Inter Miami CF are clinging to the faintest of postseason hopes heading into Saturday night's clash against visiting FC Cincinnati in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Miami (10-15-5, 35 points) resides six points shy of D.C. United for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with four matches remaining. New York City FC, the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew are also ahead of the Herons.
Inter Miami CF answered being outscored by a decisive 16-1 margin during a six-match losing skid by erupting for a 3-0 win over Toronto FC on Wednesday. The three-goal margin of victory was the largest in the Herons' MLS history.
"It feels like a relief. It's nice to have a winning feeling," coach Phil Neville said, via the Miami Herald.
Inter Miami have enjoyed that winning feeling after all three of their all-time meetings with FC Cincinnati, including twice this season. Gonzalo Higuain scored two of his team-leading 10 goals for the Herons in their 3-2 victory over Cincinnati on May 16. Brek Shea tallied in that match before netting the lone goal in Miami's 1-0 win over FC Cincinnati on Sept. 4.
Last-place FC Cincinnati (4-18-8, 20 points), in turn, saw their club-record losing skid reach eight matches after a 4-3 setback to the Chicago Fire on Wednesday. FC Cincinnati surrendered the game-winning goal deep into stoppage time, much to the chagrin of interim coach Tyrone Marshall.
"That moment is a great example of what this whole season has been for Cincinnati; we're just coming up a bit short," Marshall said. "We have to be able to deal with those moments better to close the game out."
Luciano Acosta scored his franchise high-tying seventh goal of the season on Wednesday. He recorded one of his nine assists in the first meeting this season against Inter Miami.
FC Cincinnati defender Geoff Cameron and Miami defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez will sit out Saturday's match due to yellow card accumulation.
--Field Level Media