Three Up, Three Down: Callender's heroics, Messi's two assists lead Inter Miami to crucial 3-1 win at LAFC

Inter Miami had one of its best all-around performances Sunday in one of its most important wins, 3-1 at defending champion LAFC, to gain three important points and keep alive its slender playoff hopes. After each match, Inter Heron shares its thoughts on the Herons' three most impactful and three least or most negatively impactful players in pink. And, no, if you're wondering, Prince Harry nor Selena Gomez nor Jason Sudeikis made the cut.

Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender defends the Herons' net in a 3-1 win Sunday at LAFC.
Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender defends the Herons' net in a 3-1 win Sunday at LAFC. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 5

Three Down

Tomas Aviles, C+; Kamal Miller, C; Sergiy Kryvtsov, C

[KEN] I hesitate to choose any "down" players in what was a solid all-around team performance from Inter Miami, but that's the way the bit works; it's not called "Three Up." I did take the liberty of lumping my downs into one pick, because the back line probably struggled more than any other unit against LAFC. The trio of Aviles, Kryvtsov and Miller appeared to make some good recovery runs, timely blocks and chance-saving interceptions, but the reason they were forced to make such exciting interventions is because they too often were caught out of position and slow to react. Aviles earned a "+" for his delicious thru-ball that turned into Facundo Farias' goal in the 14th minute to give Inter Miami the all-important first score.

The quest for playoff qualification continues Saturday when Sporting Kansas City visits DRV PNK Stadium. Sporting comes to town also chasing a postseason ticket; the Midwestern club also earned an important win against a Western Conference power AND their arch-rival, first-place St. Louis City this weekend. The match will be a stern test for Inter Miami, which is losing nine-players called up for international duty.