With his club’s historic premiere in Major League Soccer now just three days’ away, David Beckham, a co-owner of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, made several appearances in the media, most notably on the Jimmy Fallon Show which aired last night, along with spots on the Today Show and Good Morning America this morning.
Here are links via twitter:
When asked on the Today Show if the choice of pink was risky, Beckham smiled and responded: “The more pink the better.” We couldn’t agree more David. This is Miami and we are used to vibrant colours all around us.
On Good Morning America, Beckham recounted that “It’s been a long journey. A journey that I actually didn’t think was going to take this long.”
With four days before its official first game, there is still an outpouring of opinion regarding the Inter Miami CF kits for the inaugural season.
Inter Miami officially unveiled its first home jersey on Monday afternoon, but the reaction from within camp to the predominantly white top with pink accents would best be described as mixed.
Fans, and even some players, have provided input. And their reactions are mixed, with one of the most persistent questions being on peoples’ minds is “Why on earth is there no pink shirt?“
There is a lot of opinion on social media. Certainly, some people like the all black and all white ensembles. Style is subjective. The responses to this recent post by Inter Miami on twitter is but one example:
Among the responses: “boring,” “terribly plain,” and “should have been pink.”
Inaugural home shirt draws mixed reviews
Asked what he thought about the all white and all blacks, midfielder A.J. De La Garza responded with a chuckle, “I wish we had a pink one.“ (The white jersey is) nice and very clean. I know a lot of people don’t like how boring they might be.” Reasonable interpretation from that answer is that De La Garza and other players even think that the kits are boring.
Victor Ulloa agreed that it would have been really nice to have a pink kit, but said that he is fine with both the white home top and away black uniform, although his favourite was the former.
Co-owner David Beckham, meanwhile, told media when asked about it that he was pleased with the outcome of the inaugural home look.
“Why wasn’t it pink? It’s got pink on it,” said Beckham. “We always said that we wanted a kit that the fans would be proud of. There’s always going to be certain people that maybe think it should be one color or should be something different, but I think we’re more than happy with what we’ve done with this club so far. More importantly, I think our fans are happy.”
Beckham’s on the record statements about the kit do not come as a surprise, To be fair, what is he supposed to say, other than to say he is pleased?
But Are They Happy?
However, the current Miami look contradicts what Beckham himself told us as far back as 2014, after announcing that he would exercise his option with MLS and bring a team to Miami. He told reporters that the colours would reflect the city. For example, during an interview with Christina Hernández of NBC 6 South Florida, Beckham said “The colours will definitely have a lot to do with the culture of Miami, and the vibrant colours that people are used to here.” He told other reporters that “It’s going to be vibrant. It’s Miami, it has to be.”
Taking both of the kits together, the choice of pink suits Miami perfectly. And, given the fact that no other team in MLS uses it, having a pink shirt would have left no doubt about the identity of the team on the pitch. The logo is also very well designed.
The team gave fans much hope in the promo videos leading up to the name and identity reveal on September 5, 2018. However, with one kit all white and the other all black, whether you want to call it “clean” or perhaps more frankly “boring,” people are talking. Many call the kits “MLS White” and “MLS Black” and think they just don’t strike them as having a feeling of being “Miami.” It’s true, as David Beckham points out, that you can never please everyone. That said, there are surely ways to make this colour combo work, and adidas and Inter Miami owe it to fans to look to the many designs that artists and others came up with for inspiration.
Better yet, they should get input from designers and fans; more so considering they expect fans to pay serious amounts money for Inter Miami-branded merchandise.
There’s a lot of potential for the Inter Miami brand, including the kits. In the case of the latter, it’s just not there … yet. Will the club actually take an innovative approach and listen to fans?
As Luis Robles told the press today, in early January he got in touch with his future teammates on social media and text messages in order to plan some personal training sessions before preseason even began.
Today, his drive and determination landed him the captain’s armband. Head coach Diego Alonso made the appointment prior to the start of the morning training session. The 35-year-old goalkeeper was given the news in front of the entire team, as well as club co-owners David Beckham and Jorge Mas, just five days before the start of the club’s expansion season.
“As I shared with the guys, I’m truly honoured and proud to be able to represent the guys in this capacity,” said Robles. “I’ll do everything I can not only to represent them but the club in the best way possible.”
Serving as team captain is not something new to Robles, however. He was the captain during his two seasons in New Jersey paying for Red Bulls. Robles says he wants to not only guide and encourage the younger players on the roster with his words, but moreover through his actions in matches and training.
“There are certain players that walk onto the training field or the stadium and they’ve got an aura about them and they’ve got a leadership about them,” said Beckham. “That’s why he’s our captain. The manager is the one who decides who is the captain and when he spoke to us about it, we all totally agreed.”
Juan Agudelo’s status for the first game this Sunday in Los Angeles is uncertain. Inter Miami has maintained the wall of secrecy about his health and availability and thus it remains a mystery. Agudelo tweaked his right hamstring a-week-and-a-half ago in the first half of a preseason match against the Philadelphia Union.
“Unfortunately, he’s been hurt but we’re hoping he can recover,” said midfielder Victor Ulloa in Spanish on Monday. “We know he’s an important player for us. He has a lot of experience in this league, and he’s a forward we’re going to need for this long season.”
Yesterday, Agudelo was observed at the team’s training session, engaged in individual training with a physiotherapist. There is no official word yet from the club as to whether the 27-year-old attacker has a chance of playing versus LAFC.
If Agudelo cannot play this weekend, Inter Miami would be without two of its top options up front. Julián Carranza is also sidelined for the match with a left foot injury.
Almendra Will Be Playing For Inter Miami
As reported previously, Agustin Almendra has been rumoured to be joining Inter Miami. It’s now been confirmed that he is the player Paul McDonough has been targeting for available opening at central midfield. Inter Miami is currently in negotiations with the 20-year-old Club Atlético Boca Juniors player, and it expects to come to terms with him in the near future.
“I’ll confirm we have been in conversations with Augustin Almendra from Boca Juniors,” Jorge Mas said at today’s press interview. “I do anticipate and expect that that loan will happen, and will be completed very, very soon.”
With ten days to go before their first ever game versus Los Angeles Football Club, Inter Miami announced its squad numbers for the team’s inaugural 2020 season.
Yesterday it was announced that the team’s second Designated Player, attacking midfielder and Mexican international Rodolfo Pizarro, has been issued the venerable number 10. This is a magical number in the world of football.
The number 10 has always been special and has seen many of the game’s greats wear it. As the numbering system and positions evolved over time, the #10 shirt has come to be associated with the more creative of the forwards while the #9 was given to the out-and-out striker. In a 4-3-3 system, the #10 has been pushed back into midfield and plays behind the centre forward. A “10” is given to the creative force that drives the attack, creating scoring opportunities for himself/herself and his/her teammates in front of goal.
What Numbers Did Not Get Assigned
Apart from now knowing what numbers the players on the Rosanegro will now wear for 2020, it is also telling what numbers were not initially assigned. Most notably, the numbers 8 and 9.
The number 8 is typically a centre midfielder. Think of the #8 as a mixed midfielder. They will be asked to play both sides of the ball, helping the #6 defensively, but also getting forward to help the #10 in the attack. Many call this role a box-to-box midfielder.
The number 9 is typically a centre forward (aka striker) and is the target to get the ball to score goals.
While there is no requirement that numbers correspond with specific positions, most teams have some resemmblance to traditional numbering systems, which also have some variations from country to country.
Inter Miami Squad Numbers
D / M
David Norman Jr.
Cover Photo: Rodolfo Pizarro in the All-Black Inter Miami shirt | Photo: Inter Miami CF
The young Boca player will be loaned to Inter Miami, with an option to purchase . The clubs have worked out all the details and are expected to sign the loan contract.
MIAMI, Fla. (February 19, 2020) —
It’s been talked about for some time, with negotiations between Club Atlético Boca Juniors and Inter Miami CF advancing at a very slow pace, but finally on Wednesday there was a final agreement reached. With the agreement in place, the young Xeneize Agustín Almendra will move to Inter Miami, David Beckham’s team that will make its debut in Major League Soccer, the top level of the closed US Football pyramid, in less than two weeks.
The move will be in the form of a loan for a fee and will contain an option to purchase, according to Argentine sports daily Olé. The deal will be signed after the medical exam, at which point there will be a public announcement from both clubs.
Boca at present had the intention to unload some of its older footballers, as well as those who do not fit into the plans of manager Miguel Ángel Russo; case in point, players such as Iván Marcone and Ramón Ábila. However, the lack of offers and interest in these players has caused the directors of Boca to decide to negotiate a deal for Almendra, one of the teams younger gems. This is what allowed MLS to quite unexpectedly have the possibility of acquiring Almendra.
Almendra, who just turned 20, began at Boca in April 2018 and played 34 games over the course of two seasons, tallying two goals and winning a league championship under the guidance of then manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto (who now coaches the Los Angeles Galaxy).
For now, Almendra trains with Boca Juniors but never has played since Russo was named manager on December 30, 2019, twelve years after he last coached Boca. In fact, Almendra has not played since November 10, 2019 against Vélez Sarsfield and did was not among the 20 players that formed the Boca squad when it traveled last weekend to Santiago del Estero, where Boca won 4-0 against Central Córdoba del Santiago de Estero.
Inter of course is a team that David Beckham has created from scratch and in less than two weeks will being its participation in the top North American league. While in the beginning all of the world’s top stars were mentioned as possible signings for Inter Miami, names like Luca Modric, Edinson Cavani, Gareth Bale, Antoine Griezmann, Neymar y even Leo Messi, in reality the signings so far have been much more modest.
At the end of 2019, the Uruguayan Diego Alonso was named manager, and his technical staff includes Argentines Sebastián Saja as goalkeeper coach and Claudio Arzeno as an assistant. And among Inter’s first roster are Argentines Julián Carranza (C.A. Banfield), Matías Pellegrini (Estudiantes De La Plata) and Nico Figal (Independiente). Most recently, the big name announced was Rodolfo Pizarro (Club de Fútbol Monterrey de México).
El juvenil de Boca pasará a préstamo con opción al Inter de Miami de la MLS de Estados Unidos. Los clubes arreglaron todo y se firmará en las próximas horas.
MIAMI, Fla. (February 19, 2020) —
Hace tiempo que se venía hablando, con negociaciones entre los clubes que avanzaban a paso lento, y finalmente este miércoles hubo acuerdo: el juvenil xeneize Agustín Almendra pasará al Inter de Miami, el equipo de David Beckham que en menos de dos semanas debutará en la Major League Soccer (MLS) de Estados Unidos.
El pase se hará a préstamo con cargo y con una opción de compra, según le confirmaron el periódico deportivo argentino Olé. Restan los estudios médicos y la firma del contrato, y luego que los clubes hagan el anuncio oficial.
Si bien en principio la intención era separarse de futbolistas de mayor edad y los que no iban a estar en los primeros planos con el director técnico de Boca, Miguel Ángel Russo, caso los jugadores Iván Marcone y Ramón Ábila, la falta de propuestas hizo que la dirigencia del Boca se moviera para negociar a una de las joyas del club. Así fue que la posibilidad de la MLS tomó fuerza de manera inesperada.
Almendra, que acaba de cumplir 20 años, debutó en Boca en abril del 2018, jugó 34 partidos, hizo dos goles y ganó un título de la mano de Guillermo Barros Schelotto (quien está ahora el director técnico con Los Angeles Galaxy de la MLS), en la Superliga 2017/18.
Por lo pronto, Almendra se entrena en Boca pero nunca tuvo lugar en el equipo de Russo, tal como ya le pasó en el segundo semestre del 2019 con Gustavo Alfaro. De hecho, no juega desde el 10 de noviembre del 2019 ante Vélez Sarsfield y ni siquiera formó parte de la delegación de 20 jugadores que viajó el fin de semana pasada a Santiago del Estero, partido en que ganó Boca 4-0 contra Central Córdoba del Santiago de Estero.
El Inter es el equipo que creó desde cero el inglés Beckham y que en menos de dos semanas comenzará su participación en la liga norteamericana. Si bien en el principio se mencionaron como posibles refuerzos a mega estrellas del fútbol mundial, caso Luca Modric, Edinson Cavani, Gareth Bale, Antoine Griezmann, Neymar y hasta Leo Messi, finalmente para esta primera temporada fue todo más modesto.
El técnico confirmado a fin de año 2019 fue el uruguayo Diego Alonso y en su cuerpo técnico estarán Sebastián Saja como entrenador de arqueros y Claudio Arzeno como asistente. Y tiene como refuerzos a los argentinos Julián Carranza (C.A. Banfield) y Matías Pellegrini (Estudiantes De La Plata), además del reciente anuncio de Rodolfo Pizarro (Club de Fútbol Monterrey de México).
As reports stated that center-forward Julian Carranza could be out for an extended amount of time, who could be the next man to lead the Inter Miami line in his absence?
MIAMI, Fla. (February 19, 2020) —
Last week it was revealed by sporting director Paul McDonough that Inter Miami’s first-ever signing, Julián Carranza, who arrived from Club Atlético Banfield in Argentina, will miss the first two months of the team’s inaugural season due to an injury to his left foot.
The 19-year-old was welcomed to Miami with much fanfare along with fellow Argentine Matías Pellegrini. At last week’s press interview fellow Argentine teammate Nico Figal stressed just how important Carranza is to the team:
“It hurts to lose him like it would any player. By losing Juli, we lose a lot because he’s a very important player for us, a player who has a lot of promise, a forward that comes from a great start in Argentina. But we’ll try to replace him the best we can.”
Looking at the club’s depth chart so far, the candidate to fill in for Carranza is Juan Agudelo, a veteran of MLS and the USMNT. Agudelo can play out wide or through the centre and run through the channels. However, Agudelo unfortunately incurred a muscle injury in the club’s 2-1 preseason loss to the Philadelphia Union.
These injuries leave manager Diego Alonso in a hole as the first game versus Los Angeles Football Club fast approaches. Alonso will have to look elsewhere for goals. While Jerome Kiesewetter and Robbie Robinson could potentially lead the line, can they be the replacement for Carranza in Inter Miami’s starting lineup?
According to the Miami Herald, McDonough reiterated that the club is actively looking for both a centre-forwaerd and a box-to-box midfielder. There are rumours resurfacing out of Argentina that 20-year-old Boca Junior’s player Agustin Almendra will be transferred as Miami’s third and final Designated Player; however, that leaves unsolved the issue of who the club will pick up as a potential number nine.
McDonough also mentioned that the club has closed the door on possibly signing 25-year-old Colombian Roger Martinez. If Almendra will take up a DP spot, Inter Miami will have to search for a high-quality centre-forward using their Allocation Money budget.
The question is who? The European transfer window is closed, and with it, any possibility of obtaining Edinson Cavani or another European player now. Ideally, Miami is in need of two strikers to ensure proper depth to the roster.
Rodolfo Pizarro’s signing shows that Miami can land a quality player that fits the type of soccer Diego Alonso wants the team to play. But the question now is will they acquire the player they need in time for the first game?
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (February 15, 2020 SBI Soccer, Franco Panizo, with edits) —
There was good, there was bad, there was ugly.
Inter Miami played its first official preseason match on Saturday afternoon in a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union, and the performance in it from the MLS expansion club was a mixed bag.
Rodolfo Pizarro and Lee Nguyen were two of the brightest spots for an Inter Miami team that debuted to the general public by demonstrating a free-flowing and attractive style at Al Lang Stadium. However, an inability to create numerous quality chances and injury to another attacker left Inter Miami with plenty to chew on two weeks out from its much-anticipated season opener.
Here are three things we learned from Inter Miami’s preseason defeat to the Union:
TACTICS – PRIORITIZE KEEPING BALL ON GROUND AT ALL COSTS
In its first public match, Inter Miami stayed true to all of the preseason talk about trying to play a proactive and possession-based style. The expansion club started Saturday’s match a bit slow, but settled in after the first 10 minutes and began demonstrating an aesthetically-pleasing brand of soccer that should excite fans in Miami.
The Rosanegro came out playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation. They kept the ball on the ground and by instruction avoided hitting any long balls, be it direct lobs up the field or clearances into the stands. They resorted to long balls at most on four plays over the course of the 90 minutes, instead prioritising possession, manging the ball via the use of shorter combination passes and movement across all of its lines to advance up the field.
“As a kid, I fell in love with a ball. I didn’t fall in love with long balls,” said Inter Miami head coach Diego Alonso in Spanish after the match. “I fell in love with playing with a ball. I want my players to do the same and to win through that. I think it’s valid. I think we can do it. We need a lot of work. It’s not going to happen from one day to another, but the idea is being carried out. Sometimes we’ll do it better than other times and sometimes we’ll do it worse than other times, but always with the idea of trying to dominate the run of play and win the games.”
Wil Trapp was often tasked with either dropping in as a third centerback to collect the ball from goalkeeper Luis Robles or to be the first outlet for centerbacks Roman Torres and Nico Figal. Trapp started sequences for Inter Miami regularly, and, aside from one play early on in which he was caught in possession deep in his own half, was fairly effective.
As could be expected with an expansion team in preseason, though, the play was certainly not perfect. Inter Miami had some bad moments, particularly in the first 45 minutes, in which players needlessly turned the ball over in their own half. Left back Ben Sweat and to a lesser extent right back Dylan Nealis were especially guilty of that, and it was in fact a poor one-timed effort down the flank from Sweat under little pressure that led to the throw-in that resulted in the Union’s first goal.
The second half saw Inter Miami be much cleaner on the ball, which allowed it to better dictate play. Notably, there were not many clear scoring chances during the closing stanza, but there were long spells of possession that pinned the Union in their own half and allowed Inter Miami to be the protagonists.
“From Day 1, (Alonso) came in here and he says, ‘We want to play football from the back to the front,’” said midfielder Lee Nguyen. “No matter what, he emphasizes he wants us to try to play, keep it on the ground, and eliminate as much long balls as possible so that it give us a chance to play the style of football he wants to play.”
AGUDELO INJURY LEAVES FORWARD POSITION THIN
Inter Miami lost starting striker Juan Agudelo to a right hamstring injury about 30 minutes into the match, and he told reporters after the game that he felt a tweak in his leg when trying to avoid colliding with Union goalkeeper Andre Blake after initially attempting to race to the ball.
There is no word yet on the severity of Agudelo’s injury, but losing him for any considerable amount of time would put Inter Miami in a tough spot. Fellow forward Julian Carranza was recently lost to a foot injury for 10-12 weeks and Matias Pelligrini looked physically overmatched and uncomfortable when shifted into the striker role in Agudelo’s absence on Saturday.
“We’ll keep looking,” said Alonso. “There are other players that can do the job, like (Robbie) Robinson and (Jerome) Kiesewetter. We can also play with a false nine, that can come back and get involved in the play and open the space and then have wingers that can penetrate deeper. There could be other options.
Inter Miami is admittedly in the market for a striker from abroad, but talks with whomever is targeted might have to ramp up given the current situation at striker and how soon the MLS season begins. Because for all its possession and pretty soccer, Inter Miami lacked punch in the final third for much of Saturday’s encounter.
“We need to have more penetration in the attack and more mobility up top to be able to generate more chances on goal,” said Alonso. “… I think we have good build-up in the attack, good movement in the midfield, we find the numerical advantages quickly. But we need to take advantage of them more in the final third and look for the movements and become more vertical and know when to change the speed of play.”
PIZARRO’S NOTABLE OUTING RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS MOVE
Despite not having had a full training session with the team yet, Pizarro celebrated his 26th birthday on Saturday with a notable performance. The Mexican international that just arrived in Miami on Thursday came off the bench to replace the injured Agudelo around the half-hour mark and scored just minutes later with a composed and classy finish in the penalty area.
With his soft left foot and propensity to try and play forward, Pizarro was very clearly the most confident and talented player on the field on Saturday. His introduction gave Inter Miami’s attack a needed injection of energy and creativity, and led to several of the team’s best chances on the day. Pizarro’s impact faded in the second half, but overall he showed well for the team.
His solid outing, however, once again the raised questions as to why he has not yet been officially announced as an Inter Miami player. The team has said in recent days that it is still finalizing details with the playmaker, but what exactly is the hold up is unclear and made all the more curious by the fact that he played, and scored, on Saturday.
Luis Robles (5.5) — Did not have a whole lot to do, and used his feet more often than we have seen in years past.
Dylan Nealis (5) — Defended with heart and effort, but struggled in possession with his passing.
Roman Torres (6) — The bruiser of the back line, Torres was a rock. He won almost all his duels and fouled smartly a few times.
Nico Figal (6.5) — The more cerebral centerback showed an excellent reading of the game as well as good technical skills on the ball.
Ben Sweat (4) — Struggled mightily with his passing, touches, and decision-making. A poor one-timed effort that went out of bounds was what began the sequence that resulted in the Union’s opening goal.
Victor Ulloa (5.5) —Simple but effective. He moved the ball accurately and quickly from deep positions, and hit one stinging shot just wide early in the first half.
Wil Trapp (6) — The orchestrator of many of the best sequences, Trapp used a range of passes to help keep possession. Had a nice crunching tackle, too.
Luis Argudo (5) — Largely invisible in the attack, but regularly showed for the ball and put in the work defensively.
Lee Nguyen (6.5) — Selflessly passed to Pizarro on the equalizer and was very keen on getting on the ball to combine with teammates. Might have been sent off with a second yellow card had this not been preseason.
Mattias Pellegrini (4.5) — Ineffective and physically overmatched after being moved to the striker spot. Also did not show much on the wing.
Juan Agudelo (5) — Dropped into deeper spots to pick up the ball, but left the game with an injury before he could make an impact.
Rodolfo Pizarro (6) — Provided an immediate injection of needed creativity after coming on and took his goal really well. Was much quieter in the second half.
Robbie Robinson (5) — Hustled and scrapped up top after being subbed in.
David Beckham’s new Major League Soccer franchise and Qatar airways have finally reached a deal worth $234 million after weeks of negotiations.
MIAMI, Fla. (February 16, 2020) —
Inter Miami is about to make their season debut in the Major League Soccer when they visit LAFC at the Banc of California stadium on March 1st.
One important detail is about to be announced by David Beckham’s new franchise: a kit sponsor.
Our source in the UK reports, and British newspaper The Sun is reporting, that after weeks of negotiations Inter Miami CF and the government of Qatar have agreed to a major sponsorship agreement worth approximately $234 million. The negotiations were reportedly held in secret and there is complete silence from officials at Inter Miami. Qatar Airways has been more involved in major sports sponsorships in recent years and it’s no secret that they want to be more involved in MLS as well. Beckham also is a close friend of the Qatar ruling family and ended his playing days with Paris Saint-Germain, owned by QSI (Qatar Sports Investments), an arm of the Qatari state.