Inter Miami CF’s season couldn’t have gotten off to a much worse start. The Herons failed to pick up a point in their first five matches (0-1-5) and possessed a -10-goal differential. Since then, Miami has seemed to hit a hot streak, putting together 17 points in their last nine matches (5-2-2).
During that time, the Herons have put together a +3-goal differential, outscoring opponents 12 goals to 9. The catalyst for the hot streak? The play of forward Leo Campana.
On loan from the Premier League’s Wolverhampton Wanderers, Campana has brought life to the forward position for the Herons, something that has long been lacked due to the aging Gonzalo Higuain’s athletic limitations. Campana’s electric runs and athleticism have shown a side of Inter Miami that wasn’t seen before.
The 21-year-old Ecuadorian forward has scored six goals in the last nine matches, also picking up an assist. Against New England, Campana scored a hat-trick, showing MLS and its fans what he was capable of. The hat-trick was the first in the club’s short history.
Campana is averaging 0.71 goals per 90 minutes, ranking 5th best in MLS. His nose for goal has helped elevate the Herons to a contender. The clinical forward has routinely finished chances for Inter Miami but has also created chances for himself. Paired with great playmakers like Robert Taylor, DeAndre Yedlin and Ariel Lassiter, Campana will continue to have great chances set up for him.
Of Campana’s seven goals, five of them have been assisted on. A team that once couldn’t buy a goal (that wasn’t a penalty kick) now has a clinical finisher.
Campana’s hot streak has put the Herons at 7th in the Eastern Conference, currently in a playoff spot. The team lives and dies at the foot of the Ecuadorian. If Campana continues to play at a high level, Inter Miami could possibly make it to the postseason for the first time in club history. (No, the play-in round in 2020 doesn’t count). Only time will tell if he keeps up this recent form, but the Herons will only go as far as he does.