Inter Miami CF

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, known in English as Inter Miami CF or simply Inter Miami, is an American professional soccer club based in the Miami metropolitan area.[2] The team began play in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the 2020 season at Inter Miami CF Stadium, the site of the former Lockhart Stadium. Inter Miami's first MLS match was played on March 1, 2020, away to Los Angeles FC, which resulted in a 1–0 defeat.

Inter Miami
Inter Miami CF logo.svg
Full nameClub Internacional de Fútbol Miami
Nickname(s)The Herons
Short nameInter Miami
FoundedJanuary 28, 2018; 2 years ago (2018-01-28)
StadiumInter Miami CF Stadium
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Capacity18,000[1]
Owners
PresidentDavid Beckham
Head coachDiego Alonso
LeagueMajor League Soccer
2020Eastern Conference: 10th
Overall: 19th
Playoffs: Play-in round
WebsiteClub website
Current season

HistoryEdit

In November 2012, MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed the league's renewed interest in placing an expansion franchise in Miami,[3] after the Miami Fusion folded following the 2001 season and an expansion bid led by Miami-based Bolivian telecom entrepreneur Marcelo Claure and FC Barcelona failed in 2009.[4]

When David Beckham, who had received an option to purchase an expansion team at a price of $25 million when he joined the league in 2007,[5] ended his playing career in April 2013, the league held preliminary discussions with Beckham's advisers about several expansion targets, including Miami.[6] That same year, other investors, including Italian financier Alessandro Butini[7] and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross expressed interest in owning a Miami franchise as well.[8]

In his December 2013 State of the League address, Garber identified Beckham and Simon Fuller as potential owners in Miami.[9] Later that month, on December 17, Miami-Dade County commissioners voted unanimously to allow Mayor Carlos A. Giménez to negotiate with the Beckham-led group on a new stadium in downtown Miami.[10]

The league announced that Beckham exercised his option on February 5, 2014,[11] and that Miami Beckham United,[12] the investment group led by Beckham, Fuller and Claure, would own an expansion franchise in Miami, assuming that financing for a stadium could be agreed upon.[13] In presentations to officials and potential investors, the ownership group used "Miami Vice" and "Miami Current" as working titles for the club.[14] After its initial stadium proposals fell through, Commissioner Garber reiterated in August 2014 that the expansion would not be approved until a downtown stadium plan was secured.[15] Beckham bought Fuller out in May 2019.[16]

On January 29, 2018, the Miami Beckham United group, four years after the ownership's original announcement of pursuing a team, was awarded the twenty-fifth MLS franchise and was set to launch in the 2020 season.[17][18] The announcement represented part of a larger MLS expansion that would increase its number of teams to 26 by 2020 and 30 after that. Since Beckham's original announcement of his intention to place a team in Miami in 2014, Orlando City, New York City FC, Atlanta United, Minnesota United, Los Angeles FC, and FC Cincinnati have all begun MLS play. Paul McDonough was hired as sporting director effective August 4.[19]

The team's ownership now operates through Miami Freedom Park LLC.[20] Some graphics used by the group have evoked the Freedom Tower, a city landmark.[21]

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, or Inter Miami CF for short, was announced as the club's name on September 5, 2018.[22] In April 2019 Italian club Inter Milan claimed trademark rights to the 'Inter' prefix.[23]

On December 30, 2019, former Uruguay national team player and C.F. Monterrey manager Diego Alonso was announced as the club's inaugural head coach.[24][25]

Inter Miami's first MLS game was played on March 1, 2020, losing 1–0, away to Los Angeles FC.[26] Designated Player Rodolfo Pizarro scored the first goal in Inter Miami history the following game on March 7, in a 2–1 loss to D.C. United.[27] Their first home match was supposed to be on March 14, 2020, against LA Galaxy, Beckham's former club. The match has since been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[28] On August 23, 2020, Inter Miami recorded their first franchise victory, 3–2 over Orlando City.[29]

Colors and badgeEdit

The Miami Beckham United group unveiled the team's name and colors on September 5, 2018. The name was announced as Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (Inter Miami CF). The crest, designed in style and colors that recall the city's Art Deco architectural tradition, displays two great white herons with interlocking legs forming a letter M. Between the herons is an eclipse, the sun bearing seven rays in an homage to the number Beckham often wore as a player.[2][30] The team colors are black, pink, and white.[31][32] The full achievement displays the team name encircling all with the roman numerals MMXX representing the year 2020, the inaugural season of play.[33]

