Touchline Talk

Neville, Vassilev Praise Team’s Resilience

Toucline Talk 06.25.22

Late goals in the 87th and 90th minutes from substitute attacker Indiana Vassilev erased a one goal deficit and secured a 2-1 victory for Inter Miami CF over Minnesota United FC at DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday, June 25. With the win the team pushed its MLS home unbeaten streak to six and have not suffered a home loss since April 4.

Head Coach Phil Neville spoke about the team’s improved mindset and willingness to push for goals late in the game.

“I said to the players at the end that I feel the Inter Miami of last year and the year before wouldn’t have won that game. I told them that the feeling I have this year is that this is a different Inter Miami team that keeps going until the end.”

A historic brace from winger Indiana Vassilev, was a result of that improved mindset and the key to the team’s victory. Neville spoke about the team’s late-game push and Vassilev’s performance off the bench as he became the first player in MLS history to score both a game-tying and game-winning goal after entering the game in the 80th minute or later.

“This is the new Inter Miami. We’ve got substitutes going on that want to play for their team. We spoke before the game about the sacrifices needed to win and be successful, and the sacrifice is that you put aside your egos, and you go on the pitch or you’re on the bench supporting each other. I think I’m a lucky manager that I’ve got a team at this moment in time that we’ve recruited that have got all the qualities you need for a team to be successful or at least compete. I’m super proud of the way they scored late on, it shows the fighting qualities. And I’m really, really proud of Indiana. I think since he’s come in, he’s totally, totally livened up the place again, and is a really good kid.”

An elated Vassilev also spoke to the media about how important this win was for him personally and the team as a collective unit.

“Very happy on a personal note, but most importantly got three points on the board and now we go to next week…Everyone is ecstatic. Three points at home and it kind of sets the tone for the next couple of games. It’s just good to get a win and just try and get a couple of games, a string of games where we can win games, and that’s what we need to stay in that playoff picture.”

Neville echoed Vassilev’s sentiments after the game about the importance of the win as the team looks to make a playoff push.

“It was vital that we got the three points because on the road it's really difficult and we want to make this a fortress and I think we are making a fortress…With all the other results with a cluster of teams really tight, I feel every three points is going to take you up four or five places.”

Like Neville, Vassilev has also noticed a difference in the way this year’s group competes not only when they have the lead, but when they face deficits as well.

“This year we seem a more resilient team so when we do go a goal down, heads don’t really drop and I think today we felt that we should have gotten something out of the game and we did. Coming on today and watching the game I really felt like we were going to get something out of the game, whether that was going to be a draw or a win.”

The team will have a full week of training before traveling to face FC Dallas on Monday, July, 4 at Toyota Stadium. The match is set to kick off at 9 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on My33, UniMás, and the Inter Miami App.