Inter Miami CF showed they are more than capable of winning without Lionel Messi in Matchday 31, thanks to a talent-deep roster highlighted by MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire Leonardo Campana.
The Ecuadorian international striker netted a brace as the Herons came from behind to beat Sporting Kansas City, 3-2, at home and keep their late-season Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs push going. Even more impressive: they did it for the first time without their superstar Argentine No. 10 since his late-July debut sparked the club’s incredible summer turnaround.
With Messi (as well as seven other Miami teammates) away on international duty, Campana shouldered part of the offensive load Saturday night at DRV PNK Stadium and registered the fourth multi-goal game of his career – second most in club history behind only Gonzalo Higuaín (five). The result extended the Herons’ winning streak across all competitions to 12 games, including four straight in league play.
Campana now has three MLS Player of the Matchday awards to his name, including two this season, after previously being recognized in Matchday 10. He’s just the fourth multi-time winner in 2023, joining Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada (three times), the Philadelphia Union’s Julián Carranza (twice) and Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar (twice).
The MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire is selected each matchday of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio, and online media.