The species of the birds in the crest was the subject of debate after its announcement and unveiling, with some speculating them to be flamingos and egrets.[34] The team later announced that the birds are white herons.[citation needed]

StadiumEdit

Miami Freedom ParkEdit

In March 2020, Inter Miami began to play in Fort Lauderdale. They will continue to do so until their new stadium, to be known as Miami Freedom Park, is completed in 2022.[21][35] The current proposal is for a 25,000-seat stadium that would form part of Freedom Park, a mixed-use complex on the present site of the city-owned Melreese Country Club near the Miami International Airport. Approval for construction of the stadium depended on the outcome of a public referendum held on November 6, 2018.[36] The result of the referendum had roughly 60 percent of voters approving the measure to convert the city-owned golf course near the international airport into Inter Miami CF's new stadium, Miami Freedom Park.[37]

The proposed development, to be built on 131-acre (53 ha) public land, will include 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of office, retail and commercial space, 750 hotel rooms, 23 acres (9.3 ha) of public soccer fields in addition to the 10.5-acre (4.2 ha) stadium, and the remaining 58 acres (23 ha) will be a public park. The owners will also make annual installments of $20 million for 30 years for improvements to public parks across the city.[38] The agreement still requires the approval of a four-vote supermajority of the five City of Miami commissioners. The plan had faced opposition from supporters of the golf club and many details, such as fiscal responsibility for toxic incinerator ash in the soil, remain to be worked out.[39]

The decision follows a lengthy exploration of options.[40] Some locations that had previously been considered included: Dodge Island at PortMiami (2013), the Downtown Miami waterfront at Museum Park (2014),[41][42] a site adjacent to MLB's Marlins Park (2015), and a privately owned site in Miami's Overtown (2015–16).[43][44][45][46] The team also considered the Riccardo Silva Stadium at Florida International University.[47][48]

Inter Miami CF StadiumEdit

Inter Miami CF Stadium is a soccer stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on the site of the former Lockhart Stadium.[49] The new 19,000-seat stadium and training facility is scheduled for future Major League Soccer club Inter Miami CF.[50] The new stadium will be oriented north-south for soccer configuration, so the sun won't be in the eyes of the goalie.[51] The stadium will be the primary headquarters for the team and its youth academy in addition to further training grounds.[51]

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced in 2016 that they were moving out of Lockhart Stadium,[52] after which the stadium fell into a state of disrepair.[53] In late January 2019, Inter Miami announced its intentions to pursue the Lockhart Stadium site to serve as the club's training ground for its first team, USL League One reserve team Fort Lauderdale CF, and youth academy. The development would also include an 18,000-seat stadium, which will serve as the permanent home of Fort Lauderdale CF and as the interim home for Inter Miami for at least the first two seasons while the Miami Freedom Park stadium is under construction.[54] The Fort Lauderdale city council unanimously approved Inter Miami's bid for the Lockhart Stadium site in March 2019. In April, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission cleared Inter Miami to begin the demolition process.[53][50] On July 9, 2019, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously approved a 50-year lease agreement for the Lockhart Stadium site with Inter Miami; under the terms of the agreement, the city will retain ownership of the property while the soccer club will be responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the new facilities.[55]

Training complexEdit

In late January 2019, the club announced its intentions to pursue the Lockhart Stadium site in Fort Lauderdale to serve as the club's training ground for its first team, youth academy, and future United Soccer League (USL) team.[56]

The new training complex will consist of over 30 acres (12 ha) of grass and green space, that will include various amenities such as a park, youth soccer fields, and a community center. Upon completion, the complex will be used as the permanent training facilities for all levels of Inter Miami's teams ranging from their Youth Academy teams and USL League One team to the first team that plays in MLS. [57]

OwnershipEdit

The ownership group behind the franchise was first formed in 2013 as Miami Beckham United, though it now trades under the name Miami Freedom Park LLC.[20] The present ownership group is led by Miami-based Bolivian businessman Marcelo Claure,[58] while Masayoshi Son and brothers Jorge and Jose Mas were added to the ownership group in 2017.[59] The effort originated in a contract David Beckham signed with MLS in 2007; he joined LA Galaxy and negotiated an option to own an expansion team at a discounted franchise fee.[20]

