Atlanta United vs Inter Miami CF: Match Thread and How to Watch
Nearly three weeks have gone by since Atlanta dropped a home result in unappealing fashion, falling 2-1 to the Columbus Crew in their last league match. Now the Five Stripes look to start their trek back up the table, beginning with Inter Miami this afternoon in the friendly (and not burned down) confines of the Benz.
🔴ʟɪᴠᴇ🔴🏆░▒▓█► ᴀᴛʟᴀɴᴛᴀ ᴜɴɪᴛᴇᴅ ᴠꜱ ɪɴᴛᴇʀ ᴍɪᴀᴍɪ ᴄꜰ ʟɪᴠᴇ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ
🔴ɢᴏ ʟɪᴠᴇ🔴🏆░▒▓█► ᴀᴛʟᴀɴᴛᴀ ᴜɴɪᴛᴇᴅ ᴠꜱ ɪɴᴛᴇʀ ᴍɪᴀᴍɪ ᴄꜰ ʟɪᴠᴇ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ
With at least two games in hand and four points to gain, the jump from eleventh over the red line is more than achievable. But has the extended break (and exhibition match) been enough for the team to regroup and do so? Can Atlanta United kick things into gear as we approach the second half of the season and claim a victory today without the help of the suspended Thiago Almada and Gonzalo Pineda?
We’ll find out on a nationally televised ESPN2 broadcast coming your way with a 3:08 PM kickoff from Mercedes-Benz. Before that, though, get prepped with our match preview and predicted lineups, then hop back to the comments and join in on the match thread for discussion on all things Atlanta United-Inter Miami.
What to know as Inter Miami ends three-week break with road game at Atlanta Sunday
Soccer news has been dominating the South Florida headlines the past few days with Miami being named a 2026 World Cup venue, and Inter Miami hopes to ride that wave of excitement heading into its road game Sunday against Atlanta United. It will be Miami’s first game in 22 days as Major League Soccer was on hiatus for a FIFA international break. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. at Mercedes Benz Stadium, where United leads MLS in attendance with an average of 46,239 fans per game. ESPN2 is televising the match.
Miami was on a four-game unbeaten streak heading into the break with two ties and a pair of wins, including a 2-1 home win over Portland on May 28 with goals by Leo Campana and Robert Taylor. Campana, who played for Ecuador’s national team during the FIFA break, leads Miami with seven MLS goals and an eighth in the U.S. Open Cup. “I think the break came at a good time, we really needed it,” said Miami coach Phil Neville. “The boys are itching to get back playing. We did some really good things before the break; we showed some really good qualities, had some really good performances, but now I feel like this is where the marathon starts.” Miami and Atlanta are jockeying for positing in the standings, both just a few spots below the seventh-place playoff line. Miami (5-6-3) is in ninth place with 18 points and Atlanta (4-5-4) is in 11th with 16 points.
Atlanta United look to start new home streak vs. Inter Miami
Atlanta United will try to begin another long home unbeaten run Sunday against a visiting Inter Miami squad that still needs to improve its away form.
Atlanta (4-5-4, 16 points) lost 2-1 to the Columbus Crew on May 28 to halt what had been a 13-match undefeated stretch at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Manager Gonzalo Pineda’s side were idle in MLS during the June international break. Before the pause, Atlanta earned only five points from their five May matches despite 11 goals scored in that span.
But a friendly win over Pachuca of Mexico’s Liga MX during the break and the return from injury of striker Josef Martinez and midfielder Santiago Sosa has Pineda feeling his team is in a better place.
“This victory against Pachuca, it was a good test for us against a very good opponent, and the team is playing good football. They are enjoying their football,” Pineda said. “And to attack, and to be able to reproduce that every match, we are in a key moment of the season.”
Atlanta will be without attacker Thiago Almada, who serves a red card suspension after being sent off late in the loss to Columbus. The 21-year-old had contributed three goals and two assists in his last four MLS games.
Miami (5-6-3, 18 points) entered the break after back-to-back MLS victories over the New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers at home.
But the Herons are just 1-4-1 away from home and will need to improve if they are to parlay their recent uptick in form into a playoff appearance.
“We did some really good things before the break, some really good performances,” said manager Phil Neville. “But now I feel is where the marathon starts. It’s a big stretch now where we’ve got to really, really collect points and continue to climb that table. We’ve not achieved anything yet.”
Leonardo Campana scored his team-leading seventh goal for Miami against the Timbers as he continues chasing a spot on Ecuador’s final World Cup squad later this year.
He appeared twice for his country over the international break, most recently as a sub in last weekend’s 1-0 win against Cape Verde.
Match Preview: Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami CF
Atlanta United returns to MLS competition with a matchup against Inter Miami CF at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, June 19. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET.
Atlanta United heads into Sunday’s match after a competitive warmup earlier in the week. On Tuesday, the 5-Stripes played a friendly against CF Pachuca at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta United beat the Liga MX regular season champs 3-2 to hoist the first-ever American Family Insurance Cup trophy.
Leading up to the American Family Insurance Cup, head coach Gonzalo Pineda said that part of the approach was for Tuesday’s match to serve as a warmup for the team’s important next stretch of MLS play. Now, Atlanta United heads into its first MLS match since the international break with a rhythm found in the midweek, three-goal performance.
"After this victory against Pachuca, it was a good test for us against a very good opponent,” Pineda said. “The team is playing good football. They’re enjoying playing football, to attack and be able to reproduce that every match.”
Atlanta United will be without their gaffer this weekend after Pineda was shown a red card during the team’s last MLS match against Columbus Crew on May 28.
In Pineda’s stead, Atlanta will rely on a collective effort. Assistant coach Rob Valentino will serve the main role on the bench, but other assistant coaches, including Diego de la Torre and Eugenio Villazón, will pitch in also. But the biggest force Pineda called on to step up during his absence was the players.
“Once the referee blows the whistle, the players are in control of everything,” Pineda said.
The club will also be without one of its key playmakers, Thiago Almada. MLS issued the midfielder was Argentina a three-match suspension following the final whistle against Columbus. The next match Almada will be available for is July 3 against New York City FC.
Preview: Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami - prediction, team news, lineups
Inter Miami return to MLS action on Sunday, unbeaten in their previous four matches in all competitions when they head to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a date with Atlanta United.
The Five Stripes went into the international break without a victory in three consecutive league contests, while Miami are just a point back of Charlotte FC for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
With 13 matches in 2022, they are only three points better than they were at this exact point last year, when there was unrest within the group, leading to the dismissal of Gabriel Heinze.
So far this year the backline has been fragile, with numerous key players on the injured list, resulting in this team looking quite susceptible defensively.
They have continuously spotted their opponents an early goal, conceding six within the opening half-hour in five of their last six MLS affairs.
A 2-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew at the end of May ended a run of 13 straight domestic games without a loss for them at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Opposing sides have found tremendous success against Atlanta by sitting deep, waiting to snipe goals off them when they make defensive errors, which the Five Stripes have done a lot of this year.Recently, Phil Neville called his side a playoff team, which was difficult to fathom before their current run when they lacked consistency and poise.
Their good form of late may justify his sentiments, but statistics do not, as they are the third-worst team in terms of expected goal differential.
Three of their next four games will be on the road, which should give us a better gauge of how good they really are, as Miami have not played an away match since May 18.
The Herons have struggled in the final third away from home, going goalless in three consecutive road fixtures, scoring no more than once each time.
Some solid positional play and finding a way to strike first has changed their fortunes, with Miami scoring the opener in three of their last four MLS games, while that other match ended in a 0-0 draw versus the Philadelphia Union.