Inter Miami CF is an elite team with Lionel Messi in the lineup; the Herons proved Saturday they’re pretty good without him, as well.
La Rosa Negra beat Sporting Kansas City 3-2 at DRV PNK Stadium without Messi and seven other key players called up to play for their national teams during the FIFA international break: Edison Azcona, Benjamin Cremaschi, Diego Gomez, Sergii Kryvtsov, Josef Martinez, David Ruiz and Robert Taylor. The win was their 12th straight without losing and helped the Herons to within six points of D.C. United for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Herons have eight matches left to make up the difference.
Leonardo Campana led the Herons with a pair of goals; a panel of soccer reporters and a fan vote rewarded his effort by selecting Campana the MLS Player of the Matchday; Sergio Busquets, Facundo Farias and DeAndre Yedlin joined Campana on the Team of the Matchday, and Inter Miami’s Tata Martino was named Coach of the Matchday. Not a bad haul for the team that lost more players than any other to international duty (even if only 10 of the leagues’ 29 teams were in action.)
In 30 appearances across MLS, U.S. Open Cup and Leagues Cup competition, Campana has nine goals and three assists; seven goals and two assists have come in leagues play. Campana leads the team in goals in MLS action this season.
Campana also earned MLS Player of the Matchday Week 10 against Columbus; his three Player of the Matchday selections are the most in team history, one more than Gonzalo Higuaín.
The nod was Martino’s second of the season, despite not taking the Herons’ reins until July. It was the first selection of 2023 for Yedlin and first ever for summer signings Busquets and Farias,