Tue, 03 Aug 2021

Surging Orlando City take on slumping Inter Miami

Field Level Media
25 Jun 2021, 05:19 GMT+10

Orlando City look for their third consecutive victory Friday night when they visit an Inter Miami side riding a three-game losing streak.

Orlando (5-1-3, 18 points) romped to a 5-0 victory over San Jose on a night Daryl Dike marked his return to MLS with a pair of goals.

Dike rejoined Orlando following a half-season loan at Barnsley in the English League Championship, where he scored nine goals in 19 appearances.

After making his MLS season debut off the bench in a 3-2 win over Toronto FC, Tuesday marked his first start.

"It means a lot to have Daryl back," manager Oscar Pareja said after the win. "I think he's improving a lot of stuff. His matureness is very clear. His movements are solid. I can see the connection that he's making with his teammates increasing. It's making much more sense, the game itself."

Benji Michel also scored his first two goals of the season while former Manchester United and Portugal national team star Nani added his team-leading fifth goal from the penalty spot to go with two assists.

Miami (2-5-2, 8 points) has lost three in a row and hasn't scored in 275 minutes, most recently dropping back-to-back games against D.C. United.

Inter will also be without holding midfielder Gregore (two yellow cards) and defender Ryan Shawcross (red card) after both were sent off in a 1-0 loss at D.C. last Saturday.

But Gonzalo Higuain could return after missing Saturday's defeat. He is the last Miami player to score, but he was held out of the trip north due to fitness issues after he missed some training time during the recently concluded international break with an injury, manager Phil Neville said.

"Gonzalo wants to be at his absolute best and he wants to be a success in this league, and he wants to leave a legacy at this football club," said Neville. "He's had some really good games this season, but we just felt that we wanted to make sure that he was 100 percent fit and firing on all cylinders."

--Field Level Media

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