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Inter Miami Notes: Reyes and Agudelo returns looming, and more


Andres Reyes and Juan Agudelo will once again not be available for selection for Inter Miami this weekend, but their returns are looming.

Inter Miami head coach Diego Alonso provided an injury update on Reyes and Agudelo on Friday afternoon, stating that neither player will take part in this Saturday’s home game vs. the Houston Dynamo but adding that they are each closing in on making it back to the field.

“(Reyes) had a facial fracture and he has to recover, but he’s recovering well,” said Alonso in Spanish. “We think he can be back with us in a short time, in two weeks. Juan Agudelo is in the final stage of his recovery. We will see if he is available for the next game.”

Both Reyes and Agudelo suffered their injuries in the 3-0 road loss to the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 27. Agudelo left the match first with a right hamstring issue sustained just before halftime, and Reyes exited in the second half after initially trying to play through the collision of heads that injured him.

Here are more Inter Miami news and notes:

McCarthy seeks to improve footwork in goal

John McCarthy made his Inter Miami debut this past Wednesday, and the back-up goalkeeper showed some good things despite it being his first start and appearance in MLS in more than two years.

There was some room for improvement, of course, especially with regards to his footwork and passing.

“I think to get into the game it took 15 minutes to kind of relax and touch the ball a little bit,” said McCarthy. “I think I could’ve done better with my feet and decision-making in that aspect, but I can definitely grow with that in my game.”

Inter Miami is a team that likes to build out of the back often, and asks its goalkeepers to be comfortable with the ball at their feet. McCarthy should have ample opportunity to grow in that regard given that he is set to see a lot of minutes during this stretch run of the season following the broken left arm injury suffered by incumbent Luis Robles.

“Any chance you get to play you try to make the best of it and that’s what I’m going to try to do,” said McCarthy. “I’m going to push myself and push the guys as much as I can, just like I do in training, and hopefully it turns out the same way as the trainings. Then, it’s keep getting three points. That’s all that matters at the end of the day.”

Alonso cites “bad luck” for set-piece struggles

Gonzalo Higuain’s game-winning free kick on Wednesday night vs. the New York Red Bulls marked Inter Miami’s first direct goal off an attacking set piece this season.

As good as the strike was, one lone tally off of set pieces in 16 matches is not a good haul. For Alonso, however, it has all just been a case of poor fortune.

“If you look back at all the dead-ball situations we’ve had in all this time and look at all the times our players have had advantages, I think it’s bad luck that we haven’t been able to score (more),” said Alonso. “The plays we have worked have been good. One is never better than other. Simply, we just see characteristics and advantages we can have vs. a rival in a given position, and we’ve done that.

“The delivery has been good and we have had bad luck. Yes, we have also done it poorly at times, but I think we’ve had an infinite amount of chances to score on dead-ball situations. Infinite.”

Inter Miami aims to use counter vs. Dynamo

Do not be too surprised if you see Inter Miami play a very counterattacking style at home on Saturday against the Dynamo.

Inter Miami has done video work on its next opponent and noticed just how much space the Dynamo leave behind at times when in possession. The expansion side wants to try to exploit that, which means that Inter Miami is likely to try to inflict damage in transition often.

“They’re very expansive in how they want to play,” said midfielder Wil Trapp of the Dynamo. “They want to keep the ball, want to dominate possession, but in doing that they leave themselves at times open for counterattacks. I think, for us, that’s something we’ve been very good at this year: creating chances on the counter and capitalizing on those chances.

“For us, it’s not ceding too much possession for them, of course, but also understanding how we can hurt them and where they’re vulnerable. … One of them that we’ve identified is how much they do want the ball, but how they leave themselves open.”

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