Leonardo Campana, A
[KEN] Campana, Inter Miami's second-leading scorer a year ago and a designated player, wasn't called up to Ecuador's national team, maybe because Tata has favored Josef Martinez at striker. With Martinez called up to the Venezuela squad, Campana got a rare start as the point a 4-2-3-1 formation. The 6-foot, 2-inch, 23-year-old turned in his best performance of the season.
In the 25th minute, Campana made a decisive cut toward the Sporting goal; as he played the ball, goalkeeper Melia crashed into him from behind, having mistimed his attempt to punch the ball away. The referee signaled to the spot, and Campana buried the penalty kick to give Miami its first goal, pulling the Herons even.
Campana's prowess in the air helped give Inter Miami the lead just before halftime. DeAndre Yedlin -- a frequent callup to the USMNT who also was left behind this break -- made a fantastic turn toward the endline to shed a defender and booted a long ball to a leaping Campana at the far post. Campana connected solidly, jetting the ball into the back of the net in the 45th minute.
The "other" Leo, Campana made a great case for seeing more playing time when Martinez returns. He's more mobile defensively, is tall enough and strong enough to be a good target and hold-up player in the attack, and he's perhaps the Herons' most dangerous player in the air. Hopefully we'll see Tata find a way to use the Ecuadorian more often.
[MATT] Look, I've never been high on Campana, but he's certainly starting to grow on me. I mentioned in my match preview that he needed to step up with so many other players for Inter Miami out... and he did.
Inter Miami already has a crowded attack and perhaps Campana has earned some brownie points with Martinez to be featured more than he has since Messi and Co. arrived in South Florida.