Inter Miami 2-1 Columbus Crew: Player ratings as Ian Fray, Julian Gressel shine in home victory

  • Inter Miami scored twice in the first half in the 2-1 victory over the reigning MLS Cup champions
  • Defender Ian Fray was on the scoresheet in his first appearance since his ACL injury last summer
  • The Herons managed to hold on in the second half for all three points despite a late surge from the Crew
Ian Fray was on the scoresheet in his return from injury
Ian Fray was on the scoresheet in his return from injury / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Goals from Ian Fray and Leo Campana propelled Inter Miami to a 2-1 triumph over reigning MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew at Chaste Stadium.

How the game unfolded

The Herons couldn't have got off to a better start in front of their supporters in south Florida. Right-back Ian Fray -- who was making his appearance for the first team since his ACL injury last summer -- opened the scoring and put the Herons in front after heading home Julian Gressel's pin-point accurate corner kick.

Miami double their advantage in the 20th minute after a couple of missed chance from Leo Campana and Robert Taylor, who were filling in for the likes of Matias Rojas and Luis Suarez. Gressel -- who started on the right-wing for the second straight match in place of Lionel Messi - played Campana through on goal with a beautiful curling pass into the Ecuadorian's path, but Miami's No. 8 was unable to to convert from close range.

Campana was able to regain possession after Patrick Schulte's save and then teed up Taylor from an even better position, but the Finland international was also unable to get past the Crew's shot-stopper. However, Gressel picked up the ball near Columbus' six-yard box and sent in an inviting cross that Campana headed toward goal -- and his initial effort was saved before he rocketed home a close-range strike into the roof of the net.

The south Florida side seemed certain to head into halftime with a 2-0 advantage until Cucho Hernandez struck. Aidan Morris found Hernandez barreling into the Herons' penalty area, and the Colombia international somehow managed to get on the end of the midfielder's cross to pull one back for the Crew.

As expected, the Crew came out swinging in the second 45. Substitute Ryan Sailor stepped up to make a crucial block in his own box, while Drake Callender got revenge on Hernandez by denying the Columbus striker in a one-on-one situation late on.

It was an impressive win in the end for Miami, who picked up three points once more despite not being at their best for the full 90 minutes -- which is largely due to them missing several key players in their squad through injury and Copa America -- against a stellar Columbus squad missing just one player to international duty.

The victory saw Miami increase their points tally to 41 from 20 matches played as the team sits in first place in the Supporters' Shield standings. The Crew remained in sixth place in the Eastern Conference table with 27 points from 16 games, and they'll be eager to return to action quickly to get back in the win column.

Inter Miami player ratings ( 4-3-3 )

The Herons welcomed the Crew to south Florida
The Herons welcomed the Crew to south Florida / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

GK: Drake Callender - 7/10 - Perhaps could've done better on Hernandez's first-half strike as it didn't exactly have a ton of pace on it. Denied Hernandez one-on-one later on in the match to ensure Miami held on for three points.

RB: Ian Fray - 8/10 - Strong in defense and managed to open the scoring in his first appearance for Miami since his ACL injury during Leagues Cup 2023.

CB: Serhiy Kryvtsov - 7/10 - The experienced center-back played his part in the win with several key blocks and interceptions.

CB: Noah Allen - 6/10 - Could have done better to track Hernandez's run into the box that lead to the goal. Mostly solid outside of that, though.

LB: Jordi Alba - 6/10 - A quiet game from the veteran full-back as he didn't get the opportunity to get up the pitch and join in the attack.

CM: Benjamin Cremaschi - 6/10 - Cremaschi had a few nice moments in possession here and there but was largely inconsistent.

CM: Sergio Busquets - 6/10 - It wasn't his usual 7/10 performance but it was enough to see out the narrow victory for the hosts. The midfield duo of Darlington Nagbe and Aidan Morris is one of the toughest midfields in all of MLS that Busquets had trouble navigating alongside Cremaschi and Bright.

CM: Yannick Bright - 6/10 - The player neither helped nor hindered his side.

RW: Julian Gressel - 8/10 - His excellent delivery was on display for all to see as he grabbed an assist while helping set up the team's second goal.

ST: Leo Campana - 7/10 - His hold-up play was solid and he made up for his missed left-footed effort with a close-range finish to put Miami in a commanding position.

LW: Robert Taylor - 6/10 - Took up good positions all throughout the final third but missed a huge chance in the first 45. Luckily, Campana was able to strike from close range shortly after.


SUB: Ryan Sailor (67' for Fray) - 7/10 - Came up clutch with a huge block in his own box shortly after coming on.

SUB: Leo Afonos (76' for Campana) - 6/10

SUB: Shanyder Borgelin (76' for Taylor) - 6/10


Gerardo 'Tata' Martino - 7/10 - Managed the game quite well given he had so many players unavailable for selection. Miami were on the front foot in the first half but faltered in the second 45, but three pointd are three points. His side now has over a week to rest before their next contest vs Nashville on June 29.

Player of the match - Ian Fray (Inter Miami)