Inter Miami CF look to extend their team-record unbeaten streak when they visit Toronto FC on Tuesday night.
A victory in Toronto would put ninth-place Miami (8-9-5, 29 points) over the Eastern Conference playoff line with 11 games remaining in the regular season. This scenario didn't seem possible when Miami was mired in a six-game losing streak earlier this season the summer, yet the team has gone 6-1-3 since that winless drought.
The Herons are currently on a 4-0-1 run, the longest unbeaten stretch in the club's two-year history. Miami's latest victory came last Saturday, as Gonzalo Higuain scored in the 16th minute and Miami held on for a 1-0 result over the Columbus Crew.
"I had a feeling all day that it was going to be a grind-it-out type of performance," said Inter Miami coach Phil Neville. "We're showing all of the qualities that people probably from outside the club didn't think that this team had."
Inter Miami's streak has been defined by tough defense, as the Herons have allowed just one score (a Kieran Gibbs own goal) over their last 402 minutes of soccer.
Gibbs' error came in the last meeting between Miami and Toronto, a 3-1 home win for Inter on Aug. 21.
That game was part of what has been another nightmarish stretch for last-place Toronto FC (3-14-6, 15 points). The Canadian side is 0-6-2 in its last eight games, and a loss Tuesday would give Toronto its second six-game losing streak of the season.
Following a 2-0 loss to FC Cincinnati on Saturday, Toronto FC coach Javier Perez described the 2021 campaign as "definitely the most challenging season of my personal career," since "when it looks like things cannot go worse, they can go worse" with the Toronto's injury situation.
"But the only thing you can do is just to stay positive, stay calm," said Perez. "And I'm positive in the group. ...I see in (their) faces they want to turn this around."
Alejandro Pozuelo is questionable for Tuesday after an injury kept him out of Toronto's last game.
Toronto FC has allowed the most goals (49) of any team in MLS.
--Field Level Media