Whether David Beckham’s MLS franchise will be Internacional by name for much longer is up for debate. But the club being global by nature is not. In keeping with Miami’s standing as a melting-pot of North, Central and South American cultures, Inter have assembled a squad with a variety of Latin backgrounds along with a nice mixture of youthful energy and experience for their inaugural MLS year, going against expectations that the partnership could establish a magnet for ageing superstars. If you are into betting on soccer, Inter might be an interesting bet in MLS.
Sporting Director Paul McDonough isn’t ready to risk stability for quick thrills. Local popularity and enduring success appear to be Inter’s aims, and if so they are going about their business at a manner that is praise-worthy. Inter Miami is currently in a legal battle with their Milanese namesake for the right to market itself as ‘Inter’, with the Italians arguing that the term is their property that is trademarked. MLS, that owns the clubs that play in North America’s top division, is arguing that the word ‘Internacional’ is descriptive and as such isn’t subject to copyright legislation.
Last week, news broke that Inter will be registering Colombian U-23 international defender Andres Reyes on loan from Atlético Nacional and, more excitingly Mexico star and 2019 CONCACAF Champions League winner Rodolfo Pizarro. They will be added to a group that includes yet another Mexican, a Venezuelan, a Haitian, a Scot, three Argentines, a Jamaican, a Panamanian, a Canadian and Americans. The manager tasked with overseeing this multinational group is Diego Alonso, a Uruguayan who earned a European Champions League runners-up medal with Valencia and led Pizarro and Monterrey to glory last year as a coach. Miami, where more people speak Spanish as a first language than English, is referred to as the northernmost city in Latin America. Inter, then, reflects its environment. Regardless of the financial focus in professional soccer, clubs continue to be meant to be a symbol of ideas, areas and populations. And in bringing together this group, Inter are currently fashioning an identity that locals will have the ability to recognise and get behind. Since David Beckham’s co-investor Jorge Mas advised the league’s official site, “We are less interested in the name of these players, but more so in their character.”
Fortunately, for Inter’s budding fanbase, the footballing skill also looks abundant. In 19-year-old Christian Makoun, a Venezuela-born defender whose dad played with the Cameroonian national team, they have a strong, elegant and calm player who led his nation to the final of the 2017 U-20 World Cup and spent time on loan with the Juventus B team. He is just one reason that you need to register vodds account and get backing Beckham’s team from the off.
From Argentina’s Primera Division, they have plucked Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza, two wonderfully gifted 19-year-old attackers. At the other end of the age spectrum, Panama captain Roman Torres combines no-nonsense defending with expertise at the top level in South and North American club football. The likes of Jamaican defender Alvas Powell, USMNT midfielder Wil Trapp and Beckahm’s ex-LA Galaxy team-mate AJ DeLaGarza have a wealth of MLS experience behind them, whilst ex-Celtic man Lewis Morgan and German-American striker Jerome Kiesewetter have played for European clubs.
Sporting manager McDonough is drawing on expertise, too. He was previously at Atlanta United while they went from an expansion franchise to MLS Cup winners in two seasons, using a similar combination of North and South American talent. And to work together with him, Beckham, McDonough and Mas have brought in a coach with a stellar track record. “What we really like about [Alonso] is he’s coached at big clubs and he’s won at big tournaments”, McDonough told AP. “He’s won at all different levels throughout South America.” Along with this 2019 Concacaf Champions League crown with Monterrey, the Uruguayan won a Liga MX title and Champions League with Pachuca in 2016 and 2017.
One issue might be a shortage of goals, without a known 20-goals-a-season man from the group. However, Kiesewetter informed the Miami Herald, “We are working hard on getting our patterns in, and hopefully it’ll work out in the first game.” Alonso’s Monterrey side scored lots – that they won their Champions League semi-final 10-2 on aggregate over Sporting Kansas City last season – so they’ll be hoping the manager can construct a fluid style, using the collection of creative talent at his disposal, that compensates for the shortage of inherent poaching instinct at the group.
Rather than following that obvious path of superstars and exorbitant wages, Inter Miami has been much cuter, creating a group capable of building a relationship with supporters off the pitch and being a cohesive outfit on it. Being an extension franchise could be tough – the brand new boys FC Cincinnati managed six wins last year – but Alonso is bullish about their opportunities. “We see being a debutant team as a great opportunity to create a new winning side in MLS,” he informed Univision. “We’re confident that we have the potential, along with the owners, coaches, fans and players, to create MLS history”