SupportersEdit

The club has three official supporters groups: The Siege, Southern Legion, and Vice City 1896.[60]

Players and staffEdit

RosterEdit

As of October 10, 2020[61]
No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper John McCarthy   United States
2 Defender Alvas Powell   Jamaica
3 Defender Andrés Reyes (on loan from Atlético Nacional)   Colombia
4 Defender Christian Makoun   Venezuela
5 Defender Nicolás Figal   Argentina
6 Midfielder Wil Trapp (HG)   United States
7 Midfielder Lewis Morgan   Scotland
8 Midfielder Blaise Matuidi   France
9 Forward Gonzalo Higuaín (DP)   Argentina
10 Midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro (DP)   Mexico
11 Midfielder Matías Pellegrini (DP)   Argentina
12 Forward Juan Agudelo   United States
13 Midfielder Víctor Ulloa   Mexico
14 Midfielder Jay Chapman (HG)   Canada
15 Midfielder David Norman Jr.   Canada
17 Forward Jerome Kiesewetter   United States
18 Defender Dylan Nealis   United States
19 Forward Robbie Robinson (GA)   United States
20 Defender A. J. DeLaGarza   Guam
21 Forward Julián Carranza   Argentina
22 Defender Ben Sweat   United States
26 Defender Leandro González Pírez   Argentina
27 Goalkeeper Drake Callender (HG)   United States
28 Defender Brek Shea   United States
30 Midfielder George Acosta   United States
31 Goalkeeper Luis Robles   United States
33 Defender Mikey Ambrose   United States
34 Midfielder Federico Higuaín   Argentina
36 Midfielder Denso Ulysse   Haiti

Out on loanEdit

No. Position Player Nation
Defender Jairo Quinteros (at Bolívar)   Bolivia

Technical staffEdit

As of January 13, 2020[62]
Role Name Nationality
Head coach Diego Alonso   Uruguay
Assistant coach Fernando Gonzalez   Uruguay
Assistant coach Claudio Arzeno   Argentina
Assistant coach Anthony Pulis   Wales
Assistant coach Albert Rudé   Spain
Goalkeeping coach Sebastián Saja   Argentina
Fitness coach Mauricio Marchetti   Uruguay
Sports scientist Gustavo Metral   Argentina
Video analyst Brett Uttley   United States
Academy director Jason Kreis   United States

Head coachesEdit

Name Nationality Tenure G W D L Win %
Diego Alonso   Uruguay December 30, 2019 – present 23 7 3 13 030.43

RecordsEdit

SeasonsEdit

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by Inter Miami. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Inter Miami CF seasons.

Season League Position Playoffs USOC Continental / Other Average
attendance
Top goalscorer(s)
Div League Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall Name(s) Goals
2020 1 MLS 23 7 13 3 25 35 –10 24 1.04 10th 19th PR NH MLS is Back Tournament GS 2,216   Lewis Morgan 5

^ 1. Avg. Attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top Goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in League, MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup, MLS is Back Tournament, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.

InfrastructureEdit

Reserve teamEdit

On October 9, 2019, the club announced that they will be fielding a reserve team in the third tier of US Soccer, USL League One. This team allows the club to prepare future players with quality competition in hopes of being called up to the first team. The unnamed League One Miami team will train at the training facilities of Inter Miami CF Stadium.[63]

The team was to open their inaugural season on March 27, 2020 against Union Omaha at Inter Miami CF Stadium but the match was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[64]

AcademyEdit

The Inter Miami CF Academy is the official youth academy and development system of Inter Miami CF that was established in 2019.[65] The academy consists of various levels of age groups, ranging from U-12 to U-19. These teams will also train at the training grounds in Inter Miami CF Stadium alongside their MLS and USL League One counterparts. All of Inter Miami's youth teams compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

