Opinion: Completely Overanalyzing Inter Miami’s Loss To FC Barcelona
Opinion: Completely Overanalyzing Inter Miami’s Loss To FC Barcelona
Jul 20, 2024 12:58 PM

Fort Lauderdale, FL –Inter Miami played FC Barcelona in what was supposed to be a celebratory event.

Miami’s 6-0 loss to Barca’ should’ve been understandable. Barcelona is a world-class side with world-class players, and for the majority of the game, the Herons looked overmatched.

The crowd was rocking, the stadium was full, and for the most part, the event went well. But, after the final whistle, it got a bit ugly.

From tweets calling the organization, “a joke” to very prominent soccer writers getting their obligatory quippy jabs in, the borderline vitriolic social media backlash to what was meaningless friendly is bizarre.

Based on Phil Neville’s post-game comments, it seems like the Englishman took the result well, despite his pregame comments, and saw it as a lesson for him and the group:

Neville on the game:

"It was a big challenge for us. It was a brilliant occasion to play. I think from a playing point of view – it was going to be a game for us to enjoy [playing in.]

Say young players gained valuable experience.

Their focus shifts to NYCFC. #InterMiamiCF

— Alex Windley (@aaw_1998) July 20, 2022

That begs the question, why has this game been blown out of proportion?

Much Ado About Nothing?

Inter Miami has had its sins – plenty of them, but in the last year and a half, they’ve started the process of atonement. They’re currently in 9th place in the Eastern Conference and have even taken on a new ethos:

Neville said this current group of players is creating their own identity.

"I think this is a team that will be successful in the future. We trust these players a lot. We've got a real good roster."#InterMiamiCF

— Alex Windley (@aaw_1998) July 17, 2022

Miami’s start to MLS life was tough. They fell short of the self-imposed expectations and came out of the starting block stumbling.

The media is very unforgiving, especially in football circles. The club’s poor first two years of existence will be held over their head by a plethora of national and local soccer writers. Any minor screw-up or abnormally bad result will be scrutinized, dissected, and heavily torn apart more so than the average team; being a David Beckham-owned club, it comes with the territory. Fair enough.

But, this friendly against Barcelona shouldn’t be one of those occasions.

At the end of the day, the match should’ve been taken for what it really was: A savvy business decision by Inter Miami and a great opportunity to get some reps against one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Plus, they’re not the only MLS club hosting mid-season friendlies against tough European opponents.

Is it as big as hosting a US Open Cup Final or MLS Cup Final? No way! Was this the biggest game in club history? When it comes to the quality of the opponent on the pitch – certainly! Both things can be true!

With IMCF down 6-0! to Barca, I'll reiterate – I totally understand from a business perspective why the club did this. But, with a pretty big game vs NYCFC this weekend that has playoff implications, playing a friendly mid-week just seemed like a poor decision.#InterMiamiCF

— Alex Windley (@aaw_1998) July 20, 2022

In the end, winning silverware is Miami’s main goal. They’ll get there – eventually. But, in the meantime, playing a mid-season friendly isn’t a death sentence. An exhibition match was just that, an exhibition. It gave the club good exposure and some younger players a useful experience.

The team will now shift their focus to NYCFC this Saturday with the hopes of climbing further up the Eastern conference table. By then, all the hubbub surrounding this match will die down, and the think pieces on Twitter will cease. There will be other mid-season friendlies for people to watch, and the MLS season will roll on.

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