Inter Miami is headed into the offseason abyss, a result of collective and individual performances there just were not good enough for a team that started the year talking big and aspiring for so much.
The 2020 MLS season ended for Inter Miami this past weekend with a dismal 3-0 playoff defeat to fellow expansion side Nashville SC. The lopsided loss and elimination punctuated a dreary and challenging first campaign for the Herons that fell well short of their championship dreams, leaving the team with plenty to mull over as it heads into the winter.
Offseasons always produce change, but there will likely be a significant haul for Inter Miami after such a dreary and lamentable campaign that produced more disappointing individual performances than promising ones. Just how many players stay and how many go remains to be seen, but you can probably expect plenty of movement based on how few players fared well over the course of this inaugural season.
Here’s a closer look at how each Inter Miami player did in 2020:
Luis Robles: C+
Made some of his staple big saves while also letting in some soft goals that he normally prevents. The start of his decline seems to be upon us.
John McCarthy: B-
Demonstrated an aggressiveness to come off his line, decent play with his feet, and was solid though not game-changing in terms of his shot-stopping.
Drake Callender: N/A
The third-string goalkeeper never made an appearance.
Nicolas Figal: B-
Showed a lot of interesting things early in the year when playing in his more natural centerback position before being asked to fill in at right back, where he was decent while limited.
Dylan Nealis: C
The rookie endured his growing pains, especially at the hands of Nani, but was a capable bench option in spot duty.
Alvas Powell: D-
A poor showing in the season opener saw him largely fall out of favor until the end of the year when the team needed to tap into its depth and use him out of position at centerback.
Denso Ulysse: N/A
The prospect went unused all season.
Andres Reyes: C+
There were some very good moments and the tools are there for him to grow into a quality player, but his youth, unorthodox style of play, and decision-making proved costly often.
A.J. DeLaGarza: B
Did not play until the final weeks of the season, and held up okay when turned to.
Leandro Gonzalez Pirez: A-
By far the best midseason acquisition the team signed, as he led the back line with consistent solid displays that also included some pinpoint forward passes that added something to the attack. His propensity for yellows was as evident as ever, though.
Christian Makoun: C
A young midfielder that saw more time at centerback finished the year with little playing time, some mixed performances, and plenty to work on.
Ben Sweat: D+
The veteran showed a lot of good things with the ball in the attack, but was nightmarish with his defending far too often and responsible for many goals. His future with the team is likely up in the air.
Mikey Ambrose: B
Reliable if mostly unspectacular during his six appearances. May have made a case to get more looks in 2021.
Wil Trapp: C
Finished the year on a stronger note than he started, with more of his trademark passes on display, but seems a bit like a luxury player on this side given his defensive deficiencies and inability to cover too much ground.
Victor Ulloa: C+
While he may have lost his starting spot late in the season, he was respectably serviceable in the middle by putting in plenty of work off the ball while also getting forward on occasion to add an element to the attack.
Blaise Matuidi: C
Images of him not putting in 100 percent in the playoff game will linger, though he seemed to be steadily improving in his new surroundings prior to that. He was not a DP, but nonetheless more was needed from someone of his experience and pedigree after playing at the highest levels of the game.
Jay Chapman: C+
Filled in competently in the middle of the park when needed without overly impressing.
David Norman Jr: N/A
Never saw the field and spent a good portion of the year dealing with an injury.
Lewis Morgan: A-
The attacking catalyst and most consistent offensive punch. His confident dribbling runs, solid set pieces, dangerous crosses from the run of play, and five goals and eight assists were the reason he was the only player to start and play in every game. One of the few major positives to draw from this expansion season.
George acosta: n/a
Part of a crop of youngsters being groomed for the future, the local product did not see a single minute of action.
Rodolfo Pizarro: C+
Began the year well before having a serious dip in form during the final months of the campaign. Finished with four goals and five assists in 19 appearances, which is not a bad haul, but his propensity for holding onto the ball too long stood out as much as his attacking production.
Federico Higuain: N/A
A combined total of 20 minutes in four appearances is not enough to warrant a grade.
Matias Pellegrini: D-
Needed to show more promise and flashes as a Young DP, but his subpar games and languishing moments eclipsed his good ones by a wide margin.
Brek Shea: B-
A pleasant goal-scoring surprise, finishing with four tallies in 13 appearances. Injuries and far too common indifferent outings continue to plague him, though.
Gonzalo Higuain: D+
Raised the quality of the team immediately upon arrival, but didn’t make the difference anywhere near as much as he should with the reported salary he’s on. Also missed a penalty kick and got a needless red card in a first season on which there is plenty for him to build on.
Juan Agudelo: C-
Finished as the forward with most goals on the team (three) despite having injury issues and spending some time at midfield. Still, you would expect more out of someone of his skill and experience during what is supposed to be the prime of his career.
Julian Carranza: D-
His two goals vs. Orlando City in the first game after the MLS is Back Tournament hinted at great things to come. They never did, with the youngster showing very little the rest of the way while failing to score again.
Robbie Robinson: D
The rookie showed some good starting points before the pandemic shutdown and faded badly after it, failing to really make an impact and looking unready for life in MLS.
Jerome Kiesewetter: N/A
Had two appearances that totaled 23 minutes before being sent on loan to USL side Fort Lauderdale CF.