MediaEdit

The team's first three matches in the 2020 season were assigned to national broadcasts; a broadcast deal was not announced before the suspension of play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the team did announce that Ray Hudson will serve as color commentator,[66] Andres Cordero will serve as the play-by-play commentator, joined by Fernando Fiore as the host, and Kaylyn Kyle as the sideline reporter.[67] On April 3, 2020, the club announced a regional English-language television deal with CBS Television Stations, under which its regional matches will air on MyNetworkTV affiliate WBFS-TV, with selected matches airing on CBS station WFOR-TV.[68] Then on April 30, the club announced a Spanish rights deal with Univision, where games will be aired on its TV affiliate WAMI and radio affiliate WQBA, with a broadcast team consisting of Ramses Sandoval, Luis Omar Tapia [es], Daniel Nohra [es], Diego Balado [es], Nicholas Cantor and Tony Cherchi.[69]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Las garzas del escudo del Inter Miami se separan por el coronavirus". Marca.com (in Spanish). March 23, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "MLS Miami expansion team unveils name, crest". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  3. ^ Goff, Steven (November 26, 2012). "MLS commissioner's state of league". Soccer Insider.
  4. ^ "Miami Barcelona MLS Campaign Is Dead". Goal.com. March 3, 2009.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Paul (May 20, 2013). "Beckham is MLS expansion story du jour". Soccer Business Insider.
  6. ^ Evans, Simon (May 17, 2013). "Soccer-Beckham talking to MLS about owning a new team". Yahoo!. Reuters.
  7. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (October 2, 2013). "David Beckham group still working on Miami MLS bid; competing group emerges". The Miami Herald.
  8. ^ "Alessandro Butini is the latest suitor in MLS' Miami expansion project". Planet Fútbol. October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  9. ^ Borg, Simon (December 3, 2013). "MLS commissioner Don Garber discusses expansion, scheduling in latest State of the League address". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer.
  10. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (December 17, 2013). "Miami-Dade commissioners sound gung-ho about David Beckham's potential Major League Soccer stadium". The Miami Herald. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  11. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (February 2, 2014). "Beckham-Miami deal one step closer; local visit plans revealed". The Miami Herald.
  12. ^ Smith, Chris (March 24, 2014). "David Beckham's grand plan for Port Miami stadium for new MLS team". The Guardian. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  13. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (February 5, 2014). "Soccer star David Beckham to bring MLS team to Miami". The Miami Herald.
  14. ^ "Photos: possible logo, uniforms for David Beckham's Miami MLS club?". The Palm Beach Post. February 12, 2014. Archived from the original on February 15, 2014.
  15. ^ "David Beckham's Miami MLS plans on hold until stadium secured". Sports Illustrated. July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  16. ^ Ozanian, Mike. "David Beckham Reportedly Buys Stake In His Company At $150 Million Valuation". Forbes.
  17. ^ "It's official: Major League Soccer awards expansion team to Miami". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. January 29, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  18. ^ "MLS announces David Beckham's expansion team in Miami". ESPN. January 29, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  19. ^ Tom Bogert (August 2, 2018). "Miami MLS hires Paul McDonough from Atlanta to be Sporting Director". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  20. ^ a b c Flechas, Joey (July 17, 2018). "Revised terms for Beckham soccer stadium complex offer city concessions, more money". The Miami Herald. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  21. ^ a b "David Beckham's Miami MLS team might finally have a name". Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  22. ^ "Inter Miami: David Beckham's MLS team is called Club Internacional de Futbol Miami". BBC. September 5, 2018.
  23. ^ "David Beckham v Inter Milan: Who will gain upper hand in trademark battle?". RT International.
  24. ^ "Inter Miami CF Selects Diego Alonso as First-Ever Head Coach in Club History". Inter Miami CF. December 30, 2019. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  25. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (December 30, 2019). "Inter Miami 'blocks out noise,' hires Uruguayan Diego Alonso as first head coach". The Miami Herald.
  26. ^ "Vela and LAFC give Beckham's Inter Miami a lesson on the importance of a superstar scorer | Goal.com". www.goal.com. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  27. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (March 8, 2020). "Takeaways from Inter Miami's drama-filled 2-1 road loss to D.C. United".
  28. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (March 12, 2020). "The Inter Miami home opener is on hold as MLS suspends season due to the coronavirus". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  29. ^ "Inter Miami overcome five months of suffering with first MLS win: "We had to wait"". MLS Soccer. August 23, 2020.
