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Inter Miami Cools Off Red Bulls on the road, 2-0

photo by Matt Kremkau

It took goals from Ariel Lassiter and Robert Taylor to put an emphatic end to the New York Red Bulls' unbeaten streak on the road, losing to Inter Miami CF, 2-0 at DRV PNK Stadium on Sunday night.

After sharing the points with Chicago Fire FC at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, the team traveled to Florida looking to extend the good fortunes on the road against an Inter Miami CF squad that has lost two of its last five matches, two of them at home. 

With a U.S. Open Cup match with Charlotte FC on the horizon in midweek, player rotation is a challenge for even the best of head coaches in the league, and Gerhard Struber was no exception. Six players were out with injuries and COVID-related protocols, and with the team's top goalkeeper Carlos Coronel adding to the list with an undisclosed illness, it was who Ryan Meara stepped up in his place.

The Red Bulls nearly got on the scoreboard very early in the match when Drew Yearwood got the ball over to Cristian Casseres, who got off a nice pass over to Lewis Morgan, but his one-time shot went wide to his right. 

The Red Bulls had yet another opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the 23rd minute, when Patryk Klimala with a through ball darted towards the Miami net, but rather than making a pass to a wide-open Cristian Casseres Jr. to his right, he blasts a shot right to the gloves of Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender, and just like that, a golden opportunity was wasted. 

While the visitors weren't cashing in on their opportunities, the hosts didn't waste theirs. And in the 29th minute, that opportunity came. Midfielder Ariel Lassiter took a pass from Bryce Duke and ripped a blistering low shot that deflected off defender Sean Nealis and got past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Ryan Meara for his first goal of the season to put the hosts in the lead. 

The first half ended frustratingly for the Red Bulls after having numerous chances, but managing only just two shots on frame, they begrudgingly marched into the locker room searching for answers after giving up a goal after having dominated the first twenty minutes of it.

While the match turned on a dime toward the home team's favor, it was Gonzalo Higuain who was subbed in the 74th minute to provide the offensive spark danced through the slow-footed New York defense and Ryan Meara blocked the shot which slowed down the ball just enough for Dylan Nealis to clear it off the line. 

Inter Miami put the game away in the 88th minute when Gonzalo Higuain once again took the ball down the field, dished it off to Victor Ulloa, and while the Red Bulls' was scrambling defense to get back defensively, calmly passed the ball over to a wide-open Robert Taylor he and scored the game-winner, putting the match out of reach for good.


While the frustrating loss is one that defender Sean Nealis said that the team "has to look in the mirror" to avoid letdowns like this in the future, the team should be proud of scoring eight consecutive victories on the road something that only the Los Angeles Galaxy has done in their 19XX campaign. With the team being in the middle of a schedule that has them playing 6 matches in 21 days, there's little time for them to dwell on this loss as they travel back north to New Jersey, to face Charlotte FC in the sixth round of the U.S. Open Cup match at MSU Soccer Park on Wednesday Night. 


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