Inter Miami-Nashville SC Preview
Inter Miami boss Phil Neville is unsure whether Gonzalo Higuain and his brother Federico will be available to face Nashville SC following the death of their mother.
The Higuain brothers traveled back to Argentina in the week after their mother, Nancy Zacarias, passed away following a battle with cancer.
Both brothers scored in Miami's 2-1 victory over Philadelphia Union last time out - Federico setting up Gonzalo to equalize before then netting the winner himself in the 83rd minute.
However, Neville will not rush the duo back.
"They're more than footballers, their families are more important," Neville said. "So at this moment in time there is, we don't know whether the Higuains are going to be here Sunday.
"When they left, Gonzalo and Fede both said that their mum's dying wish was [for] them to come back and play, and ultimately, you think about, the strength of a mother in a household is really powerful.
"So ultimately what I said to them is, you go back and see your family, spend time with your family and make sure that you give them everything you can, and football is secondary. So we're not sure about the Higuain brothers."
With our without the Higuains, Miami will face a Nashville team still in search of their first win. They have come from behind to draw both of their games so far, and head coach Gary Smith knows more has to come from his team.
Smith said: "There are lots and lots of positives to come out of our play at the moment.
"However, to concede two goals in the two opening games at home is something that we have to consider very heavily. Moving forward, we have to improve."
Nashville SC - Jhonder Cadiz
Particularly impressive so far for Nashville has been the form of striker Jhonder Cadiz, who has scored in both of their matches this season. If they can tighten up at the back, then Cadiz could well be a leading marksman in MLS this term.
Inter Miami - Nicolas Figal
Defender Nicolas Figal led the way in chances created for Miami last week, including an assist for Federico Higuain's late winner.
-Nashville's Daniel Lovitz has made an MLS-high 103.5 touches per 90 minutes this season and also leads MLS in crosses, attempting 10.5 per 90 minutes (minimum 100 minutes).
-Federico Higuain came off the bench to provide the assist on Miami's equalizing goal (scored by his brother, Gonzalo) before scoring the winner against the Union last week. Last season, Inter Miami had just two total goal contributions from substitutes, the fewest in MLS.
-Miami came from 1-0 down to beat the Union, 2-1, in Chester last Saturday, ending Philadelphia's nine-match regular season home winning streak. That win followed a loss in their season opener against the Galaxy, in which they led twice.
-Nashville erased two-goal deficits in each of their first two matches, coming back to draw both 2-2. Nashville has had to attack to come from behind, and it leads MLS with 24.5 shots per match so far this season.
-Nashville collected four points off their expansion rivals last season, winning 1-0 at home and playing out a scoreless draw in Miami during the regular season, before knocking Inter out in the Play-In Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs in a 3-0 victory.
Updated May 1, 2021