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It was a Memorial Day weekend Inter Miami players, coaches and fans will want to forget.

The misery began Friday night, when the club was hit with a league-record $2 million fine and other sanctions for breaking MLS salary and budget rules. Then, 24 hours later, the team suffered another blow – a 3-0 home loss to D.C. United.

The defeat was especially painful because it was in front of a sellout crowd of 15,945 at DRV PNK Stadium, the team’s first game in front of a near full-capacity stadium. The building seats 18,000 but some seats had to be left vacant due to league COVID protocol.

Inter Miami fans showed up ready to party. They were dancing, singing, and setting off pink smoke bombs an hour before kickoff. The standing-room only north stands, filled with the team’s official supporter groups, rocked from the opening whistle.

Even after Ola Kamara headed in D.C.’s third goal in the 70th minute – his second goal of the night — the Miami fans continued to wave giant flags and serenade their beloved team. But their frustration came through later. Boos could be heard when Inter Miami players passed the ball back rather than advance it, and then again at the final whistle.

With the loss, Miami remains winless at home this season, and dropped to 11th place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-4-2 record. It was not how the team wanted to enter the international break. Coaches and players will have three weeks to stew on this loss until their next game, a rematch against D.C. on the road June 19.

Long after the game was over and the stadium had cleared out, forward Gonzalo Higuain was on the field in his street clothes having a long conversation with team owners Jorge and Jose Mas.

“Obviously, we’re very disappointed,” Miami coach Phil Neville said. “A home game where we have not produced any kind of performance for our fans, and it was a special occasion. The fans were unbelievable…at the moment we’re not giving them anything like we want to give them.”

The players left the game as blue as the “Primeblue” uniforms they wore as part of a league-wide effort to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Neville and winger Lewis Morgan both dismissed the idea that the team may have been distracted by the MLS sanctions that came down Friday night saying that was not a factor in their poor performance.

Neville blamed defensive mistakes for the three D.C. goals, but ultimately took responsibility for the loss, saying “The buck stops with me and I accept that, but also, we’ve got to be better…the decision-making is not what it should be. We are suffering a lot and are frustrated.”

Despite pre-game assurances from Neville and players that the team would “right the wrongs” of the previous weekend’s 1-0 road loss against the Chicago Fire, some of same problems persisted. Miami looked slow as a unit, had trouble connecting passes and building an attack, and defenders were out of position, leading to all three D.C. goals.

Defender Nico Figal, typically one of the best Miami players, struggled and gave the ball away in the box in the 15th minute, leading to D.C.’s first goal by Ola Kamara. Seven minutes later, D.C. forward Paul Arriola got around Miami defender Christian Makoun and slotted in a shot. On Kamara’s final goal, Miami defender missed his mark and Kamara pounced on a perfect cross by Arriola.

“After the second goal the game wasn’t dead and buried, but the game put us on the back foot,” Neville said. “The two goals made us nervous in the first 15 to 20 minutes and that was the disappointment because we worked all week on playing simple, keeping it basic in terms of our build and we just overcomplicated it and we got punished.

“They had three good strikers up front that punished our defenders for mistakes they made.”

DC had scored three goals through seven games, and Miami’s shoddy defense allowed them that many in one night. United is in 10th place in the East with a 3-5-0 record.

“Mistakes have cost us and left us a mountain to climb, fighting to score a goal and it makes the stadium nervous,” Neville said. “You can point your finger at individual errors, lack of concentration. We’re giving teams a feeling that there’s always a chance to score against us.”

On the other end of the field, Morgan said Miami players should have done a better job finishing their scoring chances. Neville went with two strikers instead of one on Saturday, but the change did not result in a goal.

“We need to start scoring goals at home, as a team we need to create more chances, and start repaying the faith the fans are putting in us,” Morgan said. “We need to improve all facets of our game at the moment, to be honest, from back to front we need to get better in all departments and we’re working tirelessly to do that.”

Neville said the team must eradicate defensive mistakes but stressed that “this is not the time going into a 21-day break to start pointing fingers.”

He told the players they need to clear their minds for a few days, get back to work and come back from the break “better, harder to beat, more dogged and determined.”

Defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was suspended from the game due to yellow card accumulation. He was replaced in the starting lineup by 21-year-old Venezuelan Christian Makoun, making his first start this season.

Mexican playmaker Rodolfo Pizarro missed his second game in a row with a hip flexor injury. He was expected to play Saturday but was a late scratch from the game roster. Forward Robbie Robinson also sat out with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Julian Carranza.

Second-half subs were Brek Shea for Victor Ulloa, Federico Higuain for Carranza, Jay Chapman for Blaise Matuidi, Kelvin Leerdam for Makoun and Edison Azcona for Joevin Jones.