Three Up, Three Down: Ruiz is steady in 1-1 home draw; management gets thumbs down for price hikes

Inter Miami’s Tomas Aviles headed in a good corner kick from Robert Taylor late in stoppage time Saturday to salvage a 1-1 draw against New York City FC. THE Herons played without Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba, again, but remain four points below the playoff cutoff with four matches to play. After each match, I pick the Herons’ most — and least — impactful three players and site co-expert Matt Clark tells us why I’m right or wrong. Here we go:
An exhausted Inter Miami CF midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi (30) lays on the DRV PNK Stadium turf after the Herons 1-1 draw with NYCFC.
An exhausted Inter Miami CF midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi (30) lays on the DRV PNK Stadium turf after the Herons 1-1 draw with NYCFC. / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 5

Three down

Tomas Aviles, Kamal Miller, Serhiy Kryvstov, C-

[KEN] The center backs in Martino’s 5-3-2 were caught out of position on New York’s scoring play. They haven’t played with three CBs much this season, but lack of positioning discipline seemed more to blame than unfamiliarity. Too often, Miller was caught playing too far forward on the attack; he got burned when Santiago Rodriguez received a quick free kick, dribbled into the space Miller should have been guarding, and blasted a shot by Aviles into the goal.

Aviles made amends when he headed in Taylor’s corner kick in the 95th minute.

[MATT] It's no secret that our backs have been our Achilles' heel this season. Even after signing Alba, our defense has been somewhat suspect. Against New York... a match when they needed to step up and help collect three points... they didn't. I suspect management is going to take a hard look at our defensive set in the offseason.

IMCF management, F

[KEN] Do the Mas brothers and David Beckham want to create a world class soccer organization, or an international cash-generating brand? While I’m hoping for the former, two recent events point to the latter. First, the Herons are exploiting the arrival of Lionel Messi and his former Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets to hyperinflate season-ticket prices — even renewals! My second concern is the gamesmanship surrounding the fitness of Messi and Alba, letting fans cling to some small hope they might see the stars play when it’s becoming increasingly evident both players should be done for the season.

I understand soccer’s a business, but at what point does profit become vulgar? At what point are you disrespecting the supporters who have been loyal since before you owned the first soccer ball? I believe you can stay profitable AND classy. Be better, Club Internacional de Futbol Miami.

[MATT] To answer Ken's first question... both. The problem is you can only usually do one at a time. With the proposed increase in season ticket prices, the organization has either 1) decided that cash is the priority, or 2) decided they already have world-class after one signing period. Both assumptions are likely incorrect. Just by signing three players in Messi, Busquets and Alba doesn't mean we've achieved world-class... yet. And, putting cash first is understandable from a business perspective, but hurtful from the fans' view.