Inter Miami travel to DC United on Sunday looking to keep themselves in the playoff picture. Coming off a 2-1 victory against fellow playoff contenders in Columbus Crew, Phil Neville's men know every point is crucial in the late stages of the season. Currently two point off seventh with a tough schedule remaining, anything less than a win in DC would drastically reduce Miami's chance of earning a playoff berth.
DC United have the worst record in the MLS this season, having picked up just 27 points from 30 games, and have a -30 goal difference to match. The clash against Miami is one of three games left of their season, and possibly a chance to grab a consolation victory.
DC are expected to be without their leading scorer Taxiarchis Fountas as he recovers from a head injury. Brendan Hines-Ike, Brad Smith and Adrien Perez are all also expected to miss Sunday's encounter.
Leonardo Campana is listed as questionable for Miami as he nurses a quad injury, and Ian Fray's knee injury is expected to keep him off the pitch. Break Shea and Robbie Robson are both expected not to feature due to hamstring tightness.
DC: Ochoa, Najar, Birnbaum, Pines, Odoi-Atsem, Hopkins, Djeffal, Morrison, Kamara, Benteke
Miami: Marsman, Yedlin, Mabika, Sailor, Gibbs, Gregore, Mota, Taylor, Pozuelo, Lassiter, Higuain
Ones to watch
Star veteran Gonzalo Higuain has been in fine form recently with three goals in his last two outings, and Miami need this to continue going into the deciding few games of their playoff pursuit. Alejandro Pozuelo has proved himself to be one of the best chance creators in the league- he unlocked Columbus Crew's defence in his last game, recording an assist and 4 key passes. His offensive synergy with Higuain will take care of business on that side of the ball, but the defence has struggled somewhat in recent games- Miami will need Ryan Sailor and Aime Mabika to be in top form in the coming weeks. Deandre Yedlin recently earned a call-up to the American national team- he'll undoubtedly have opportunities to prove why against DC.
Christian Benteke is still looking for his first MLS goal, and his prolific record in the Premier League suggests him finding the net in the MLS is a matter of when, not if. Ravel Morrison is still capable of producing flashes of brilliance- even if he didn't live up to the potential many saw in him in England, the 29 year old is one for the defence and the spectators to keep an eye on. With Fountas likely out for the game, Ole Kamara is DC United's main scoring threat, and he will look to add to his 9 goal tally on the season.
Last time out
Last time these two sides clashed, Inter Miami held the 10-man DC United to a 2-2 draw in Florida. Damion Lowe and Leonardo Campana were the scorers for Miami- Higuain only played 13 minutes at the end of the game. A full 90 minutes from the Argentine striker may be the deciding factor on Sunday- Miami also didn't have star creator Alejandro Pozuelo. Fountas was by far DC's best player, scoring right at the end of the first half to halve the deficit and keep them in the game. The Greek striker will be sorely missed by DC on Sunday, but Ole Kamara showed his value in the 2-2 draw, scoring the equaliser shortly after being subbed on.
Where to watch
The match kicks off at 5pm ET, and will be broadcast regionally on TV33, Uni Mas and the Inter Miami app. Fans can follow the action on the Inter Miami app, and there will be radio coverage locally on 790AM.