3 Austin FC
We anticipate Austin FC to put more pressure on Inter Miami, who have lost each of their last seven MLS games. Austin FC has won five of their past eight games.
How to watch
Every MLS game this season, including Inter Miami vs. Austin FC, can be watch live on Apple TV.