Inter Miami player ratings vs Real Salt Lake: Lionel Messi makes those around him shine! Argentine brings out the best in Herons’ goalscorers Diego Gomez and Robert Taylor

There are still a few concerns… about fitness, about injuries, about defending. Those concerns will linger, for sure, but they don’t matter at the moment as Inter Miami’s 2024 MLS season is off to a winning start.

Lionel Messi and co. began their campaign with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake, with the Argentinian icon playing his part in both goals. Robert Taylor netted the first, with Messi providing the official assist and RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath providing the other by failing to make the stop. Messi, then, combined with longtime running mate Luis Suarez in the second half to set up Diego Gomez, helping put the game to bed just as the lead was starting to look a bit unsafe.

It wasn’t a perfect performance from Inter Miami, not by any stretch. The best teams in MLS won’t really be afraid of this Miami team, at least not yet. There are still obvious weak points to be exploited and, if RSL were just a bit more confident and crisp, they would have done so.

Fortunately for Messi and Co., though, they didn’t One win down, plenty more to go. The 2024 season is off to a solid start.

Goalkeeper & Defense

Drake Callender (6/10):

Didn’t have too much to do as Miami largely controlled play. Made two solid saves, though, in a game where it would have been easy for him to lose focus a bit.

Jordi Alba (7/10):

You know what you’re getting from Alba. Contributed to the attack and made a few good defensive plays when called upon. Made his presence felt.

Serhiy Kryvtsov (6/10):

Generally solid from the veteran, but it was all a bit nervy early in the second half. They survived, though.

Tomas Aviles (6/10):

Had a few really bad giveaways, but he made up for them by making the play afterward. The optimist will credit him for recovering, but the pessimist will remember preseason and have a few concerns.

DeAndre Yedlin (6/10):

Was lucky not to concede a penalty in the second half. Other than that, though, no problems

Sergio Busquets Inter Miami 2024

Midfield

Sergio Busquets (7/10):

Passing was fantastic as he helped Miami control the game. Was caught offside on one crucial sequence but, other than that, the Spanish star did everything right.

Diego Gomez (8/10):

Did a whole bunch of running and nearly got an early goal, forcing a fantastic save from MacMath. Knew his role and played it well before being rewarded with his goal late to ice the game.

Julian Gressel (5/10):

Really, really struggled. Wasted several chances and had a few bad, bad touches. His resume speaks for itself, so we won’t overreact, but this wasn’t a very good debut.

Messi Taylor Inter Miami 2024

  • Attack

    Robert Taylor (7/10):

    A bit lucky on the goal but, hey, he’ll take it. MacMath’s howler made Taylor the first goalscorer of the MLS season as he looks to build upon his incredible second half of 2023.

    Luis Suarez (7/10):

    Did some good things particularly when he dropped deep and got a big assist on the second goal. The pace, though, just isn’t there, so he’ll need some really good service to put up big numbers on his own.

    Lionel Messi (8/10):

    Assisted the opening goal, had a hockey assist on the second and created a viral moment or two, headlined by his ridiculous touch over an injured Andrew Brody. Could have created another goal or two if his teammates were a bit crisper.

  • Tata Martino 2023Getty Images

    Subs & Manager

    David Ruiz (6/10):

    Went down with an injury, but shook it off ot provide the fresh legs in midfield Miami needed.

    Jena Mota (6/10):

    Replaced Taylor to add a bit of life to the attack, but didn’t get a chance to do much.

    Noah Allen (6/10):

    Tossed in to help protect the lead, but the second goal shortly after his introduction took away any real nerves.

    Tata Martino (7/10):

    Felt like he had waited a bit too long to make his subs as Miami’s legs looked heavy, but it all worked out in the end. XI was largely spot on, although it was at least partially dictated by fitness.

    Source: Goal.com

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