The Houston Dynamo return from the international break with a trip to South Florida to take on Inter Miami on Saturday night. To help us get some insight on this weekend’s opponent we spoke to Alex Windley of Five Reasons Sports and The Heron Outlet.
Dynamo Theory (DT): Miami has struggled defensively, with opponents exceeding their xG by an average of 1.07. What can the defensive issues be attributed to this season and how is the team looking to improve in that area?
Alex Windley (AW): Miami’s defensive issues stem from a lack of team chemistry. Because of this, Phil Neville has implemented a “sit back and wait” style that was supposed to keep the team compact; instead, Miami has let in 10 goals in four games.
How do they fix this? Time. It’s still a very new team and the guys are getting to know each other. As of right now, they need to do their best to minimize and play tighter at the back and minimize silly mistakes.
DT: On the offensive end, what is Miami’s approach given their lack of creativity early this season? Is Gonzalo Higuain going to be playing a deeper role to track back and get the ball or will we see him in more of a number 9 role?
AW: Difficult to say. Neville has said that he wants Higuain to score goals, but Gonzalo has been playing as more of a creator; there’s definitely some miscommunication there. Tactically, Miami isn’t set up in a way to create consistent chances, so that’s why Higuain has put it on himself to be a creator despite Neville telling him to play further up the pitch. On Saturday, we’ll probably see a more advanced Higuain, but don’t be surprised if he drops in the midfield from time to time.
DT: Inter have yet to get a win this season and the Dynamo have historically struggled mightily on the road in recent years. What do you see as a key for Miami to get their first win and what are some areas that Houston could exploit to break through and come away with road points?
AW: Keep a clean sheet! In Miami’s first couple of matches, they have not been able to keep the opposition from scoring. If they want to beat the Dynamo, they’ll have to limit the number of chances they get on target. It’s been difficult for them to do, however, but, if the backline keeps it clean, and Miami can get a couple of decent shots on target (perhaps finish one of them) Houston could be in trouble.
We want to thank Alex for giving us some information about Inter Miami. Best of luck this weekend!