  30. ^ Gonzalez, Roger (September 5, 2018). "David Beckham's Miami MLS team unveils unique logo, color scheme and new name". CBSSports.com. CBS Sports. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  31. ^ "One Year Ago: The story of the Inter Miami CF brand". InterMiamiCF.com. MLS Digital. September 19, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  32. ^ Phillips, Doug; Lerner, Keven (September 5, 2018). "Inter Miami: David Beckham's MLS team unveils name and crest". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  33. ^ "Beckham's MLS team named Inter Miami CF". ESPN. September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  34. ^ Bunch, Matthew (September 18, 2018). "Inter Miami CF logo explained in social media video". Magic City Soccer. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  35. ^ Brenner, Steve (February 22, 2019). "For David Beckham and Miami, a Bumpy Road Enters the Homestretch". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  36. ^ Davis, Craig (July 18, 2018). "Miami commission OK's referendum on David Beckham's MLS stadium plan". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  37. ^ "Beckham scores key victory after voters endorse stadium plan in referendum".
  38. ^ Flechas, Joey (July 18, 2018). "After Beckham's 5-year quest, the next decision on his soccer stadium is up to voters". The Miami Herald. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  39. ^ Koziarz, Jay (July 20, 2018). "Miami voters to decide fate of David Beckham's $1B soccer stadium". Curbed Miami. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  40. ^ "David Beckham wins $9 million land deal for Miami soccer stadium". Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  41. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (May 22, 2014). "David Beckham's latest Miami stadium plans revealed after earlier site scratched". The Miami Herald.
  42. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (June 10, 2014). "David Beckham's MLS Stadium Is a No-Go at Downtown Miami's Museum Park, Boat Slip". The Miami Herald. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  43. ^ "David Beckham group buys private land needed for Miami soccer stadium". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  44. ^ "Miami Stadium Land Deal A Not-So-Easy Score For Beckham - Law360". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  45. ^ "Beckham announces Overtown site for soccer stadium". The Miami Herald. December 4, 2015.
  46. ^ "MLS owners support David Beckham's proposed Overtown stadium site". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  47. ^ "David Beckham unveils MLS stadium plans in Port of Miami". BBC Sport. March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  48. ^ "Beckham group eyes Port of Miami for MLS home". Associated Press. March 24, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  49. ^ "Inter Miami CF To Make Historic MLS Home Debut on March 14, 2020". InterMiamiCF.com. November 13, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  50. ^ a b "Demolition Of Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Underway". WFOR-TV. May 8, 2019.
  51. ^ a b Bandell, Brian (March 14, 2019). "David Beckham wants MLS team to play initial seasons in Fort Lauderdale at Lockhart Stadium". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  52. ^ Barszewski, Larry; Heizer, Pedro (July 14, 2016). "Strikers leaving longtime home at Lockhart". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  53. ^ a b Boehm, Charles (April 3, 2019). "Inter Miami cleared to begin demolition of old Lockhart Stadium". MLS Soccer. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  54. ^ "Soccer newsletter: Coronavirus leads to a death in the soccer world". Los Angeles Times. March 17, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  55. ^ Boehm, Charles (July 10, 2019). "City of Fort Lauderdale approves Inter Miami stadium, training facility". MLS Soccer. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  56. ^ MLS Communications (January 28, 2019). "Inter Miami Presents Proposal to Revitalize Historic Lockhart Stadium Site". MLS Soccer. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  57. ^ Inter Miami CF Website (October 9, 2019). "Training Complex of Inter Miami CF". MLS Soccer. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  58. ^ Madigan, Nick (February 6, 2014). "Hurdles Ahead for Beckham and M.L.S. in Miami". The New York Times. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  59. ^ "Three new owners added to David Beckham's Miami expansion team". MLSsoccer.com. MLS Digital. December 14, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  60. ^ "Supporters".
  61. ^ "Inter Miami CF roster". intermiamicf.com. Inter Miami CF. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  62. ^ "Inter Miami CF Announces Diego Alonso's Full Technical Staff". intermiamicf.com. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  63. ^ "USL League One". Inter Miami CF. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  64. ^ "USL League One Schedule". Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  65. ^ "IMCF Academy". Academy. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  66. ^ Creditor, Avi. "Ray Hudson to Broadcast Inter Miami Matches". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  67. ^ "Inter Miami announces broadcast team". Inter Miami CF. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  68. ^ "Inter Miami lock in local TV rights deal with CBS". SportsPro Media. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  69. ^ Price, Khobi. "Inter Miami announce Spanish deal with Univision". South Florida Sun Sentinel. Retrieved April 30, 2020.

External linksEdit