Inter Miami CF – Where will they play in 2021 and how will they do in MLS season two?

Inter Miami finally bowed out in MLS in 2020, two years after its official formation, just over six years since part-owner David Beckham exercised his option to purchase an expansion MLS franchise, and eight years in total since MLS officials expressed interest in returning a team. Towards the city.

The club, whose core values ​​focus on multilingual and omnicultural, has preached global reach, but is primarily driven by the idea of ​​being a local club for local people above all else.

Inter Miami have managed to create an unconditional following even before a ball has been kicked and their fans are not like your average MLS supporters. Miami’s legacy as a melting pot is of tremendous significance and the club has specifically geared towards Latin fan culture to reflect the region as a largely bilingual city and give local communities a team of their own. , having been somewhat neglected and neglected. by the typical American football experience.

They even insist on calling it ‘futbol’ rather than football.

Inter Miami CF v Philadelphia Union
Inter Miami made disappointing debut in 2020 | Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

The first season was not easy. Every brand new club has the potential to fight even under normal circumstances, but Inter Miami have also faced a pandemic.

Inter Miami lost their first two games to LA FC and DC United before the campaign was halted as the coronavirus crisis set in. When the action resumed in the summer and games were doubled in the group stage for the one-off “MLS is Back Tournament”, they lost three more on the rebound.

It wasn’t until the club’s sixth game in MLS that they scored their first victory. That it was a rivalry game between Florida and Orlando City made the relief of the 3-2 win all the sweeter. The results were therefore inconsistent, with victories generally followed by losses.

Overall, Inter Miami finished the 2020 regular season 10th of 14 Eastern Conference teams and 19th of 26 overall. It was still enough to get into the preliminaries of the playoffs, losing 3-0 to fellow debutants Nashville SC, who had had a much better season.

Rodolfo Pizarro
Rodolfo Pizarro is one of three DP tags at Inter Miami | Ira L. Black – Corbis / Getty Images

MLS clubs have increasingly turned to South America for players in recent years, with many turning their backs on big contracts for European veterans. Despite their very prominent Latin culture, Inter were no different and Argentina pair Julian Carranza and Matias Pellegrini, as well as Venezuelan hopeful Christian Makoun were the very first players to sign.

Most of the rest of the list that followed came from other MLS clubs, either through the Expansion Project or through free agency. But Mexican midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro de Monterrey was another big Latin arrival just before the start of the 2020 season.

Halfway through, Inter added again when Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain both replaced Italian giants Juventus. Higuain joined Pellegrini and Pizarro on the list of “designated players”.

Inter have already let a handful of players go since last season, but plans for the 2021 campaign from March are still underway. An additional investment in new players to improve the team is integral to the vision for the future.

Diego Alonso had the honor of being Inter’s first head coach. Appointed at the end of 2019, the retired Uruguayan international had previously worked at the highest level in his native country, as well as in Paraguay and in several clubs in Mexico.

Alonso remained in charge for the entire 2020 season, but left by mutual consent earlier this month.

Inter have already turned to former England manager Phil Neville, a friend and former team-mate of Beckham at Manchester United.

This is his first full-time appointment as a head coach in club or men’s football, but Beckham has known Neville for 30 years and believes his “DNA”, his attitude, his ethics. work and playing experience at the highest level itself will negate a lack of managerial experience.

Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami CF
Inter Miami will still play Fort Lauderdale in 2021 | Michael Reaves / Getty Images

A stadium was an important part of the club’s initial launch process, and Inter Miami will eventually move to Miami Freedom Park, the fifth site offered since 2014. It is expected to be a state-of-the-art multi-use complex. technology that will also have offices, retail and commercial space, as well as 750 hotel rooms and 23 acres of public football fields.

But the completion of the project is not expected until at least 2022.

Until then, they will continue to play at the Inter Miami CF stadium near Fort Lauderdale, which has been developed as a future training base for the club and its reserve team Fort Lauderdale CF.

Gonzalo Higuain
Playoffs expected to be a minimum wait in 2021 | Ira L. Black – Corbis / Getty Images

Inter Miami fans and officials will want to see an improvement in 2021.

They hope to be lucky enough to have a full quota of games as long as the season is not shortened or tightened by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but will also expect to get a higher proportion of wins, having lost more than half of their matches in 2020.

Playoffs should be the minimum expectation of any ambitious club. With Beckham himself a two-time MLS Cup winner, he doesn’t want to be in the league just to catch up with the numbers.

It should not be a slow process as it is possible for new clubs to do well very quickly. Atlanta United, MLS Cup winners only their second season in 2018, and LA FC, Supporters’ Shield winners in their second season of 2019, have shown it to be doable.

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