After a disastrous start to the season in Major League Soccer, Inter Miami CF reinforced their squad with elite players such as Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba, who managed to turn the team's fortunes around in Leagues Cup 2023 and reach their first final despite only three years of existence.
From the moment Messi made his debut against Cruz Azul, it was clear that he had come to do what he loves most, play football. Lionel has already experienced memorable moments with Inter Miami CF, such as his debut free-kick goal, three consecutive braces, the dramatic draw against FC Dallas, and the longest goal of his career.
No one doubts for a moment that he is not only the star of his team but also of the tournament. However, today we will take some time to analyze which other players have been important for Inter Miami CF to reach the final of Leagues Cup 2023.
The 28-year-old Finnish winger is experiencing his best period since joining the club in February 2022. The team's new dynamics and the playmaking ability of the new players provide him with more opportunities to score, something he has capitalized on to improve his records.
During the 2022 MLS season, Taylor only scored three goals, whereas in this Leagues Cup, he has found the net on four occasions. Not to forget that in the semifinal, he provided an assist to Jordi Alba for him to score his first goal with the team.
We know that Inter Miami CF's attacking zone is one of the best in the tournament due to the massive number of goals they generate. However, the defensive part of the Florida-based team hasn't garnered much attention, which is actually a positive thing as it indicates they have silently done a good job, similar to what Sergio Busquets did at Barcelona—away from the limelight but very effective.
This is the case with Kamal Miller, the 26-year-old defender stands out in the statistics table as the player with the most successful passes throughout the competition (452). He's also the player with the most passes in his own half (301) and the most short passes (402). His work has been vital in providing good ball distribution and allowing the forwards to do what they do best: score goals.
The Venezuelan international may have taken some time to get going at Leagues Cup 2023, but in the latter stages of the tournament he has rediscovered the scoring touch that made him a success at Atlanta United FC. The 30-year-old has made the most of the opportunity to play alongside Lionel Messi, and has scored three goals in six games so far.
His first two came from the penalty spot - against Orlando City SC and Charlotte FC. His third, which opened the scoring in the semi-final against the Philadelphia Union, was an exquisite first-time finish from a tight angle. He'll be looking to continue his resurgence by scoring in another final - having already struck in his former team's MLS Cup 2018 final against the Portland Timbers.