How to fake it: Inter Miami playoff preview
Inter Miami CF has a shot at winning its first-ever Major League Soccer Cup playoff game since entering the league as an expansion team in 2020.
- And it all takes place at 7pm tonight, in the first round against New York City FC.
The big picture: The Dolphins are floundering, the Marlins are shark bait, and the Heat season is still a couple of days away from ignition.
- If you're not a soccer fan but want to cheer on the home team, we've got you covered with tips to help you look smart.
State of play: NYC — aka the Pigeons — enter the matchup as the reigning MLS Cup champions and the betting favorites, but Inter Miami, co-owned by soccer icon David Beckham, has a great storyline, and some analysts are picking the Herons to win.
Learn the slang: Inter Miami's sweet pink jerseys aren't a uniform, they're called a kit. And they don't play on a field. It's a pitch. It's a clean sheet when you shut out the other team.
- The game is divided into 45-minute halves. If the score is tied after 90 minutes, the teams play two extra 15-minute periods and, if it's still tied, they move on to penalty kicks.
- The playoffs are single elimination, so Inter Miami has to win to move onto the next round. The championship will be Nov. 5.
Notable players: Inter Miami is led by the veteran Argentine striker Gonzalo "Pipita" Higuain, a finalist for MLS Comeback Player of the Year after scoring 14 goals over the last 16 games.
- Higuain, 34, is retiring at season's end, so he wants to put on a show. (As disappointed as Argentina fans were at his performance in the 2014 World Cup Finals, Martin can assure you, they love Pipita.)
- Drake Callender, a finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year, is another great story for Inter Miami. The 25-year-old started in place of the injured starter and played so well that he kept the job.
La Familia: There are fans, and then there are fanatics. Inter Miami has three official supporter groups — Vice City 1896, The Siege and Southern Legion — known collectively as La Familia.
- They each have their own chants they sing during games. Learn Vice City’s spin on a Celia Cruz classic: “Hoooy... hay que cantar...qué Miami es un Carnaval...con el Inter hoy festejamos....oh oh oh ah…”
How to watch: The game will be played at Citi Field in New York, but you can catch it on TV (FS1 in English and Fox Deportes in Spanish).
- Whether you live in Miami or Broward, Inter Miami has you covered with watch parties at Cerveceria La Tropical in Wynwood (42 NE 25th St.) and Mickey Byrne’s in Fort Hollywood (1921 Hollywood Blvd.)
- The party starts at 5:30pm. There will be giveaways and drink specials.
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