D.C. United welcomes Inter Miami to Audi Field for the teams’ second meeting of the 2023 regular season. Last time, the Black-and-Red got the better of the Herons, winning 1-2 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. D.C. United will have to watch it’s back though, there have been major shakeups happening with Miami.
While Leo Messi and former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have yet to arrive, Miami recently announced another consequential new addition. New head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino will take full charge of the team on Monday, and he is expected to be at Audi Field tonight. Javi Morales will likely handle the sideline this evening. Martino has already been leading practices. Tata Martino previously coached Messi, Busquets and Alba at Barcelona, and Josef Martínez at Atlanta.
The Black-and-Red will have to contend with a Miami team that is more aggressive and with a renewed energy, while dealing with key players out injured and on suspension. Mateusz Klich is serving a suspension for yellow card accumulation and will not feature in tonight’s match. Additionally, Lewis O’Brien and Donovan Pines are both one caution away from suspension and will need to take care during tonight’s match.
Coming off a hard to find win (0-1) in Dallas, D.C. United heads into tonight’s match with morale high. For Miami, they are looking to shake off a 2-2 draw with Columbus and finally snap their winless streak.
Will the Black-and-Red overcome an amped up Miami side under new leadership? We’ll see tonight!
Key Players: Christian Benteke and Taxi Fountas
The Black-and-Red will look to Benteke and Fountas up top to put Miami to the test. Benteke leads D.C. United in goal scoring. Christian Benteke will participate in the MLS All-Star match against Arsenal on July 19 under head coach Wayne Rooney.
Watch Out For: Josef Martínez
Martínez continues to be a player to watch in MLS for his exciting style and playmaking ability. Back under Tata Martino who guided him and Atlanta United to an MLS Cup win over Portland in 2018, we’re looking to see an even more dangerous Martínez as the season wears on. Additionally, Martínez was just named to MLS Team of the Matchday for Matchday 23 alongside teammates Benjamin Cremaschi and Leonardo Campana.
Challenges: The Black-and-Red will have to dig deep on this multi-match week in the intense summer heat when fatigue is sure to be at a high. D.C. United will be missing high impact players like Mateusz Klich and Pedro Santos this evening, reducing the depth Rooney is able to draw from against Miami.
Previously: D.C. United bested Inter Miami back on June 3, going 1-2 at DRV PNK Stadium.
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Martin Rodriguez (knee), Mohanad Jeahze (leg), Ted Ku-DiPietro (ankle), Pedro Santos (thigh), Jacob Greene (hip), Mateusz Klich (yellow card accumulation)
Inter Miami CF Availability:
*Waiting on official availability from the club. This section will be updated if necessary.
Out: Gregore (Lisfranc), Franco Negri (ACL), Jean Mota (LCL), Corentin Jean (ACL), Robbie Robinson (hamstring), DeAndre Yedlin (international duty), Kamal Miller (international duty)
Questionable: Ryan Sailor (hamstring)
Location: Audi Field, Washington, DC
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET
Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV