Inter Miami officially announced the Gonzalez Pirez signing on Wednesday.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (July 1, 2020) — As expected, Inter Miami have added former Atlanta United defender Leandro González-Pirez to the team in order to bolster the roster in the backline. The MLS expansion franchise have acquired Gonzalez Pirez via a full transfer from Club Tijuana — which he joined in January — by use of Internacional’s top spot in the MLS Allocation Order.
The players and coaches left Fort Lauderdale this morning for Orlando, Florida, in advance of the MLS is Back Torunament. González Pirez was in the squad, which departed on two motorcoaches for the trip up the Florida’s Turnpike to the land of Mickey.
Some media members were invited to be on hand for a breakfast that took place prior to the team’s departure. Sporting director Paul McDonough usesd the occasion to confirm the recent reports linking the expansion side with the Argentine centre-back. However, González Pirez will not be available to play for Inter Miami until after the tournament concludes because of MLS rules.
“We were so fast and aggressive with getting Leandro (signed), they just weren’t really ready for it,” said McDonough. “It’s okay. It is what it is. We’re going to go with the team we have to compete, but he’s with us and he can get integrated into the group. We’re happy that he’s with us.”
The allocation order is but one of the many complex rules MLS has created to stock its rosters, given that the league operates as a single entity. González Pirez is currently listed on the MLS Allocation Order list due to the fact that his former team, Atlanta United, secured a transfer when he moved to Club Tijuana. Inter Miami currently held the No. 1 position in the allocation ranking as a result of Los Angeles FC signing Andy Najar earlier. (Once a team signs a player under the allocation ranking rules, that team then moves to the bottom of the order and team behind them moves up.)
González Pirez, 28, previously spent three seasons with Atlanta United. He helped the club win the MLS Cup in 2018 and the U.S. Open Cup last summer. The fee Inter Miami paid to Club Tijuana to acquire was not disclosed per MLS rules. What is known, however, is that famous Buenos Aires side Club Atlético River Plate will receive 5 percent of that fee pursuant to FIFA’s solidarity payments, stemming from River’s involvement in the formation of González-Pirez, who featured on the club’s U-17 and U-20 teams.
The South Florida team will play in the opening game of the Tournament taking place at Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports on the evening of July 8th against Orlando City.