Inter Miami CF earned a hardfought point on the road in a scoreless draw with the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park. Heineken Man of the Match Drake Callender led the team to the result, recording his first MLS clean sheet.
Entering its fourth match in 12 days, Inter Miami made three changes to the starting XI from the team’s weekend draw with D.C. United. Callender again slotted in as the starting goalkeeper; Victor Ulloa, Damion Lowe, Ryan Sailor, and Chris McVey started in defense; Gregore, Jean Mota, and Bryce Duke remained as starters in midfield; Indiana Vassilev and Robert Taylor were chosen to start on the wings either side of starting striker Leonardo Campana.
Ulloa started the match at right back, making his first start of the season after missing the first couple of months of the 2022 campaign due to injury. Sailor started for the second time in his MLS career following his impressive debut on the road against Charlotte FC on May 7. Goalkeeper CJ dos Santos, meanwhile, featured in the First Team matchday squad for the second time this season; the Philadelphia native featured in Philadelphia Union’s youth ranks from 2013 to 2016.
Inter MIami controlled possession throughout the first half, but had to defend well as Philadelphia was sharp in transition. In attack, Inter Miami’s best chances came from combinations between Duke and Vassilev, and Duke and Campana. In the third minute, Duke drove forward and played a clever through ball for Vassilev into the box, but his shot across goal was saved by Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake. In the 21st minute, Duke collected the ball in midfield, drove forward and played a pass to Campana on his right. The striker then cut onto his left foot and curled a shot from outside of the box that hit the far post and went wide.
On the other end of the pitch, Callender made a handful of impressive saves to keep a first-half clean sheet. Notably, in the fifth minute he made an excellent reaction save with his trailing leg on a close-range shot by Leon Flach, then in the 15th minute he closed down Dániel Gazdag at the near post and made a reaction save on a powerful shot. Lowe also made a crucial defensive intervention, heading a ball off the line in the 29th minute after another shot by Gazdag. These efforts were enough to send the match into halftime scoreless.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with Callender and the center back pairing of Lowe and Sailor proving impossible to beat, while the attack created chances but couldn’t quite find the back of the net.
One of Inter Miami’s best chances of the second half came in the 53rd minute when Vassilev pinged a perfect long ball switch to Taylor down the left wing, who cut in and fed a pass to Duke with his back to goal in the box. The young midfielder then beat his defender on the turn and fired at goal, but his attempt went just over.
Callender, meanwhile, made another handful of saves, including diving efforts from a pair of shots, one from inside the box and one from a free kick, keeping the match scoreless through the final whistle. The result saw the young goalkeeper record his first MLS clean sheet.
Heinken Man of the Match
Callender was voted Heineken Man of the Match by fans following a stellar performance that saw him make eight saves and keep his first MLS clean sheet.
"I suppose when you come to a team like Philadelphia and you get a point then you should be happy, but I feel, and the team feels, as if we probably dropped some points because we felt as if we controlled the game," said head coach Phil Neville. "I think the team is getting real confidence. I think the team is getting real belief. I think we can see a clear identity in the way that we want to play. We’ve got players playing with good confidence. And now it’s that final bit."
Inter Miami will return home for its next match, taking on the New York Red Bulls this Sunday, May 22 at 6 p.m. ET at DRV PNK Stadium.
Individual match tickets for each remaining regular season home match on the Inter Miami CF schedule are available visiting https://www.intermiamicf.com/tickets/single. Fans can also call 305-428-0611 to learn more.
PHI - 44.4%
MIA - 55.6%
PHI - 20
MIA - 9
PHI - 2
MIA - 8
PHI - 6
MIA - 2
PHI - 9
MIA - 9