Major League Soccer

Phil Neville criticizes Inter Miami's 'individuality' as MLS Cup Playoff hopes die

Chris Smith
Inter Miami are 11th in the Eastern Conference with just one game left to play.
Inter Miami are 11th in the Eastern Conference with just one game left to play. / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Any fleeting hopes of an MLS Cup Playoff run for Inter Miami were extinguished with a 3-1 defeat at home to NYCFC on Saturday.

In reality, the Herons' chances of making the post-season had long since ended and Phil Neville himself admitted prior to kick-off that his team's last two games would be used to evaluate his squad for the 2022 campaign.

But Miami were mathematically put to bed by a Taty Castellanos brace and a late strike from Talles Magno, with Jorge 'Nico' Figal's 56th-minute equalizer proving nothing more than a mere consolation.

Speaking to reporters after the match (via the Miami Herald), Neville was critical of his squad's "individuality", which he believes has cost them too many times this season.

“Nothing I saw surprised me, nothing I saw proved to me anything other than what I already knew about this group,” Neville said. “Being really, really, really honest, what I said to the players was 14 or 15 of them will go home and think they did well individually, and they probably thought that a lot this season.

"I keep mentioning the word team is more important than individual and that’s why we lose games. We lose concentration, discipline and for moments we become individuals and that’s the biggest disappointment for me.”

Miami have made five errors leading to goals this season - the fourth-highest amount in MLS - and it's these defensive lapses that have been the key to their failure this season, according to Figal.

“The top teams made fewer mistakes than us," the Argentine said. “We have a team that should have finished higher. We have to be self-critical, every one of us. It’s very difficult these days to find a group that doesn’t have ego. That always exists.

"But we have to put that aside and help each other. When a teammate goes forward we have to cover for him in [the] back, and not just support each other on the field but off the field, too.”

Miami's final game of the season is away at Supporters' Shield champions New England Revolution.