Fresh off the club's first-ever Major League Soccer win, Inter Miami CF face Atlanta United Wednesday (8 pm ET | (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; TSN2 in Canada) at Inter Miami CF Stadium looking not only to hold their own against one of MLS's flashiest clubs, but to impose the total-football style that led to Saturday's victory.
"There’s a lot of freedom with our play,” Inter Miami CF left back Ben Sweat said. “Diego [Alonso] and his coaching staff trust us to move around and have the ability to play other players’ positions in certain parts of the match for a little bit of a period of time and we have the players and flexibility to do that.”
Sweat said the expansion side have a "clear mentality” of what they want to do with the ball, which includes playing inside, then playing wide and getting crosses into the box. Alonso also stresses patience in possession before springing that killer pass in the attacking third, Sweat said.
“We continue to work on it in training,” Sweat said. "It’s definitely possession-based, patience-based and he definitely wants us to play forward and to attack.”
Atlanta United coach Stephen Glass has been impressed with what he's seen out of Inter Miami, especially from an attacking group featuring Rodolfo Pizarro, Matias Pellegrini, Julian Carranza and fellow Scot Lewis Morgan in the middle.
“At the top end of the pitch I feel is their most dangerous players,” Glass said. “They work really hard off the ball, they’ll make it tough for us to get building and they can finish. They’re quick going forward, they transition really quick and they’ve got quality when they’re in possession.”
While Wednesday's first-ever meeting will give Miami center back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez a chance to meet his former team, it also will pit friends and former Mexico national team teammates Pizarro and Erick “Cubo" Torres against each other. Pizarro is sure a wager will be made, though the stakes aren't clear.
“With Cubo I speak a lot. Yes, I think we’re going to bet something,” Pizarro said. “We still haven’t decided what it is. But for sure we’ll have a bet on this one.”