With the biggest victory of the week already in hand -- the signing of prolific striker Gonzalo Higuain - Inter Miami CF will look to celebrate on the field with a road matchup Saturday against Atlanta United FC.
Higuain's debut is likely a few weeks away, after paperwork and a quarantine period is complete, but the message was clear: Help is on the way.
Heading into play Saturday, Inter Miami's nine goals in 11 games were tied for second lowest in MLS, ahead of just FC Cincinnati (seven goals).
Evidence of the team's low-scoring ways came Sept. 2 when it played to a 0-0 tie on the road against Atlanta United. But Inter Miami (2-7-2, eight points) showed what it is capable of Sept. 9 when they got two goals from Lewis Morgan and earned a 2-1 victory at home against Atlanta United (3-6-2, 11 points).
It was just the second victory ever for expansion Inter Miami, while at the same time providing more proof that Atlanta United is far from the form that carried the team to a 2018 MLS Cup title.
"It's true that the more you play an opponent, the more you get to know them and the more they get to know you," Miami head coach Diego Alonso said. " ... I think we played two good matches against them both in their home and at our own. We need to repeat the good performances and try to keep showing improvements by the team."
Inter Miami will try to rebound from a 2-1 loss at Orlando City SC last Saturday. Brek Shea scored the lone goal for the road team.
Atlanta also will look to get on the winning track after a 4-2 road defeat last Saturday to another expansion team in Nashville SC. Jeff Larentowicz and George Bello each scored a goal in the defeat.
Atlanta has gone winless in its last five contests dating back to a 2-0 home victory over Nashville SC on Aug. 22. Atlanta is also 1-3-2 under interim manager Stephen Glass since the dismissal of Frank de Boer on July 24.
"The players have had the coaching change, which is something new for a lot of them," Glass said. "I would say mentally inside here they're doing well with it. I think they're growing and learning. The mentality of the team is a group of footballers who will fight, willing to push and not accepting of the defeats. I think that will take us a long way."
--Field Level Media