The Herons return to DRV PNK Stadium next week to host the Chicago Fire, their road woes drastically magnifying each home match's importance.
A few thoughts about Saturday's match:
Captain, my captain!
After Inter Miami's 2-0 loss at Toronto FC Saturday, coach Phil Neville said the absence of defensive midfielder and team captain Gregore didn't lose the match.
Maybe not, but without the man Neville called the club's "soul" earlier in the week, the Herons lacked cohesion. Gregore -- sidelined for six months by a foot injury -- is a warrior on defense and an organizer on offense. Without him, Toronto repeatedly charged through the midfield to with Herons scrambling after them. The Reds' two goals were the first two IMCF has allowed by the opposition this season (an own goal cost Miami in a 1-0 loss against NYCFC last week).
Neville needs somebody to take charge in the midfield. The players who tried to fill Gregore's cleats -- Bryce Duke primarily, with help from Jean Mota and Rodolfo Pizzaro -- lacked the Brazilian's confidence and composure. They worked hard -- too hard, trying to do too much.
Bernardeschi is a joy to watch
Attacking midfielder Federico Bernardeschi assisted on both Toronto goals, showcasing his technical skill and soccer instincts.
In the 48th minute, Bernardeschi settled a pass from Mark-Anthony Kaye with a deft first touch and flicked the ball to Richie Laryea streaking down the right wing; Laryea crossed the ball through the box on the ground to Jonathan Osorio for an easy tap-in at the far post.
Bernardeschi's immaculate free kick in the 69th minute resulted in Kaye's headed ball looping over the defense and into the net.
1. Drake Callender continued to play well with four saves, two of the highlight-reel variety. He didn't have a chance on the Toronto goals.
2. Josef Martinez skied another point-blank shot over the crossbar and sent another shot wide of the far post; the DP is two goals short of 100 in his MLS career but still hasn't scored for La Rosanegra.
3. The match was the first time in league history that each team featured a coach's son playing for his father: Harvey and Phil Neville and Michael and Bob Bradley.