The last time Inter Miami played D.C. United — June 3 at DRV PNK Stadium — defender Kamal Miller was red-carded in the seventh minute and the Herons lost 2-1 at home.
He’s started each of the six matches he’s played since that loss — one for the Herons against Birmingham Legion in the U.S. Open Cup and five for the Canadian national team across the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup competitions — without missing a minute.
“And?” you might ask, “Do you have a point?”
Yes. I used Miller’s red card to tie Inter Miami’s road match Saturday at D.C. United and the Gold Cup quarterfinal meeting Sunday between the U.S. and Canada in Cincinnati into a single story. Oh, and Deandre Yedlin, a box-to-box presence as the Herons’ right back, is on the U.S. roster, though his minutes have been limited, so there’s that.
Also, while I’m happy to see our guys represent their national teams, I wish they weren’t doing it while they’re so desperately needed with La Rosanegra. Miller and Yedlin are starters for an Inter Miami defense that has been…inconsistent…in their absence.
The Herons have just 17 points from 20 Major League Soccer matches this season. They’re in last place in the Eastern Conference, nine points behind Montreal (Miller’s former club, where he was an MLS all-star last year) with 14 matches remaining. The Barcelona Alumni Association is on its way to reinforce the Pink, but a nine-game winless streak has all but snuffed out Inter Miami’s postseason hopes.
Miami is on the road in D.C. this week and St. Louis a week later, before the expanded MLS-Liga MX Leagues Cup tournament pauses North America’s club seasons. It certainly would be a boost if interim Miami coach Javi Morales could get results in both matches; a win would be a huge bonus for this struggling young squad, but with six starters missing — besides Miller and Yedlin, the Herons still are missing Gregore, Corentin Jean, Jean Mota and Franco Negri — it’s a wildly unlikely ask.
Which is why I hope MLS or CONCACAF or whoever approves these overlapping schedules comes up with a better plan. International windows should never interfere with League competition.