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Three wins for Inter Miami tied 0-0 with Orlando City

The latest installment of the Sunshine Clasico saw Inter Miami and Orlando City play out a 0-0 draw at the Inter&Co Stadium.

It wasn't the most exciting clash between the two, but there were a couple of stops by Miami's Drake Callender and Orlando's Pedro Gallese. It is also worth noting that Lionel Messi was not available for selection after injuring his knee during his team's 3-2 win over CF Montreal last weekend.

However, the Herons still had a few chances to go on to get all three points. The same could be said for the hosts, but neither side had the quality in the final third on the night to break the deadlock – not even with the likes of Luis Suarez and Facundo Torres on the pitch.

Here are three key takeaways from the Herons' tie with Orlando.

Messi missed out with injury

Messi missed with injury / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Who knew Miami would struggle a bit to create more chances without the greatest player to ever play the game? In Miami's narrow win over Montreal, we saw the likes of Suarez and Matias Rojas step up while Messi was rested.

Messi's night took a turn for the worse after he suffered a knee injury in the first half, but his team-mates were able to hold on for the win with Benjamin Cremaschi getting the winner in the second half in the 45th minute.

However, that was not the case Wednesday night for Orlando. It's possible that Miami, like every other team, was dealing with a quick transition while waiting for several key players to return to the treatment table. It could also be that even if Messi did not do well against Montreal, his mere presence or “aura” was undoubtedly watching him at all times and thus freed up space for other attackers.

As the season continues and the Copa America begins in late June, the Herons will have to find a way to keep winning games without Messi — or they could find themselves relegated to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Thomas AvilesThomas Aviles

Tomas Aviles strengthened the backline / Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Mid-20s defender Tomas Aviles produced one of his best performances of the 2024 season to help keep Miami's clean sheet. Although it wasn't the best game to watch for those who expected more goals, Aviles made a quality defense for those who like great anticipation and tough challenges at the back.

The youngster – who joined Miami last summer from Argentinian Racing Club — recorded one clearance, two interceptions, five recoveries and created one chance. Aviles also chipped in with three tackles – one of which denied Duncan McGuire a surefire strike on Callender's goal.

Aviles also won five shutouts and had just two turnovers against a talented Orlando offense that boasted Torres, McGuire, Luis Muriel and Martin Ojeda. If Miami are to continue their impressive form, Aviles will be in the center of defense doing his job – which also means that there are likely to be more European sides taking notice of his impressive performances week in and week out.

Drake Callender gave Miami a chanceDrake Callender gave Miami a chance

Drake Callender gives Miami a chance / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Although the veteran Callender has his share of mistakes, he was huge for Miami against Orlando.

The hosts were pressing for the first goal in the first 45, firing nine shots on Callender's goal. Just over 30 minutes into the contest, Muriel found Ojeda on the edge of the box, and the trickster was able to find space with a smart turn and fire a shot that should have found the goal — before Callender intervened.

That wasn't the only save the USMNT shot-stopper made. The 26-year-old had two more saves on the night against an Orlando xG of 0.96. Callender didn't put up the most impressive numbers on the night, but he played his part in giving Miami a chance to win by keeping Orlando at bay, especially in the first half.

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