Drake Callender became a hero again Wednesday night after Inter Miamii CF punched its ticket to the U.S. Open Cup final by eliminating FC Cincinnati in penalties. Not only did Callender make another key save in a penalty shootout, but he also excelled in 120 minutes of regulation to keep his team in the match. Now Messi and his teammates of a new title to play for.
Inter Miami CF reached another final after being crowned the Leagues Cup 2023 champions in an exciting title match. The club’s fortunes have changed completely since Messi’s arrival, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Callender’s key play.
Last Sunday and Wednesday night, opposing teams couldn’t do enough to beat the goalkeeper in regulation and he excelled in the penalty shootouts.
On Sunday against Nashville SC in extra time, Callender earned his Leagues Cup 2023 Best Goalkeeper Award with huge saves in the 92nd and 93rd minutes to deny Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge.
After an exciting game, center referee Ismail Elfath blew the final whistle and the penalty shootout began. The penalty shootout reached the 11th round, with both goalkeepers needing to kick. Callender stepped to the spot and converted his kick to make it 10 -9.
Then, it was the Nashville SC goalkeeper’s turn to shoot. He tried going to his right, but failed. Calendar made the save and clinched the Leagues Cup title for Inter Miami.
This Wednesday, Callender continued his high level of play. In the US Open Cup Semifinal against FC Cincinnati, the American took a key ball in the 73rd minute and managed to prevent the advantage from extending for the home team. The match eventually ended 3-3 and Inter Miami went to penalties again.
In these last two matches, Callender made some great stops in regulation and raised his level of play for the penalty shootout. The Sacramento-born player saved FC Cincinnati’s fifth shot and Benjamín Cremaschi scored to make it 5-4 and send Inter Miami to another final.
Can Callender maintain this level and earn Inter Miami their second cup at the US Open Cup Final on September 27th?