What do Inter Miami need to make MLS playoffs?
Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami are still in the fight for the playoffs, but they need a string of positive results in what’s left of the season.
With the draw against New York City FC at DRV PNK Stadium, Inter Miami’s chances of getting a playoff spot look slim - but it’s not impossible. All teams have played between 30 and 32 games, meaning we are well and truly in the final stretch of the race.
The relentless storms overhead, in an act from God of pathetic fallacy, reflected the mood on the Miami soil after the draw with NYCFC. The Eastern Conference table does not make for pretty viewing for the fans in the pink shirts, as their side continue, without Messi, their increasingly hopeless task of sitting above that sacred playoff line.
A late header from Avilés salvaged a vital point at home in a game that asked a lot of the team to come back, with it taking until the last minute for the Florida team to ensure they left with a point.
Messi’s loss has been felt hard by Miami
However, that point, while valuable, does little to spark the flames of a storybook comeback tale, one that Messi seemed to be writing every time he tied his shoelaces in the US. The Argentine’s injury has taken with it the hope, the feeling of ‘we can do anything, we can beat anyone’ that ripped and roared through the league and Leagues Cup after his arrival.
The MLS standings, as said, don’t look pretty if you’re a Miami fan, but they don’t look impossible. Ninth place is the coveted ranking that gives access to the postseason round of games, and it is currently occupied by Montreal, with the old owners NYCFC using their point gained against Miami to move one place above.
Where are Inter Miami in the Eastern Conference?
Here’s how the Eastern Conference looks after game 30:
What do Inter Miami and Messi need to qualify for the playoffs?
The MLS side have just four games remaining in the regular season, meaning that a total of 12 points are on offer. As you can see from the table above, they are 4 points off ninth spot, meaning that a playoff position is well within reach... on paper. However, taking into account the number of teams ahead of them, it would take a mammoth collapse of various sides above them to clear the way for the Florida outfit to sneak into that final place.
They next play Chicago Fire who are within reach before a tricky tie against top of the league Cincinnati. After that come a pair of very winnable games against one of the only teams below them in the league, Charlotte, where the tension will undoubtedly be at near breaking point.
With the storms swirling overhead, the club are in desperate need of divine intervention if they want to carry on their fairytale adventure with the Argentine.