Major League Soccer

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez insists Inter Miami is more 'united' now

Lizzy Becherano
Leandro Gonzalez  Pirez during Orlando City SC v Inter Miami CF on August 4, 2021
Leandro Gonzalez Pirez during Orlando City SC v Inter Miami CF on August 4, 2021 / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Inter Miami defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez admits the team is in a much better position and far more 'united' after a string of good results.

The second-year Major League Soccer side faces Orlando City SC on Friday as part of Rivalry Week as they look to maintain their form, and Pirez says the team are over their struggles.

“We’re much better as a team now, much more united on and off the pitch, and it shows...we’re taking it step by step," Pirez said. "The idea is to try to keep growing and setting short-term goals that we can meet so the team continues to improve."

Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville stepped into the press conference after Pirez to reiterate the message of hope and provide an update on his side. He remained positive throughout the media availability, highlighting the impact of supporters.

“Probably the most vivid recollection is the supporters that we had at the game last time, how much it means to them," said Neville. "So, we want to put on a show for them. We want to show them the fight, the spirit of togetherness that we show, and I want the same type of performance in what we did in Orlando, I thought we were outstanding. And if we do that, then we'll have a great chance of getting a good result and points on Friday."

Before concluding, Neville touched upon Rodolfo Pizarro’s recent success and the changes that lead to his sudden shift in performance. 

"Even before he went away to the Gold Cup, there was a change in his attitude, there was a greater work ethic, a greater commitment to the team, a greater sense of enjoyment from him because I think he’d had tough times,” said Neville. 

"He was having good performances but the goals weren’t there. And somebody like Rodolfo would measure his performance in goals, assists, match-winning performances. And the goal against Chicago was a match-winning performance, the goals against Toronto won us this game. So he’s won us two games. Ultimately that’s what we pay him to do, that’s why we signed him and ultimately that’s what he’s about. The goals have changed his career here in terms of him now becoming a match-winner."

Inter Miami recently climbed to 11th place on the Eastern Conference table with 22 points in 19 matches after maintaining a last place position for several consecutive weeks. They stand five points away from fighting for a playoff spot.